2018 Ronco dei Tassi Bianco “Clic” Italian White Wine Blend
When I was a young cook eating “family meal” standing up in the restaurant’s back hallway, I was told that Italian white wine wasn’t really anything. But little did I know that half a world away, in the province of Fruli, Italy, there were vintners laboring every day to prove that their wine was of the utmost quality – powerful, minerally, showstopping, and WHITE wine. I mean front-and-center white wine, the kind that would spank a Cabernet that turns up to prove itself at the dinner table.
I had never imagined: white wine from Italy at the highest possible level. White wine to compare to Napa Cab, or Bordeaux, and Italian White to compare to white Burgundy, Chablis or Sancerre? All true!
This wine is from Friuli, in the northeast corner of Italy, tucked up near Trieste, Slovenia, and Austria. Over the centuries Friuli has existed in many different countries – so maybe this is the reason the wines are almost always blends. The melting pot includes locals (independent and not Italian until late in the 19th century), French, begat from Napoleon, Austrians and Hungarians from that Empire, and almost everyone else from central Europe. The resulting influence: a hotbed of stir-crazy traditions, grape varieties, winemakers, cultures, and almost everything else.
The resulting wines that have emerged in these past 20 or so years are as enigmatic, powerful, and complex as anything else in the world. I love them! And soon, the world loved them. Increasingly, Friulian wines are expensive and allocated. As they climb in price, producers make better, bolder, ever-greater wines. And those wines – rightfully – get more and more expensive.
But a handful of producers—like today’s featured one, Fabio Tassi—wanted to bring the joy of Friuli wine home, at a take-home price. Hence his family estate produced “Clic” – a drink to clink, or clic, your glasses with, raising a toast in celebration of gorgeous drinkability:
Aromas of white peaches, orange blossoms, neroli, lemon zest and hints of toasted almonds. The palate is boldly textural, with a rich and full weight that would suggest the use of new oak, but is instead just the grape itself. The wine is mellow and calm, with a considerable texture that even red wine drinkers are sure to enjoy. Your home will be happier for this little addition.
The wine revolution in Friuli was real, and this wine shows it. You don’t have to pay top dollar for top wine, but you do have to be willing to explore. I’ll drink to that. Clic!