|Enzo Pontoni - Friulian wine shepherd - amongst his flock|
Writing in Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, Antonio Galloni states:
"Pontoni represents the finest of the artisanal approach to winemaking and his meticulous, some would say fanatical, devotion to his old-vine plots is legendary...I can't think of too many wines I would rather have on my dinner table than those of Enzo Pontoni and Miani. These are among the finest wines being made anywhere."
"Miani is one of the very finest wineries in the world. This tiny estate is located in Buttrio, a small town in the Colli Orientali appellation in Friuli that contains one of the finest - perhaps the finest - terroir for pedigreed, ageworthy wines in northeastern Italy."
Essentially, those that know these wines will buy these wines. Those that don't might possibly baulk at paying such fulsome prices for wines from a lesser-known part of the world...and that would be a shame, since they are super-fine examples.
I visited Miani a few years ago and was simply blown away. And what is extraordinary is Enzo's habit of selling off wines that he considers fail to make the grade for others to commercialize under their own labels. If one is "in the know", one can pick up what most would consider exceptionally fine wine for a much reduced ticket.
However, we are here offering the real McCoy, including the exciting debut 2015 releases of some of Enzo's newly exploited terroirs.
A note on the region
Friuli lies in Italy's far north-east near the border with Slovenia at a meeting place of three distinct cultures: Germanic, Slavic and Italian. A drive around the countryside won't give the English anything to worry about as the landscape opens up vistas that won't appear unfamiliar to a British traveller.
N.B. If you happen to be a wine-loving fly fisherman, this region holds real interest since the justly famous Slovenian Soca river in its Italian extension runs close by the Miani vineyards.
N.B. I have yet to taste any of these wines and there are few published notes on them as yet. However, as previously mentioned, those that know the wines of Enzo Pontoni will snap them up lickty-split.
N.B. x 2. I bought a 6-pack of the 2010 Sauvignon Saurint from a Bowes Wine offer some years ago and have recently had my last bottle...with regret. I wish I had another truckload of the stuff, since it is both profoundly delicious and in no particular hurry to be consumed.
2015 Malvasia, Miani, Colli Orientali - £165 in bond per 6 Drink 2017-19
2015 Friulano, Miani, Colli Orientali - £165 in bond per 6 Drink 2017-19
2015 Chardonnay, Miani, Colli Orientali - £165 in bond per 6 Drink 2017-21
2015 Ribolla Gialla Pettarin, Miani, Colli Orientali - £231 in bond per 6 Drink 2017-21
2015 Sauvignon, Miani, Colli Orientali - £165 in bond per 6 Drink 2017-19
2015 Sauvignon Zitelle Cava, Miani, Colli Orientali - £270 in bond per 6 Drink 2017-21
2015 Sauvignon Zitelle Alto, Miani, Colli Orientali - £270 in bond per 6 Drink 2017-21
And some previous vintages:
N.B. Think of the character of these reds as being a mixture of Left and Right Bank claret with extra muscle and a whole pile of complexity. They are extremely long-lived.
2013 Merlot Buri, Miani, Colli Orientali - £702 in bond per 6 Drink 2021-32
2013 Merlot Filip, Miani, Colli Orientali - £702 Drink 2021-32
2011 Rosso di Miani, Miani, Colli Orientali - £285 in bond per 6 Drink 2017-23
"The 2011 Rosso is gorgeous. Lavender, violets, mocha, plums, dark spices and new leather are some of the many notes that blossom in a racy, resonant Merlot/Refosco blend that captures the essence of the Miani house style at a more accessible price than is the case when Enzo Pontoni bottles his flagship reds. The 2011 is 70% Merlot and 30% Refosco from some of the most impeccably farmed vineyards readers will ever see, in any region." Antonio Galloni
Email caspar(at)boweswine.co.uk to order