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The Friulano Grape


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About Friulano

(Synonyms: Occhio di Gatto, Sauvignon de la Corrèe, Sauvignon Gros Grain, Sauvignon Vert, Sauvignonasse, Tai Bianco, Tocai, Tocai Friulano, Tocai Italico, Tocai Italico Friulano, Zeleni Sauvignon.)

Background

Map showing the Friuli regon of Italy.

Friulano is a white-wine grape originating in the Gironde region in northwest France (where it was mainly known as Sauvignonasse, and was not ever widely planted), but which is now chiefly grown in the Friuli region of Italy (where it was first known as Tokai, then Tocai Friulano) but also in Chile. (The grape was long known in Italy as “Tocai Friulano” till Hungary raised a dispute with the EU, claiming that name infringed on their Tokaj wines, and after much disputation the EU agreed; consequently, the name was eventually changed to just “Friulano”.)

Friulano can, broadly speaking, be one of two sorts, depending on its exact place of origin. The areas in the northeast—the Collio and Colli Orientali regions—tend to make the bigger, heavier wines, while those in the southern areas make lighter but fruitier and more immediately drinkable renditions. Characteristics commonly noted for Friulano include moderate to low acidity, high alcohol levels, floral aromas, and light fruit flavors. Pears (and, for Chilean versions, green apples), almonds, citrus, spice, and minerality are all found mentioned with some frequency. To paint with a broad brush, it is not (usually) a profound wine, but neither is it a mindless “quaffer”; rather, it is a pleasant, refreshing wine that goes well by itself or with food.

Factoid: Sources differ on when Friulano arrived in Italy: Wikipedia says the grape actually originated in the Veneto region at least as far back as 1600; Jancis Robinson et al, in their monumental Wine Grapes, say the grape arrived in Friuli from France in the early 19th century. (Above, we report Robinson’s version.)

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Some Descriptions of Friulano Wines

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Some Friulanos to Try

(About this list.)

Poggiobello Friulano
(Colli Orientali del Friuli)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Tenuta Luisa Friulano
(Friuli Isonzo. This is not their “I Ferritti” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Le Monde Friulano
(Friuli-Venezia Giulia)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Bastianich “Vigne Orsone” Friulano
(Colli Orientali del Friuli. They bottle several Friulanos: this is their “Vigne Orsone” Friulano—and, for fun, they also bottle a “Vigne Orsone” that is not a Friulano. Caveat emptor.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Millbrook “Proprietor’s Special Reserve” Friulano
(Hudson River Region, USA)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Friulano wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.