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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 casew 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.)

For convenience, we have separated the list between Italian and Slovenian renditions of the wine.

Italian Ribollas
Ronchi di Cialla Ribolla Gialla
(From the Colli Orientali del Friuli D.O.C., Cialla section.)

• 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



Fantinel “Vigneti Sant’Helena” Ribolla Gialla
(From the Collio Goriziano D.O.C.)

• 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



Fiegl Ribolla Gialla
(Do not confuse this “Collio” bottling with their “Oslavia” 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



Gradis’Ciutta Ribolla Gialla
(From the Collio Goriziano D.O.C.)

• 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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Slovenian Ribollas/Rebulas
Marjan Simčič Ribolla
(From the Goriska Brda sub-region of the Primorski wine region in Slovenia;
this maker produces numerous Ribolla bottlings, so ne sure which you’re looking at.)

• 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



Ferdinand Rebula
(From the Goriska Brda sub-region of the Primorski wine region in Slovenia.)

• 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 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, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.