Saved from the brink of extinction only in the 1970’s, the schioppettino grape, a spicy, peppery native variety to Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, is extremely exclusive and sought after. The name means “gunshot” or “little crack” in Italian, because the grapes appear to be so tightly filled that they “explode” (schioppettare) in the mouth. This varietal is frequently known as “Ribolla Nera” amongst Friuli locals. Despite having recently been planted in one winery in California which is daring enough to try making this Italian relic, it dates back to at least 1282 in Italy and will remain a true Italian treasure.
Typology: Red Wine D.O.C.
Production area: Colli Orientali del Friuli
Grape variety: 100% Schioppettino
Harvesting: by hand, beginning of October
Fermentation and refinery: Maceration on the grapes occurs at a controlled temperature that varies from 26 till 28°C for about 15-18. Aged in new Hungarian barrels for 18 months for maleolactic fermentation, then regrouped before bottling, where it ages for another 10 months.
Alcohol content: 13% vol.
Temperature for serving: 18°C
Tasting notes: Bright violet and ruby red reflections. The scent of pepper is unmistakable, along with the scent of other spices including nutmeg and cloves. In the mouth, it is velvety and soft, with great balance and a long, pleasant, full finish.
Serving Suggestions: This wine achieves full expression when served at 18°C after breathing. It should be served in wide, thin glasses and paired with meat, game, pork, and aged cheese. Pairs well with any other strong flavors for a bold and unforgettable meal.