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Through the white wine looking-glass

Pictured: Colli Orientali del Friuli

The likes of Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay and the indigenous Friulano grow very well on the hills (”colli”) of Italy’s Friuli-Venezia Giulia. While it would be easier for estates here to stick to just one or two wines of each varietal (when it comes to production and then marketing them to sell), at Ronco del Gnemiz it’s all about the uniqueness of each plot. Each hillside vineyard, its exposition and age all play a significant role in how these wines express themselves.

Dear Reader,

Of the ten DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and four DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita) areas that make up Friuli-Venezia Giulia (situated in the top-right corner of Italy, between Austria, Slovenia, the Adriatic Sea and Veneto), today we zoom in on Colli Orientali del Friuli and Serena Palazzolo and her husband Christian Patat’s estate of Ronco del Gnemiz.

Founded by the Palazzolo family in 1964, Ronco del Gnemiz presides over a mere 6.5 hectares of vineyards near Udine, producing on average a modest 15,000 bottles a year. The work carried out by Serena, Christian and her team both in the vineyards and in the cellar earned Ronco del Gnemiz certification from the Regional Agency for Rural Development of Friuli-Venezia Giulia (ERSA) for high ecological standards.

‘I think it’s safe to say that Serena Palazzolo and her husband Christian Patat are at the top of their game; and as a result, the wines of Ronco del Gnemiz are among the best being made in Friuli today. The range is extensive, because the focus here is on transparency of terroir.”
Eric Guido for Vinous

If unfamiliar with Friuli in general, the Sauvignon blanc Serena Palazzolo e Figli is the perfect introduction. The wine is a blend of Sauvignon fruit from throughout the Ronco del Gnemiz vineyards.

Serena Palazzolo e Figli
Sauvignon 2020
90 pts. Vinous

R350 per bottle

Only 48 bottles are available

90 points, Eric Guido for Vinous
”…very easy to like…the 2020 finishes long and wickedly fresh…Its minerality and sour citrus character keep the experience engaging to say the least.”

We then have a mixed six-bottle case of single-site white wines from Ronco del Gnemiz. Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay and Friulano are all exhibited here.

Ronco del Gnemiz
Chardonnay Ronco Basso 2020 x 2 bottles
90 pts. Vinous

Ronco del Gnemiz
Chardonnay Sol 2020 x 1 bottle
94 pts. Vinous

Ronco del Gnemiz
Sauvignon Lozeta 2020 x 1 bottle
90 pts. Vinous

Ronco del Gnemiz
Sauvignon Peri 2020 x 1 bottle
93 pts. Vinous

Ronco del Gnemiz
Friulano Buri Bellaria 2020 x 1 bottle
92 pts. Vinous

R 3,920 per 6-bottle case

Only 24 cases available

2020 Friulano Buri Bellaria | 92 points, Eric Guido for Vinous
”So pretty and perfumed…fleshy and enveloping…leaves the mouth watering while finishing remarkably fresh and spicy…”

2020 Chardonnay Ronco Basso | 90 points, Eric Guido for Vinous
”…silken textures coat the palate…finish is long…impresses with its balance and elegance…”

2020 Chardonnay Sol | 94 points, Eric Guido for Vinous
”…a beguiling bouquet…leaves the palate vibrating with tension and refreshed closing with persistence…I’m dreaming of white Burgundy while sipping this; yet there’s no need, because Chardonnay Sol overdelivers.”

2020 Sauvignon blanc Lozeta | 90 points, Eric Guido for Vinous
”…showcasing ripe orchard fruits and tantalizing citrus tones…a pleasure to taste…”

2020 Sauvignon blanc Peri | 93 points, Eric Guido for Vinous
”…penetrating ripe orchard fruits and sweet spices that pamper the senses…so much going on here, yet more to come with maturity. Beautiful.”

Please be sure to chat to your account manager about other Friuli wines in the GD cellar. Friuli might not be the first region you think of when it comes to Italy, but the wines are fantastic and essential for all wine lovers.