Pinot Grigio 2018
The Attems Pinot Grigio, like all of the Attems wines, is a tribute to Italy’s Friuli region and faithfully reflects the terroir from which it comes. The wine’s bouquet is marked by an impressive fruitiness, and the palate demonstrates all of the amazing qualities of the Collio: it has superb weight and texture and a notable minerality and is savory, tangy, and vibrant.
The estate extends over 110 acres on south-facing terraced slopes, just to the west of Gorizia, protected from both the cold northern winds and the characteristic “bora” wind of Trieste. The area is particularly suited to viticulture, making Friuli Venezia Giulia one of the leading grape-growing regions of Italy already since the end of the 19th century.
The estate is surrounded by nature that is unspoiled and rich in biodiversity, important factors even in the cultivation of grape vines. The three distinctive features of the this territory are the soils, the temperature fluctuations, and the sunlight.
The Attems estate has three distinct types of soils that are an enormous asset:
– The Isonzo section features floodplains with a sand, silt and gravel soil. It tends to be warmer and wetter than other areas of the estate. This, combined with its gentle winds, creates an ideal combination for Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes that are harvested earlier to enhance the freshness and fruitiness of the wines.
– The middle area of the property, known as “manine” is a primarily flat area set between Collio and Isonzo, characterised by loamy soils with good drainage. The varieties planted here are Pinot Grigio and Ribolla Gialla, characterised by their refined elegance.
– The highest, coolest and windiest part of the estate is in Collio. It takes its name “ponca” from a particular sandstone soil with alternating layers of marl, the composition of which originated millions of years ago. An ideal soil for viticulture, able to affect the aromatic characteristics of grapes and the flavor of the resulting wine. The grapes grown here are Sauvignon Blanc, Friulano and Picolit. The Cicinis hill is dedicated to the Sauvignon Blanc variety and harvested at two different moments, first in the lower parts and then in the higher areas.
The temperature of the region is the second major factor affecting the vineyards. Winters are harsh, with temperatures that often fall below zero. Summers are not excessively hot, with maximum temperatures below 30°C. The hilly layout of the area generates significant temperature fluctuations between daytime and nighttime. The combination of these conditions promotes the accumulation of sugars, pigments and aromatic substances in the grapes.
Lastly, sunlight has a critical role in how grapes ripen, given Attems’ location fewer than 10 miles from the Adriatic coast. The refractive effect of the sunlight on the Gulf of Trieste gives Collio a particularly intense and unique luminosity that, between August and September, contributes to the optimal ripening of grapes. Together with the significant temperature fluctuations, the refractive sunlight effect creates an ideal climate for the production of excellent white wines.
The grapes are harvested by hand, softly pressed, and the must left to rest for 24-48 hours. Subsequently a low temperature fermentation takes place in a combination of stainless steel tanks and wooden barriques (10%), for a period of 15 days, between 59-64 degrees Fahrenheit. Following the fermentation, the wine rests for four months on noble lees often kept in suspension.
January and February were defined by frequent rains and fluctuating temperatures, with January being warmer than average and February temperatures in line with previous years. March has two cold spells, one at the beginning of the month and one in the last third. The last few days in March instead saw a rise in temperatures, which led to the warmest April in the last ten years. This brought on vigorous budding phase for all varieties, both in the higher elevation vineyards and those in the flood plains. Rain wasn’t plentiful, about 20-30% less than over the past fifty years. That notwithstanding, the water reserves were regularly replenished throughout April and May and was sufficient in guaranteeing a regular growth to the plants that flowered as early as ten days earlier than usual – around mid – May for some varieties. June brought around 120mm worth of rain water, supporting a regular growth of the grapes and bunch closure, which took place during the last ten days of the month. A dry and very warm July supported an early veraison phase, which took place during the first ten days of month, about two weeks earlier than is the norm. The refracted light from the Adriatic Sea, which improved the leaves’ efficiency, and the significant day/night temperature variations brought on by the sea breeze both decisively influenced the development of the grapes’ aromatic precursors and other ripening parameters, leading to one of the earliest grape harvests in history, which took place from the middle of August to the end of September. A long harvest characterised by a lovely climate with warm, dry days followed by cool evenings helped select the best times to harvest to achieve the determined oenological goals. The Pinot Grigio grapes from our area are defined by their excellent sugar concentration and balanced content of organic acidity.
This Pinot Grigio is characterized by a straw-yellow color. Its bouquet is marked by a impressive fruitiness, and the palate demonstrates all of the amazing qualities of the Collio: superb weight and viscosity, mineral-edged, savory, tangy, and lively.
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Other Wines by this Producer
Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato continues a traditional way of producing Pinot Grigio in the province of Venice. The term ramato, or "coppery", was used to describe the pink hue of the wine due to the slight contact with the purple skins before pressing and fermenting. This rosé boasts a rich, fruity bouquet, and opens full on the palate, with multi-faceted flavors.
Attems Sauvignon Blanc, like others from the region, remains a hidden treasure. The wines can be compared in fruit ripeness to Sancerre, with a more intense bouquet as well as a lusher weight and texture. Attems shows how the value of quality-driven, artisanal producers can be extraordinary.
The Cicinis Sauvignon Blanc is an utterly distinctive expression of Sauvignon Blanc. From a single vineyard in the Collio area, the tremendous density and aromatics are joined by a deep and complex texture due to the aging in oak barrels and cement eggs. Truly the Attems flagship.