Livio Felluga Illivio 2021


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“The 2021 lllivio, a blend of Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay and Piccolit, takes its time in the glass, sweetly alluring with a tinge of vanilla bean that embellishes fresh sliced peaches. Split pine and mint aromas add contrast. The 2021 soothes with its silky textures and supple character, bending around the contours of the palate as nectarine and bitter lemon rind notes collect under an air of pretty inner florals. Its minerality comes through the finish, classically dry and tense, as Asian pear and exotic spices slowly fade. While already showing beautifully today, the 2021 will show its best after a few years of cellaring. Drinking window: 2025-2032. 94+ points

My visit to Livio Felluga took place at the historic Abbazia di Rosazzo, which the family is currently renovating with a modern-day cellar outfitted with numerous concrete and terracotta aging vessels. One day in the near future, this location will be reserved only for the creation of the wine Abbazia di Rosazzo, a traditional Friulian blend of Friulano, Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc, Malvasia and Ribolla Gialla. However, arriving at the appointment included a closed cliff-side road, forcing me to climb a six-foot stone wall and work my way through the vineyard used to create the location’s namesake wine. It was an experience, to say the least. This location provides the perfect birdseye view of Friuli’s winemaking regions and puts them all into perspective. The Livio Felluga winery grows and sources fruit from throughout Collio and Colli Orientali, with 200 hectares of vineyards, making them one of the area’s largest operations, yet quality remains remarkably high. I met Andrea Felluga, son of Livio Felluga, to taste through the new vintages, primarily the fresh 2022s and single vineyard 2020s. Of note, Abbazia di Rosazzo was not produced in 2020 because of hail. As for 2022, Felluga explained that while warm, the vintage was balanced without any extremes in temperature or lack of water. The wines were quite pretty, showing floral aromatics and a lifted and graceful character overall. The 2020s came across as riper wines, further enhanced by their extended aging. Frankly, the star of the show was the 2016 Sossó, a blend of 57% Refosco, 40% Merlot and 3% Pignolo. This is the current release, which provides even more value to customers as the 2016 is quite youthful. All in all, both red and white, the Livio Felluga wines deserve patience.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (04/24)