This month's theme is "any single White varitels made from something other than Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc,"
and is hosted by William Wilson of Wine for Newbies.
From 24 choices in our cellar, our chosen grape is Ribolla Gialla.
2000 Gravner Ribolla
Josko Gravner(pronounced GROW-ner) makes wine in the Northeastern edge of Italy. Like Movia, his Ribolla (Ribolla Gialla, Rebula) comes from biodynamic vineyards along the Italian/Slovenian border. Gravner's winemaking methods are very natural, using large oak barrels and amphorae. For 2001 (and on), he is using the amphorae exclusively.
Further, he does not add yeast or sulphur dioxide.
Josko Gravner *
Joanne's Tasting Notes: Golden amber color. Intense nose of poached apricots in honey and wildflowers with a hint of caramelized lemons. Wine is very dry and minerally with almost a hard center which softens on the finish leaving a clean palate. Almost green pear on finish but dry and bright but not sweet. Very smooth and clean with great structure. A complex and interesting white wine with real character.
Josko Gravner with Amphorae *
Jack's Tasting Notes: The color is golden-orange and slightly cloudy – the cloudiest of the three Gravner wines I've had. Wow, what a fantastic nose! If you worship at the temple of fantastic smelling Gewürztraminers or Rieslings, you're likely to go nuts over the nose of this wine (like I have). How does Josko bring out so much in Ribolla Gialla?
Taste: It's hard for me to describe, as there's nothing else like it. Notes of honeysuckle? Clear and pure. I was expecting some sweetness from the nose, but it is absolutely dry. Delicious. Excellent acids and the wine is telling me it will have a long, long life – at least 30-40 years. There's good structure and balance. I think it's quite food friendly. 6+ (...and I have this feeling I'd be happy to have 6 bottles of every Gravner wine.)
One pairing note from a guest: Sesame Seeds, he thought/tasted, was a tremendous pairing in his mouth.
Josko Gravner with Amphorae*
Finding this wine:
The current release is the 2001 vintage. You can find this and other Gravner wines via Wine-Searcher.
Gravner's US Importer is Vias Imports. To find the wines near you, you can email them here. Vias also has a page on Gravner here.
Italian Wine Merchants in NYC also have a special selection of Gravner wines, from 1989-2001, most available in 6- or 12-bottle packages.
A previous newsletter is packed full of information about Gravner.
And, thanks to Eric Asimov, for first bringing Gravner to my attention with this article.
* Starred Photos are shown here courtesy of VIAS Imports.
August, 2006 Update: Joanne's Tasting Note on the 2001 Gravner Ribolla Anfora: Color is golden with an amber tint and slight cloudyness. Nose of cooked yellow fruits in honey hint of wet shale. Wonderful nose. Center of slightly tart yellow peach with a finish of green pear and lingering minerals on finish. Great clean finish with good acids.