Grapes Friulano(40%), Malvasia Istriana (40%), Ribolla Gialla (20%)
Bonfire, dried leaves, roasted almond, candied tangerine skin and honey. Textured waxy fruit, pithy and rich, floral, deep apple, salt and almond flavours. A remarkable and fantastic wine.
3500 bottles made.
I have enjoyed a vertical tasting of ten vintages with Roberto, the essential fruit and mineral DNA is consistent, though over the years secondary flor and honey flavours join the fresh, floral fruit. It is a food wine, important and full and lovely with seafood risotto or the like. 5000 usually bottles produced.
Named after Roberto’s mother; Jelka (pronounced yell-ka) is the Slovenian for Gabriella. The focus of this full white wine has changed subtly over the years. The cuvee is largely unchanged, its vineyard covers a hectare that was planted in 1960, 1974, 1975 and 1993 at around 4500 vines per hectare.
In 2015 Jelka shed a skin and emerged with a masters in experienced, well thought out winemaking. Previously, Jelka was released a year after Picéch’s varietal wines, now the lag is four years. This was the second major shift since we started buying this wine. The first was when Roberto slashed the yields, acknowledging that his terroir in the Friuli Collio should take on the world’s finest whites and that his top wines had to have ageing potential. The old vintages matured beautifully and Roberto’s private cellar held all the pointers to the true potential of this wine.
The Friulano is de-stemmed before going through a spontaneous fermentation, on the skins, in open oak casks using no temperature control. It is then matured for one year in a large oak barrel. The Ribolla Gialla and Malvasia Istriana are macerated on their skins for eight to twelve days before being fermented and aged in tonneaux. After a year the wines are blended into a concrete egg and left to evolve for 3 years. It is then bottled unclarified and unfiltered and held for at least a year before being released.
2015 Unrestrained joy on so many levels. Big waxy fruit, spiced with yellow berry and ripe apple, a legend. The quantities made are tiny. 13.5% Awarded 94/100 by Decanter Jul21