Description 1 of 2
Common synonyms: Blanc doux, Cinquien, Istarski Tokay, Malaga, Mosler, Sauvignon de la Correze, Sauvignon gros, Sauvignon à gros grains, Sauvignonasse, Sauvignonazz, Sauvignon vert, Tocai bianco, Tocai Italico, Tokai Italiano, Tokay, Trebbianello
Parentage of the grape: Unknown, but it has been proven through DNA testing that there is no relationship between this grape and either Hungarian Tokaji or Alsatian Tokay (Pinot Gris). It is, however, the same grape as Sauvignonasse.
History of the grape: Though Tocai Friulano was first mentioned in the 19th century, the grape in question was probably Furmint, perhaps sparking the association with Tokaji. In 1932, a new wine appeared under the same name. This one turned out to be the minor French grape Sauvignonasse, which is the variety grown under the name Tocai Friulano today. Recently, the Hungarians managed to persuade the EU to ban the use of all forms of the term Tocai by anyone except the producers of their great Tokaji. This left growers of Tocai Friulano to find a new name by 2007. Most have settled simply on Friulano, which is rather appropriate because it is the region’s signature variety. It is drunk in every local osteria with the regional cuisine.
As Sauvignonasse, it is made into rather anonymous wine in Chile.
Characteristics of the grape: Tocai Friulano is fleshy in texture, with flavors of peach, pear, and almond. It has good acidity, which makes it an excellent match with salty charcuterie, and can be very mineral.
Regions where the grape currently is important: Friuli (Collio, Colli Orientali, Grave del Friuli, and Isonzo), the Veneto, and Chile
Type or types of wines the grape produces: The best wines come from throughout Friuli.
Description 2 of 2
Medium-bodied, aromatic, dry white with good acidity and often a little spice of the finish. Best enjoyed young. Widely planted throughout the Friulia region of Italy. Despite being known as Tocai until 2006, it is not related to the French Tokay-Pinot Gris or Tokay from Hungary. Likely closely related to Sauvignon Vert. – Description from Philip James
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