By: Chris Miller | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/3/2013 | Send Email
The wines of Vigna del Malina are, for me, quintessential expressions of Friuli Grave terroir. The Grave area is a large flat expanse spreading from roughly the border with the Veneto to the Giulian Alps in the north and the mountains that form the border with Slovenia in the east. Unfortunately this is where much of the mass produced, much less exciting Friulian wine comes from, but in the hands of the right person, they can be some of the most intriguing wines of the entire region. And this is a huge statement as Friulian whites are some of the most intellectual wines in the world. It was Friulian white wine making in the early 70’s that really kick started the modern wine revolution in Italy we’re still witnessing today, and they somehow just keep getting better. Friuli lacks the breathtaking beauty of, say, the Alto Adige or the Amalfi Coast, and is not as painfully romantic as, say, the countryside around Montalcino, but it is without a doubt one of my favorite regions in all of Italy (the food can rival Piemonte). Anyway, this Chardonnay is absolutely delicious. Lots of bruised yellow delicious apple, slight under ripe pear, quince and honeycomb but reticent, vervy and hugely mineral driven on both the nose and palate. It certainly doesn’t have the opulence of a California Chard or Chassagne-Montrachet, or even a more fruit driven Pouilly Fuisse, but again, while not void of a visceral appeal, it really speaks to the intellect. Precise is another word that comes to mind. Whatever, the wine is killer, and a steal at 19 bucks. Enjoy with lighter fare like Prosciutto di San Daniele and grissini or even as an aperitif. Fantastico!