Venezia-Giulia IGT, Italy
Grapes:Chardonnay (40%), Pinot Grigio (30%), Sauvignon Blanc (30%)
Tasting notes: Radikon is one of two winemakers credited with revolutionizing Friuli with orange wine production. This blend of international varieties macerated without temperature control in oak vats, and was then left on the lees for 36 months. The result is a wine of spectacular color and aroma, with a lean and long elegance on the palate.
The color is a fine, rusty-rose hue, while the aromas are typical of both a red wine and a white, recalling bright cherries, fresh apricot, bitter tangerine, waxy vanilla bean, rum raisin and violets. There is a strong interplay between tartness, bitterness and sweetness that works beautifully, and even a sleight-of-hand note that seems oxidized (but isn’t). It is strange to be discussing whether the phenolics of a wine are more reminiscent of Pinot Noir or Sherry, but that’s pretty much where the Radikon lead our conversation. I loved this wine.
Serving suggestion: It was a real struggle to figure out what kind of cuisine — or moment — best suit’s Radikons wine. Orange wines are unusual to say the least, and trying to place them at the table can cause some rewiring of perceptions. Ultimately, simpler is better: a roasted chicken with polenta.