Franco Toros Collio Friulano, 2011

Blimey! I did not expect that! Light, bright acidity from an Italian white maybe, but not oily, erm… peaches? no, more like lychees? Thick and satisfying honeyed spice – enough to warm your chest like a shot of brandy!

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I bought this wine specifically to familiarise myself with the Friulano grape, as when I tried the I Frati, Cà dei Frati I realised I knew little of the white Italian varieties.

Friulano has had an interesting recent past having been renamed as recently as 2008 at the insistence of the Hungarians. Friulano is the local Italian name for Sauvignonasse originally from the Bordeaux region of France (although being confused with Sauvignon blanc in Chile it is not related), it was introduced to Friuli-Venezia Giulia in north-east Italy in the early 19thC, and the wines labeled Tokai to deliberately take advantage of the famed Hungarian Tokaji, with it’s ability to achieve a rich, viscous style (actually nothing like the real Tokaji) it was a successful ruse. To placate the Hungarians in the 1930’s it was given the modern name Tocai Friulano. The Hungarians however still objected as recently as 1993, and so finally in 2008, after much dissent by the local Italians (as you would expect), they agreed to ban the Tocai reference and simply call it Friulano. So my lack of knowledge of this grape is somewhat understandable – as it’s only been bottled under this name since 2008. So now finally we have Friulano, and if this case is representative, it is mesmerising and impressive.

This is a delicious full bodied wine that has serious amounts rich honeyed spice, at least at first – I had the pleasure to drink through this bottle by myself throughout a whole weekend and that initial richness gradually mellowed, which was probably a good thing as there is only so much of that you can take in one go, and it lasted exceptionally well to provide excellent, pleasurable drinking through the next three days.

8/10

The Good Wine Shop, Kew Village, £22.50

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