Saturday, June 6, 2009

Miani Tocai - Another face of Friuli

I have been waiting for two months to receive a bunch of wines that included a large number of Miani (Tocai, Chardonnay and Merlot) and yesterday, just after the arrival, I immediately opened a bottle of Tocai 1999.

Enzo Pontoni, the owner of Miani winery, is a peculiar producer from Friuli, a land famous for its white wines produced close to the Slovenian border (Collio e Colli Orientali) and increasingly also recognised for the production of red wines from Merlot (here acquiring a strong terroir expression with tangy taste with marasca cherry) and indigenuos grapes such as pignolo, schioppettino and refosco.

Miani is located in the area of Colli Orientali and produces tocai, sauvignon, chardonnay, ribolla gialla, merlot and the Calvari (a refosco from a small vineyard of 0,9 hectares that is his cult wine).

But Enzo Pontoni is largely considered to be a "cult" producer, a man with such an extreme attention and care in the vineyard that the yealds in his lands has been reduced to the limits. The man himself is considered a very reserved person, who is entertaining a very respectful relation with the terroir and his environment.

Since I have not met Enzo Pontoni (but I hope very much that I will enjoy this priviledge in the future), I prefer to tell you my sensations of the Tocai 1999 that I open after leaving it for a few hours to cool down.

First the impressions in the glass, a strong yellow and an onctuosity that leaves large tears in the glass. I literally dig my nose into the glass and try to find the aromas of the wine but it is not an easy wine, one of those that explodes his fruity/floral aromas once opened. It is a wine that needs time and curiosity, it opens step by step, and at a first glance provides only a reserved mineral flavour.

It is a wine that does not need and most likely, like its mentor, does not like an easy drinker, who is going to abandon it after the first disappointment.

But you only need to wait, and I know that wine lovers have this patience, and then it reveals growing aromas that, while keeping a strong minerality, develop a creamy taste of nuts, almond and strong, very strong and crispy white flowers. This takes some time, and I have not yet pour ed the wine. It is a 10 years old Tocai, but like a good old white Burgundy to which I can easily compare the sensations, it gives the impression to be there to stay and live for decades.

In the mouth the attack is strng, the acidity keeps the wine well together and guarantees its longevity and the sensations of power, great structure and finesse, an extreme elegance that accompanies the wine during the long time that it remains in my mouth.

It takes time before I plunge into the wine again, the structure and body of this wine does not allow to drink it like I would do for a lighter wine. I imagine this wine with an important fish, or also with a fantastic ham from San Daniele de Friuli, which has a stronger taste than the Parma ham.

I am curious to open the other bottles that I have bought, not tonight, but soon. And to visit Mr. Pontoni, whenever it will be possible.

No comments: