The only red wine produced by Ronco dei Tassi, the Cjarandon Riserva is released exclusively in favorable vintages for Collio reds. The wine takes its name from the vineyard where the grapes for this “Super Friulian” are grown, and this predominantly Merlot (with Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc) blend is aged for two years in Allier oak barrels plus an additional year in bottle, giving its intense ruby red color subtle garnet reflections as well. The nose is generous, intense and persistent with notes of dark fruit, black pepper and graphite. On the palate, the Cjarandon is bright and juicy, round, full and intense with a fine dusting of tannins and a beautifully long finish.
A blend of mostly Merlot with smaller parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, the Ronco dei Tassi 2015 Collio Rosso Riserva Cjarandon boasts a deep, dark color and concentrated aromas of black fruit and plum. The backbone of the wine is quite acidic and not particularly thick or fleshy. In the end, this wine delivers lots of pointed power and focus over a lean-bodied mouthfeel with freshness and herbal notes on the close. Pair it with a fatty meat, such as a typical Italian holiday dish of cotechino sausage and lentils. Exactly 5,938 numbered bottles and 300 magnums were released. I tasted bottle number 3,032.
Fosarin, from six-acre vineyard of the same name, is a blend of roughly equal parts Pinot Bianco and Friulano with 20% Malvasia Istriana. Pinot Bianco undergoes fermentation and a brief aging in used barriques, providing backbone and finesse to the wine. Friulano and Malvasia are vinified only in stainless steel, Friulano delivering mid-palate weight and richness while Malvasia endows the Fosarin with the exotic aromatics (think anise, peach and yogurt) that really drive the wine. Fresh and fruity when young, the blend becomes ample and spicy with age, displaying a rich palate, depth and texture classic of Friuli wines. The Fosarin encompasses all the finest characteristics of the territory from which it comes: a perfectly calibrated wine, impeccable balance between elegance and power, and a satisfyingly sapid and fruity ending. This is Friuli in a glass.
This is the top-shelf white wine from Ronco dei Tassi. The 2018 Collio Bianco Fosarin is a blend of Pinot Bianco, Friulano and Malvasia, released in numbered bottles. Exactly 13,234 bottles and 300 magnums were made, and I tasted bottle number 1,706. There are immediate notes of peach, melon and minty pear. As the wine opens in the glass, it begins to show some nutty aromas and pastry cream. This is a textbook wine from Friuli that gives us an authentic taste of the region's celebrated blended whites. Serve it slightly below room temperature with a platter of local cheeses. I very much enjoyed the Fosarin.
There's some real complexity to this white with white stones and citrus highlighting suble aromas of loquat and nectarines. Hints of apple pie, gazpacho and croutons. Laser-sharp acidity cuts cleanly through a finely formed conjunction of citrus and stone fruit. Medium-bodied and tightly knit. Drink now.
Dried-nutmeg and white-pepper notes are a pretty complement to playful aromas of peach pit and chamomile tea. There's real density to this palate, which is only medium to full in body, but possesses an intricate structure of razor-edged acidity slices pastry-like strands in two. Drink now.
Good full yellow. Pear, peach, Thai basil and a hint of crushed stone on the nose. Dense and supple with juicy but rich flavors of peach and ripe apple complicated by aromatic spices and tropical fruit that speak of a strong presence of Malvasia Istriana in the blend. A broad, rich wine that manages to stay refined and light on its feet, finishing with a whiplash of lemony freshness. A little more complexity and I would have scored it higher, but this is a very successful wine given the difficult vintage.
Fruilano (the locals still call it Tocai despite the 2007 ruling to ban the use of “Tocai” on the label) is the Fruili region’s most important grape. This white wine is intense and fruity on the nose with elegant perfumes of acacia flowers. In the mouth, it is fleshy and rich with a creamy texture and distinct varietal notes of citrus, pear, liquorice and almond and the classic minerality of the Collio.
Delicate scents evoking yellow peach, citrus, and spring blossom aromas come together on this savory, enveloping white. The fresh, medium-bodied palate shows ripe pear, grapefruit, apricot and a hint of fresh bread dough alongside tangy acidity. It closes on a hazelnut note.
Intense dried-herb and grassy character and overtones of grapefruit and gooseberries give this immediate sauvignon blanc-like appeal. The full bodied-palate is quite composed, though, with an elegant strand of acidity cutting through the round, textured fruit. Drink now.
