#10 – 2014 Venica y Venica ‘Ronco Delle Mele’ Sauvignon Blanc, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Estimated retail: $45 (Backstreet Café has it for $59)

Houston’s strange weather continues, so in honor of this surprisingly sunny and inviting January day I’m highlighting the equally surprising gem from Northeast Italy’s Venica winery, located in Dolegna, near the center of Friulian Collio. I say surprising because Northern Italy is certainly not known for Sauvignon Blanc (though they should be, just ask Bobby Stuckey or taste his Scarpetta Wine).

Venica is the ideal when it comes to sustainable organic farming. The Ronco is their most significant vineyard of Sauvignon Blanc. The plot is situated amidst the wineries “Hill of Apples.” In the ’40s they planted the apples to fight erosion, today it gives this vineyard distinct terroir. The wine is exceptionally aromatic with tart orchard fruit, citrus, and soft hints of tarragon and sage. It has a rounder texture thanks to a small percentage of the wine seeing oak while remaining fresh and alluring. ∞

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