Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio Curubella DOC
Friuli Colli Orientali, Italy
August 10, 2023, James Suckling
“ This is spiced with candied mandarin and peach skins as well as dried herbs and hints of cream. Medium- to full-bodied. This is so complete and lengthy on the palate and very balanced. It’s polished and even with toned acidity and a somewhat firm, phenolic backbone to it. Tense and nervy, but very elegant, too. Drink or hold.”
Livio Felluga moved to Friuli in the late 1930s and made his home on the gentle foothills of Rosazzo. Convinced that only a rebirth of quality farming could bring the Friuli countryside back to life, he began to renovate the old vineyards of Rosazzo and plant new ones, introducing innovative ideas and methods. The focus on quality and respect for the vineyard once embodied by Livio Felluga himself have been proudly carried out by the family over the years. Today, the 500-acre winery is led by Livio’s son, Andrea Felluga, who is committed to continue the family legacy by producing wines of distinction for years to come.
The grapes of Curubella, a dialect term denoting rounded uplands, have a sophisticated and harmonious soul, evocative of elegant, early 20th century Middle-European salons. We have decided to valorize them by offering an increasingly specific and detailed expression of our land. A curubella is indeed the backdrop for this mass selection, with particularly tiny, quite sparse bunches, planted in 1981. On this podium, visible from the Ancient Belvedere looking towards the Vigne Museum, the terroir endows the grapes with a powerful, strongly marked character. We have therefore decided to give a unique and individual expression to this variety which has long accompanied Friuli’s winegrowing history.
The hand-picked grapes, placed in small crates, were destemmed and left to undergo maceration on the skins for two days. The wine was racked into 10- and 17-hecotlitre containers made of cocciopesto towards the end of alcoholic fermentation, to permit proper temperature control. Malolactic fermentation took place over two weeks. Keeping the wine on the yeasts in these containers contributed to its creamy texture and sweet aromas.
Golden yellow with coppery hues creating an unusual pink gold tone in the glass, echoing the grapes which undergo a delicate maceration on the skins. Sweet and captivating on the nose with a subtly floral and citrus profile. Lime blossom and lemon zest blend with fruity aromas of Kaiser pears, peaches and mandarins. Light hints of grapefruit, lemon balm and lychee are released in the glass. The floral aromas include an appealing note of freshly mown hay and jasmine. An extremely minerally wine. On the palate, a smooth entry follows through, supported by well-balanced freshness with hints of citrus fruits and marjoram. Appealing and nicely textured with a lingering flavor, thanks to the chalky tang in the finish.
Flexible and generous, an ideal accompaniment to summer evenings as a striking aperitif or alongside seared scallops with puréed peas and powdered bacon; risotto with Romanesco broccoli, fillets of red mullet and burrata; red shrimp tartare with datterini tomatoes and passion fruit; crab alla veneziana. In colder weather, it is perfect served with beet ravioli with ricotta; pumpkin risotto with turmeric and porcini mushrooms; but also holds its own with mild, sweet white meats, complementing its tangy flavor.
Varietals: 100% Pinot Grigio