Description 1 of 2
Parentage of the grape: Refosco is actually a group of interrelated but distinct grape varieties. Most of these are related to the Slovenian grape Refosk; the one with the best reputation is Friuli’s Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso. Some people say that the Mondeuse Noire of eastern France is the same grape.
History of the grape: This is an ancient, mysterious variety that has been linked to any number of other grapes. In its native Friuli, it is the most planted indigenous variety. There, it is usually a light, fresh quaffing wine to enjoy with salumi in a local osteria. However, people have begun to realize that it has real potential and have started to make serious wines from it. Right now, many of these growers are putting it in new oak and trying to sell it to lovers of international-style reds.
Characteristics of the grape: black plum, bitter cherry; high acidity.
Regions where the grape currently is important: Friuli
Type or types of wines the grape produces: Traditionally, Refosco has been made in a light, fresh style -- a casual quaffer. Some in Friuli are experimenting with making Refosco in an appassimento style, resulting in a very full, off-dry red. Others, like Dorigo, are seriously reducing yields and aging it in new oak, creating a dense, powerful wine. It is not yet clear what this grape is really capable of.
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