Pinot Grigio 2020
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.
Winter 2020 was very balanced with temperatures that never dropped too low. A mild March was the signal for an early budding phase facilitated by the quick warming of the soil, which in turn stimulated the grapevines’ vegetative growth.
However, the budding of first Pinot Grigio vines, those in the most draining soils, only began in the first days of April, just a few days earlier than the norm. The months of May and April were rather dry, which allowed the young shoots, which displayed a balanced number of inflorescences, to develop gently. The Pinot Grigio grapevines completed their flowering on the last week of May. June was the wettest month of the summer, but thanks to the constant air currents in the vineyards the plants maintained a perfect state of health. The correct water balance in July and August, with regular rains alternating with dry spells, without it ever being excessively hot, helped to maintain an ideal balance between sugars and organic acids in the ripening grapes.
The harvest of the first Pinot Grigio grapes began in the last week of August, with musts that reflected the great expectations of a balanced vintage, rich in acidity, aromas and a balanced sugar content.
Bright straw yellow, 2020 brings us a vibrant Pinot Grigio on the nose: apple and lime zest emerge decisively in a finely spiced bouquet of vanilla and white pepper. On the palate, the wine is fresh, with a lively acidity that highlights its excellent complexity. Pleasant mineral sensations emerge in the citrus finish.
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