Located in Collio, a province of Italy north of Venice and bordering Slovenia, the quality of Villa Russiz white wines goes from strength to strength. Their Friulano (formerly, and famously, known as “Tocai”) is silver-edged and brilliantly striking – 92 points. Their “Les Enfants” is a softly fragrant blend and caressingly sip-worthy – 91 points. (I invite you to try either.) But I’m featuring another white today crafted with the indigenous Ribolla Gialla grape. This is wonderfully original, expressing the craggy hillside intensity of the region with a mélange of unique scents and flavors. I know of nothing else quite like it! The Ribolla Gialla, along with the entire Russiz lineup, may well find you becoming expert in a region you’ve seldom visited before.
2016 Ribolla Gialla, Villa Russiz $25 srp
Golden yellow in color with green highlights. A racy bouquet of orchard fruits, orange peel and smokey pepper. Further aeration reveals ginger, caramel and butterscotch. The mouth texture is silky and multi-layered with waxy stone fruits and juicy citrus playing back and forth. Touches of honey and toffee resonate on the long finish. Be sure and let it warm in your glass to get all these “extras.” Try with Alaskan king crab, blackened Mahi-Mahi or a Cobb salad. Drink now-2021.