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Gravner Ribolla Gialla 2009

Gravner Ribolla Gialla 2009

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"Deep orangy-yellow color. Pure, highly complex aromas of lemon, winter melon, apricot jelly, crushed stone, minerals and iris. Then juicy, tight and sharply delineated, with very fresh, dry, mineral-driven flavors of lemon, orchard fruit and mint. With aeration, this revealed its underlying richness even more and without losing any of its grip or precision. Fermented in amphoras with indigenous yeasts and no temperature control, it spent five months in buried amphoras, then six years in large oak barrels. An outstanding orange wine: Gravner should consider opening a school to teach many of his colleagues all over the world how to correctly make such wines. Drinking window: 2018-2024. 93 points

Roughly thirty-two hectares (of which eighteen are under vine) located in the high quality area of Oslavia in the Collio, a true if unofficial grand cru for Ribolla Gialla. The estate is arguably Italy’s best (by far) at making minimal intervention wines, with long macerations, was one of the first to turn to amphoras as an aging vessel. There is simply no comparison between Gravner’s wines (in matters of texture, cleanliness, precision and depth) and similarly made wines by practically anyone else in the region or the country, for that matter. That fact recognized, I want to stress that the talent level has always been extraordinary here, such that the wines have always been outstanding, and this was true even long ago when long macerations and amphoras weren’t an issue. Witness for example the magnificent 1983 Ribolla Gialla that I remember well from my university days in Rome. Today the estate is all about trying to re-establish a natural balance in its vineyards (for example by creating ponds on the property and by planting olive, wild apple trees and cypresses to create a habitat for different animals), moving away with as much technology and equipment and utensils as possible, such as barriques. Over the years the estate has also moved away from a lot of the different varieties it had planted, so there are no more Chardonnay, Merlot and Pinot Grigio wines produced, for example. The Ribolla Gialla wines age extremely well and though you have to like white wines being treated as reds, it’s hard to argue with their quality. Even more impressive is the Rosso Breg, made with Pignolo (the only red grape left on the property), a variety that gives “tough tannins” a whole new meaning, yet Gravner’s version is remarkably complex and smooth."

Ian D'Agata, Vinous (05/18)