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The Ribolla Gialla Grape


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About Ribolla Gialla

(Synonyms: Rabola, Rabiola, Rebula, Rosazzo.)

Background

Map showing Italy’s Friuli region & Slovenia.

Ribolla Gialla is an ancient white-wine grape originating in the region where Italy borders Slovenia, and today grown in both nations, notably in the Italian Friuli region (as Ribolla Gialla) but also in the adjoining Slovenian region of Goriska (as Rebula). Despite long-standing theories, modern DNA evidence has shown that it is a distinct variety not at all related to the similarly named Robola grape of Greece.

Ribolla Gialla is a significant grape—considered by many as one of Italy’s finest whites—making wines that are light in body but definitely acidic, often with floral notes. It is a particularly clear example of the fact that in winemaking, the tradeoff is always between quantity and quality. Ribolla vines are naturally very hardy and expansive; the grower who wants to make quality wine thus has to severely restrain them, else the wanted fruitiness is largely absent and the results are screamingly high in acid (Ribolla is naturally a high-acid grape, but in well-made renditions is kept well balanced.)

Whether aging Ribolla on wood is or is not common now seems to be reported differently by different sources, some saying “occasionally” with others saying it is the usual style. Reports on its success are even more diverse, so it’s a case of caveat emptor.

Though the grape is mainly grown in its area of origin, there are other plantings; notably, the Napa Valley now has some Ribolla producers.

Factoids: Ribolla Gialla is documented as early as 1289; in the 14th century, the poet Boccaccio listed indulgence in Ribolla wines as one of the sins of gluttony. And when the Duke of Austria, Leopold III, established reign over Trieste in 1382, he required the city to annually supply him 100 urns of the region’s best Ribolla wine. By 1402, the reputation of Ribolla Gialla was high enough that the city of Udine enacted a law prohibiting adulteration of any wine made from Ribolla.

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Some Descriptions of Ribolla Gialla Wines

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Some Ribolla Giallas to Try

(About this list.)

The list is a mix of Italian Ribolla Gialli and Slovenian Rebulas. Neither is really common in the marketplace.


Sodevo “Zuani; Ribolla Gialla
(Italian; sometimes the label omits the “Zuani” tag.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” 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.



Krasno Rebula
(Slovenian, and an “orange” wine.
 Do not confuse this with their sparkling Krasno bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
    CellarTracker has two separate listings for this wine:
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.



Ronchi di Cialla Ribolla Gialla
(Italian.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” 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.



Gradis’Ciutta Ribolla Gialla
(Italian)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” 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.



Marjan Simčič Ribolla
(Slovenian; this is his basic bottling [sometimes sub-labelled “Classic”]; do not confuse it whith his more upscale “Opoka” or “Selecija” Ribolla bottlings.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
    CellarTracker has two separate listings for this wine:
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• 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 Ribolla Gialla wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 25 October 2021, at 4:14 am Pacific Time.