Collio Sauvignon Blanc DOC
The Cicinis Sauvignon Blanc is an utterly distinctive expression of Sauvignon Blanc. From a single vineyard in the Collio area, the tremendous density and aromatics are joined by a deep and complex texture due to the aging in oak barrels and cement eggs. Truly the Attems flagship.
Cicinis comes from a 5 acre single vineyard parcel located on a terraced hillside slope at the foot of Monte Calvario (Podgora) in Collio Goriziano. One side faces south, the other faces north-northeast. The soil consists of sandstone, which was formed by the rising of seabeds 50 million years ago. The vines are trained to Guyot and have a planting density of 6,250 vines per hectare.
The estate in general extends over 110 acres on south-facing terraced slopes, just to the west of Gorizia, protected from both the cold northern winds and the characteristic “bora” wind of Trieste. The area is particularly suited to viticulture, making Friuli Venezia Giulia one of the leading grape-growing regions of Italy already since the end of the 19th century.
The estate is surrounded by nature that is unspoiled and rich in biodiversity, important factors even in the cultivation of grape vines. The three distinctive features of the this territory are the soils, the temperature fluctuations, and the sunlight.
The Attems estate has three distinct types of soils that are an enormous asset:
– The Isonzo section features floodplains with a sand, silt and gravel soil. It tends to be warmer and wetter than other areas of the estate. This, combined with its gentle winds, creates an ideal combination for Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc grapes that are harvested earlier to enhance the freshness and fruitiness of the wines.
– The middle area of the property, known as “manine” is a primarily flat area set between Collio and Isonzo, characterised by loamy soils with good drainage. The varieties planted here are Pinot Grigio and Ribolla Gialla, characterised by their refined elegance.
– The highest, coolest and windiest part of the estate is in Collio. It takes its name “ponca” from a particular sandstone soil with alternating layers of marl, the composition of which originated millions of years ago. An ideal soil for viticulture, able to affect the aromatic characteristics of grapes and the flavor of the resulting wine. The grapes grown here are Sauvignon Blanc, Friulano and Picolit. The Cicinis hill is dedicated to the Sauvignon Blanc variety and harvested at two different moments, first in the lower parts and then in the higher areas.
The temperature of the region is the second major factor affecting the vineyards. Winters are harsh, with temperatures that often fall below zero. Summers are not excessively hot, with maximum temperatures below 30°C. The hilly layout of the area generates significant temperature fluctuations between daytime and nighttime. The combination of these conditions promotes the accumulation of sugars, pigments and aromatic substances in the grapes.
Lastly, sunlight has a critical role in how grapes ripen, given Attems’ location fewer than 10 miles from the Adriatic coast. The refractive effect of the sunlight on the Gulf of Trieste gives Collio a particularly intense and unique luminosity that, between August and September, contributes to the optimal ripening of grapes. Together with the significant temperature fluctuations, the refractive sunlight effect creates an ideal climate for the production of excellent white wines.
The grapes are harvested by hand and fermented whole cluster in egg-shaped cement tanks and wooden barrels (40% second and third passage tonneaux, 10% barrique). The wine then matures in a combination of French oak barrels (65%) and egg-shaped cement vats (45%) for 9 months. It rests in bottle for 3 months before release.
January and February of 2021 were characterized by a couple of weeks when the minimum temperature remained steadily below 0 °C, which helped to delay the spring awakening, despite March being a decidedly mild month. The first Sauvignon vines to bud at Cicinis were found on the south-facing terraces, a week later than the historical average. The first vegetative phases were slowed down by a cold May with rainy days, while the June sun stimulated rapid growth of the vegetation, which developed excellent foliage. The flowering of the Collio Sauvignon ended over a few days in the first ten days of June, when the weather was dry and sunny. July and August were characterized by significant temperature variations, with sufficient rain to hydrate and maintain the correct vegetative/productive development across all varieties. For Cicinis, the 2021 harvest began on 31 August, starting with the terraces facing south, as the grapes had achieved excellent aromatic conditions. The Cicinis harvest ended 15 days later with the later-ripening Sauvignons. This year was defined by must with strong natural acidity and particularly intense aromas.
To the eye, it is vibrant, with elegant green highlights. The scent is intense and perfectly balanced. Broom flower, lime zest and sage enliven a bouquet with strong mineral notes. On the palate, its acidity is impressive, bringing great depth to the wine. Its persistent finish is intriguing, allowing hints of vanilla, ginger and pink grapefruit to emerge.
Collio Sauvignon Blanc DOC
Suggested Retail Price
Vinous - May 2, 2022 The 2020 Cicinis, a varietal Sauvignon Blanc, wafts up with pungent florals and lemony citrus tones. It’s silky in texture and more savory than anticipated, as saline-minerals and notes of tart green apple cascade across its brisk acid core. This ends spicy and long while leaving the mouth watering for more.
"Solid core of fruit"
James Suckling - June 8, 2022 A creamy and layered white with sliced lemon, melon and white peach on the nose and palate. It’s medium-to full-bodied with layers of fruit and a fresh finish. Solid core of fruit and intensity.
Wine Enthusiast - November 14, 2022 "Cicinis is an amazing example of the depth and beauty of the Collio. The nose is specific and unique, with fresh herbs, citrus oils and white flowers all working in tandem to create a very distinctive expression of Sauvignon Blanc. The palate is vibrant and the judicious use of oak gives the wine stunning texture and complexity. You can drink this now but will be rewarded with a few more years of bottles aging." Editors Choice 11.22
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Attems Sauvignon Blanc, like others from the region, remains a hidden treasure. The wines can be compared in fruit ripeness to Sancerre, with a more intense bouquet as well as a lusher weight and texture. Attems shows how the value of quality-driven, artisanal producers can be extraordinary.
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