Livio Felluga Picolit DOCG
Friuli Colli Orientali, Italy
January 29, 2023, Keith Beavers
“Picolit, a grape native to Italy's northeastern Friuli region, is named for its inability to fully pollinate, forming only small (piccolo) bunches of concentrated white grapes. So these grapes are designated to only passito-style sweet wines. Wines made from Picolit are considered "vino da meditazione," wines not for food, but to drink and contemplate due to their complexity. And Livio Felluga knows how to coax out said complexity so well. This wine is only made in the best years, and the 2015 vintage is incredible. Almonds, apricots, and salted caramel fill the senses on the nose. It has an exceptional, focused palate that finds the optimal balance between sweetness and acidity.”
March 3, 2022, James Suckling
“Fascinating aromas of apple compote, sliced mushrooms, ginseng, dried apricots, honeycomb, broad beans and marmalade. It’s layered and intensely flavorful with plenty of dried-fruit and toasted-spice character. Sweet but almost savory flavor profile. Balanced. Drink or hold.”
January 2021, Eric Guido
“The 2015 Picolit entices with a heady bouquet of grilled pineapple, sour melon, candied ginger and an enriching note of brown spice. This is silky and weighty in feel, with a creamy display of ripe tropical and orchard fruits and sweet herbs, all kept in perfect balance by bright acidity. Spiced Christmas cookie, custard, Madagascar vanilla, peach preserves go on and on for well over a minute. This is decadence in a glass.”
At 100 years old, the founder and patriarch, Livio Felluga, was accredited with innovating and mastering modern winemaking in Italy. Back from WWII, he sealed a deep bond with the hillsides of Friuli by reviving the vineyards of Rosazzo, later establishing him as “the patriarch of the wines of Friuli.”
In 1956, when Livio anticipated an implementation of appellation of origin, he chose an ancient map of the area to create an iconic label to tell the world the story of his wines. Pioneering vision, deep knowledge, respect for the vineyards, and obsession with quality, once embodied by Livio Felluga himself, have been proudly carried out by the company over the years.
Picolit is Friuli’s noblest wine, but its origins are still a matter for debate. It is only since 1750, thanks to the writings of Count Fabio Asquini, that we have any accurate documentation of this “nectar produced by the meagre berries of the bunch.” The peculiarity of this odd, delicate vine is the partial fertilization of its flowers. This means that only a few, very concentrated berries ripen in each bunch. A complex wine the color of old gold, Picolit marries sweet and acidulous sensations, releasing a pervasive aroma of candid peel, vanilla and spring flowers. In the past, Picolit was the wine of Europe’s nobility. Today, it is admired as a prestigious meditation wine.
The part-dried grape was carefully destemmed. Next, the fruit was soft crushed. The must obtained was then allowed to settle. The now-clarified must fermented at controlled temperatures in small casks of French oak, where it matured for about 18 months. After fermentation, the wine was left on the lees in the small oak casks for nearly 18 months. The bottled wine was aged in temperature-controlled binning cellars for about 18 months.
The color is an intense golden yellow. The nose is complex, captivating, and ripe with sweet sensations; it has notes of Calla lily, white rose blossoms, ginger, dates, quince jelly, trifle, sultana grapes, dried figs and white cherry. The palate is rich, full, persistent and lasting; the powerful tastes of honeycomb, a fruit blend of apricot, syrup and yellow peach, layered with hints of cream and crème brûlée. These flavors fade into an elegant, sapid vanilla ice cream finish.
Superb as a meditation wine. Pairs beautifully with full-flavored, tangy and blue cheeses. Picolit is also a fine complement to pastries, and of course outstanding with foie gras. Best served between 54°F and 57°F.
Varietals: 100% Picolit
Wine Alcohol: 13.5%
Soil Composition: Marl and sandstone flysch of Eocene origin