Sauvignon Blanc 2017
Venezia Giulia IGT
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 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 were harvested by hand and fermented in in stainless steel tanks. A small portion, about 15%, of the pressed juice benefits from a brief, cold temperature maceration. The must obtained from the soft pressing of the grapes is left to rest for 24-48 hours. Subsequently, on clear must, alcoholic fermentation is allowed to take place in steel vats at 66 degrees Farhenheit, for 12 days. Following the fermentation, the wine rests for four months on noble lees, often kept in suspension.
After a very cold January, spring came early compared to seasonal averages. Temperatures began to rise as early as the end of February, contributing do a quick awakening of the plants at the beginning of April. The erratic temperatures in early spring proved challenging to the grapevines, especially with the cold that came in between the end of April and the beginning of May. The Attems vineyards suffered these conditions with more ease than those in other parts of northeastern Italy due to the region’s geography and the protection offered by the woods surrounding the estates. The rapid rise of temperatures at the end of spring brought new life to the plants, allowing them to begin flowering at the beginning of June – about a month following the flowering of the green manure essences planted in autumn 2016. Green manure usage is a key and consolidated farming technique that sees widespread use in the Attems’ estate. The weather was moderately warm in June and rainfall was in line with that of past years. The hot 2017 summer saw very little rain, but the two summer storms in July provided a much needed respite to Attems’ vineyards. The constant working of the soil and management of the leaves helped maintain the plants in healthy and protected from the sun up until the harvest season. The Pinot Grigio harvest began at the end of August until September 10th and yielded perfectly healthy grapes with an excellent balance between sugary and acidic components.
The wine is a sparkling gold-yellow with subtle greenish highlights. Lovely impressions of sage and tomato leaf lead on the nose, closely followed by notes of late-ripened peach and boxwood buds. The flavor is fresh and lively with aromas that exalt the minerality typical of Sauvignon. The intense finish is an alluring combination of field herbs and scotch broom flowers.
Venezia Giulia IGT
Suggested Retail Price
Other Wines by this Producer
The Attems Pinot Grigio demonstrates all of the amazing qualities of the Collio region in Friuli Venezia-Giulia: it has superb weight and texture, and is mineral-edged, savory, tangy, and lively.
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.
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.