2009 Vigne del Malina Chardonnay Friuli Grave

SKU #1130235

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Price: $18.99
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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!

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.