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It’s something of a curiosity that in considering the great wines of Italy and the great whites of the world, the wines of the Friuli's Collio are somehow overlooked. They combine structure, texture, aromatics, not to mention ageability, in compelling fashion. The region is blessed by a moderate climate, distinctive terroir, and an abundance of gifted growers. We have been fortunate to enjoy a number of wonderful aged bottles over the last year and it has reaffirmed the magic of the wines from the region.
One of the finest of these growers is Nicola Manferrari of Borgo del Tiglio in Brazzano in Collio Gozino. A pharmacist by trade, he took over his father’s estate in 1981 and set about “to make aromatic wines of flavor and equilibrium that will age well.” (As quoted in Carla Capalbo’s splendid book Collio: Fine Wines and Foods from Italy’s North-east.) To achieve this, Nicola keeps yields low, ferments with native yeasts, and vinifies and ages the wines in 250 liter French oak barrels. The resulting wines are textured, mineral, and perfumed. Last year we were delighted to offer a pair of wines wine from Borgo del Tiglio and were heartened by the enthusiastic response. Today we are pleased to offer another lot of Manferrai's wines from the 1995 vintage. The wine benefits from decanting and time to open in the glass, as we discovered in a recent tasting, building on the nose and palate over an afternoon. -John McIlwain