Vino Intrepido - 'Straight Jakot' Friulano 2019
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Friulano is a marginal variety in Australia and in Italy, where it’s pretty much only found in Friuli-Venezia Giulia. One of the first regions where the variety was planted in Australia was the Mornington Peninsula, thanks to the pioneering work of Kathleen Quealy and Kevin McCarthy. It was in fact Kathleen who introduced me to her good friend Joe Vaughan, one of the few growers of Italian varieties in the region. I was excited to test out a theory that I had that Friulano could work as both an aromatic and a textural wine.
Just over a tonne was harvested early in the morning at the end of vintage 2019. After bringing the fruit back to the winery we put it in the cool-room for two days of cold-soaking to lend a bit of texture whilst preserving the aromatics. After pressing and settling, roughly 60% was transferred to mature barriques and the rest to stainless steel for spontaneous fermentation, followed by élevage on lees for four months until blending and bottling without fining or filtration.
The unique Rutherglen fortified wine Tokay wasn’t the only victim of Hungary joining the European Union and receiving protection of its wine region Tokaji. Previously in the Friuli region Friulano was known as Tocai, and across the border in Slovenia it was known as Tokaj. On the Italian side of the border they officially changed the name to Friulano, but some producers – particularly on the Slovenian side – started referring to the grape as Jakot, merely a reversal of the former name. This is where I got the name Straight Jakot from, as it is also 100% Friulano. - Vino Intrepido