Pinot Grigio 2019
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.
Due to a spring that started with little rainfall and a cold month of May, all phenological phases took place about ten days later compared to historical averages. Pinot Grigio’s budding phase, which began on April 14 at the foot of the hills before culminating on June 12 and ending roughly 15 days after that of green manures, was characterized by sunny days, which gave energy to the bees that populate our area.
Summer 2019 in the Gorizia area was noteworthy for the good weather with well-distributed rainfall, which rehydrated the soil in the warmer months of July and August. The harvest entered its most intense phase during the first days of September, but, as is our custom, we collected some small plots of Pinot Grigio at the end of August; these musts are richer in malic acid than the average.
The low morning temperatures at the end of summer and the light pruning applied to the Pinot Grigio grapes gave us grapes and musts rich in aromatic precursors. The 2019 Pinot Grigio grapes possess an excellent balance of sugars and acids, and the perfectly healthy grapes presented a beautiful thick skin
The wine is a clear, straw yellow. The nose expresses great personality with fresh aromas of white peach, citrus peel and wildflowers as well as definite scents of sap, thyme and toasted bread. In its structured body we find a wine with a balanced, complex flavour and a persistent finish of white pepper, avocado and walnut.
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Other Wines by this Producer
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.
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.
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