(aka. Ribolla Nera, Pocalza)

This ancient red grape variety is indigenous to the Collio Orientali district of Friuli on Italy’s Northeastern boarder with Slovenia. Despite an agreeable wine made from its grapes, the Schioppettino vine has become very obscure, even in its homeland where 20th century pressures to plant more marketable varieties have prompted growers to replace it with the likes of Merlot and Tocai. The decline of the variety is unfortunate as the thick skinned, hard berried grape is arguably the regions highest quality local red variety, yielding deeply pigmented wines with a Syrah-like concentration of darkberry fruit, violets and spice, with a good tannic structure. The wine gains added complexity with age, adding moss and earthy undertones to an already complex profile. Notwithstanding the quality of the wine, in a region best known for fresh aromatic whites, another local red, Refosco, has faired better in establishing a reputation for the regions top red wine. Fortunately, Schioppettino Read more »

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