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MWG June 12th tasting: Terrano fortunato

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A member of the Refosco family, Terrano is an ancient grape variety grown mainly around the northeastern Adriatic in Croatia, Slovenia and a sliver of Italy that includes Trieste, whose basic red wine it makes.

IGT Venezia Giulia 2010, Terrano, Benjamin Zidarich ($34.85, private import, 6 bottles/case)
100% Terrano. While the estate isn’t certified organic, it uses no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides in its vineyards. The grapes for this wine where manually harvested, crushed and macerated on their skins in open vats for four weeks, with four punch-downs a day and no temperature control. Alcoholic fermentation was spontaneous, with ambient yeasts. The wine was transferred to large oak barrels for malolactic fermentation, then to a mix of medium and large Slavonian oak barrels for approximately 20 months’ maturation. Bottled unfiltered, unfined and with a small dose of sulphur. Total production: 4,000 bottles. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: La QV/Insolite.
Earthy, spicy, red fruit and peonies. Exuberantly fruity, even juicy, but dry: a middleweight with incisive acidity, velvety tannins, a slatey substrate and great purity. Vibrant right to the end of the faintly saline finish. Though delightful, our bottle should have been cooler (say, 16-17°C), like the one at Le printemps dézippé, where it was one of the standout reds. (Buy again? Done!)

In La Terra Fortunata, Fred Plotkin writes that Terrano “is a versatile wine that pairs with many foods from the Tirestine and Carso kitchens, including cevapcici (ground meat patties), pork products, cheeses, potatoes, cabbage, and fruit. The most famous pairing is one of the simplest: the Terrano and ovi duri (hard-boiled eggs) that one can consume in any buffet in Trieste.”

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Written by carswell

July 2, 2014 at 11:40

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