The fresh lemony nose doesn’t show what a striking wine this is at first. There's a serious structure and bright acidity in this clean yet multilayered dry white. It defies all the conventional categories. A crisp and complex finish, which suggests this is just beginning to give its best. Drink or hold.
Straw green. Delicate herbs, lime and floral aromas on the enticing nose. Then clean fresh and juicy, with outstanding inner-mouth perfume to the ripe pomaceous orchard fruit flavors. Finishes long with a whisper of pear, minerals, sweet spices and noteworthy clarity. A knockout Friulano.
Though there are many types of Malvasia grapes grown throughout Italy, Malvasia Istriana (the name coming from the peninsula of Istria located in the Adriatic Sea) is undoubtedly considered the varietal of excellence when it comes to dry white wines. The grapes for this Malvasia come from 60 year-old vines planted in a miniscule terraced vineyard (less than 4 acres) with optimal southern exposure. Indeed, this is a wine of great equilibrium whose vinification and aging exclusively in stainless steel allow all the typical characteristics and aromas of the variety to come alive. On the nose, classic distinctive notes of peach and apricot blend with aromas of ripe pear, tangerine zest and floral notes of lime, acacia and wild flowers to close with a hint of aromatic herbs and light mineral underpinnings. A bright, round palate lifts the savory finish.
Good pale yellow-gold. Captivating aromas and flavors of white peach, white flowers, rose petal, white pepper and minerals. Juicy and brisk, with cool citric cut and lift, along with a spicy ginger note that adds complexity and a flinty aroma of reduction. Finishes very long and penetrating, with a vibrant flavor of lemon zest and repeating floral notes. Owner Fabio Coser is a real Malvasia Istriana variety expert and this vintage has seen Ronco dei Tassi produce yet another outstanding example of this wine. It strikes me as being even better than some other outstanding Malvasias made by Ronco dei Tassi in the recent past.
Only the best fruit is used for this single-variety bottling. This is an excellent, fruit-driven expression of Pinot Grigio. Fresh pear and ripe apple on the nose give way to rich flavors of kumquat, quince and fresh herbs in the mouth are supported by a nice acidity, making this an excellent wine to pair with a variety of foods.
The Ronco dei Tassi 2019 Collio Pinot Grigio is a delightful expression of the grape that offers hints of copper and pinkish gold in its sunny and saturated appearance. The wine delivers an angular and linear bouquet with a first layer of grapefruit and honeydew melon that peels back to reveal a second, deeper layer of crushed stone, pine nut and soft pastry cream. This is a soft, mid-weight Pinot Grigio with refreshing acidity on the close. Some 30,000 bottles were released.
Aromas of hawthorn, white stone fruit and green melon jump out of the glass along with a whiff of bread dough on this expressive white. Round and juicy, the bright palate offers ripe pear, honeydew and lemon drop candy before a bitter almond close. It's a savory expression of Pinot Grigio.
The Ronco dei Tassi Ribolla Gialla is a fruity and elegant wine, a stellar example of the powerful and complex white wines produced in the Cormòns area of Fruili, with a freshness that lends balance and precision. The utmost attention and care is given to the grapes during each step of the production process, from the vineyard to the bottle, resulting in an impeccable wine that is rich in aromas and flavors and is truly representative of Cormòns. On the nose, a bouquet of lime flowers and dried cedar makes way for a rich, yet taut and agile, infusion of acacia, yellow plums and white tea on the palate. A long finish with notes of quince and toasted almonds charms right up to the end.
A particularly versatile white wine, this Sauvignon is the result of the particular characteristics of its terroir of origin, the Friuli hills adjacent to the Plessiva Natural Park. Straw yellow in color, intense fruit and floral aromas of grapefruit, elderberry flowers and freshly cut grass lead the way. A full-bodied mouth with a brisk acidity supports notes of citrus (tangerine, grapefruit) and an appealing minerality.
The Ronco dei Tassi 2019 Collio Sauvignon is a classic expression of this aromatic grape that pays tribute to the northern Italian territory that shaped it. The wine is varietally pure with tropical tones of lime, lemongrass and bitter almond. However, it also brings in the slightly creamy or soft textural richness that is a hallmark of the whites made in this mountainous corner of the peninsula. This is a crisp, tangy wine with loads of personality to pair with takeout Thai green curry. Some 20,000 bottles of this vintage were produced.