Fondo Indizeno. Ribolla Gialla
Colli Orientali DOC
Grape: Ribolla Gialla
Fresh sherbety lemon fruit lifted by a touch of white pepper. Lovely refreshing balance, a perfect weight and disturbingly drinkable.
The ‘Fondo Indizeno’ series was created in 2016, as the name (translation: birthmark) suggests, the wines are based on indigenous varieties with deep roots in the Colli Orientali.
Ribolla Gialla is one of Italy’s oldest and most prized varieties; historically it would often have been added to Friulano (once known as Tocai Friulano), a fine marriage of differing styles.
Ribolla Gialla, as a monovarietal wine can be let down by its own generosity, left to its own devices on fertile soils, the yields can be prodigious and the resulting wine a touch bland. The charms of Ribolla have divided opinions for centuries; in my opinion it is best used for fresh, light still and sparkling wines, or to add balance to blends.
The vineyard of Sanstanco is home to some 4,000, forty year old Ribolla Gialla vines. Their natural vigour and acidity is tempered by the age of their age, along with the lowish levels of clay in the soils. Sanstanco is an excellent terroir for this grape, and is situated very close to the historically most esteemed cru of Rosazzo. Christian is actually no great supporter of Ribolla Gialla, but he is more than happy with this rarity, and has been after the fruit from this plot for many years - he may even come around to accepting the variety has some real potential.
The grapes are hand-picked, pressed and then fermented in temperature controlled steel tanks. The wine is bottled in the Spring following the harvest.