On the Italian border with Slovenia resides the Tenuta Sant’Helena vineyards in Friuli Venezia Giulia, situated south of the Alps and north of the Adriatic Sea, swept with fertile sandstone marl. It’s a perfect environment for exceptional grape growing, so much so that the local terroir has even taken on it’s own Friulian name,Ponca.
ThisPoncainforms local production stylings, accentuating the sense of place in the reds by utilizing an appassimento method (intentional drying of the grapes – similar to Amarone productions) to concentrate flavors and aromas, coaxing out incredible structure from the juice. In a region globally known for the quality of their white wines, the last decade or two has proven their red wine production to be undeniable.
Lot 376 Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso(which basically translates to Refosco with red stems) is sourced from the estate vineyards of Tenuta Sant’Helena. A native grape to the region, it’s produced 20%appassimentoand aged in French and Slovakian oakbarriquesfor 18 months. The resulting wine is robust and hearty with complex, savory fruit built with ample structure.This wine also scored 92-points from James Suckling under the original label.
Now, I’d recommend a healthy decant if you plan to drink this today, but know this wine has the structure and build to age gracefully over the next 10-15 years.
So be it a cellar defender or cellar contender, know this is an incredible deal for such fine provenance at$20/bottle.
Wonderfully intense and savory with sour cherry, blackberry and toasty earth complexed with black pepper, tar, coffee, dried meats and anise florals that introduces a little strawberry with some air. Medium-full-bodied with medium-high acidity, seamless, well-balanced, and integrated on the palate. Delicately chewy with savory blackberry and cherry, nice oak spice, chocolate and dried-flower perfume zinging across the palate.