Sauvignon Blanc 2021
Venezia Giulia IGT
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.
The estate 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, characterized by loamy soils with good drainage. The varieties planted here are Pinot Grigio and Ribolla Gialla, characterized 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 were harvested by hand and fermented in in stainless steel tanks. A small portion, about 15%, of the pressed juice benefits from a brief, cold temperature maceration. The must obtained from the soft pressing of the grapes is left to rest for 24-48 hours. Subsequently, on clear must, alcoholic fermentation is allowed to take place in steel vats at 66 degrees Farhenheit, for 15 days. Following the fermentation, the wine rests for four months on noble lees, often kept in suspension.
January and February 2021 were characterized by a couple of weeks where the minimum temperatures remained stably below 0 ° C, helping to delay the
vegetative awakening, despite March being a decidedly mild month. The Sauvignon grapes entered the budding phase, 8 days later than their historical average. The first vegetative phases were slowed down by a cold May with rainy days, while the June sun stimulated a rapid growth of the vegetation, developing a healthy leaf surface. The flowering of Sauvignon ended within a few sunny a dry days in mid-June. July and August were months characterized by significant temperature variations, with rains sufficient to hydrate and maintain a correct vegetative-productive development in all varieties. Never before have the Sauvignon grapes been harvested at such different times as this year; the first plots very early on at the end of August, rich in citrus scents and with important acidity. While the last plots were harvested in the last ten days of September and were just as intensely scented but softer on the palate.
In the glass, the wine displays a beautiful bright color with green reflections. The fragrances of this wine are as decisive as they are characteristic; tomato leaf, kiwi and verbena followed by white grapefruit and bread crust. The taste reveals an exuberant acidity and an aftertaste of mint and lime that gives the finish a surprising freshness.
Venezia Giulia IGT
Suggested Retail Price
Grapefruit and green melon come together with exotic flowers and a dusting of sweet spice to form an attractive bouquet on the 2021 Sauvignon Blanc. It’s silky and juicy in feel with ripe peach and nectarine, as well as sour/citrus tones that stimulate the senses. While the 2021 finishes a bit short, it leaves the palate squeaky-clean and begging for more. Nicely done.
Other Wines by this Producer
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.
Attems Pinot Grigio Ramato continues a traditional way of producing Pinot Grigio in the province of Venice. The term ramato, or “coppery”, was used to describe the pink hue of the wine due to the slight contact with the purple skins before pressing and fermenting. This rosé boasts a rich, fruity bouquet, and opens full on the palate, with multi-faceted flavors.
The Attems Pinot Grigio demonstrates all of the amazing qualities of the Collio region in Friuli Venezia-Giulia: it has superb weight and texture, and is mineral-edged, savory, tangy, and lively.