Published on June 12th, 2011 | by ladyparker0
Fun in Fruili: Livio Felluga Sharis 2009 (Venezie, Italy)
What is most engrossing about Livio Felluga’s wines is the unique, fun and stylish brand architecture. It’s a bright, aesthetic and eye-catching label design with a fineness that can only allude to an Italian origin. It belies the burdensome, labourious history of its family founder, but also reflects the optimism and tenacity that accompanied him.
Shouldering an inspiring story, Felluga carried out service through World War II after settling in the Fruili countryside in the 1930’s. Post-war the area was despondent from the bellicose regimes that terrorized the nation. Feeling compelled to fight the abandonment of the hillside slopes and valleys of the Fruili, Felluga bought his first few hectares of land in the 1950s. With his wealth of experience from five generations of wine making (historically in Isola d’Istria) he began to restore life into the moribund vineyards dotted about the landscape as well as begin to plant new ones. His particular crowning glory was the vineyard he planted at Rosazzo, now one of the region’s most renown areas.
The Felluga designed label dating back to 1956 depicts the Fruili hills and the location of estate-grown grapes. An annual production of 650,000 bottles at the Brazzano di Cormons cellar in Fruili Venezia Giulia is now run by Felluga’s four children, a genuine family affair. Most pleasing is the fact that winemaker Andrea Felluga has embraced stelvin cap closures evincing this estate’s open-minded and forward-thinking nature. Andrea is convinced of this modern closure’s ability to retain freshness and vibrancy of the wines without compromising, indeed enhancing, the assurance of unspoiled ageing.
‘Sharis’ is Felluga’s Chardonnay-Ribolla Gialla blend from the delle Venezie. Fermented in stainless steel and aged on lees for 6 months it is a delightfully intense wine with a beautifully clean nose. It displays focused top notes of pineapple, firm peach, citrus and fennel, with some lovely spice notes and white floral aromas from the Ribolla. The time spend on lees imparts a slight fresh bread / autolytic character. With superb lively acidity, and a long finish this wine makes a gorgeous food match with such things as a spring green fettuccine (asparagus, pea shoots and beans), fresh white fish with a citrus vinaigrette, or cerviche.
The Ribolla Gialla variety is not particularly aromatic though what it lacks in redolence it makes up for in textural complexity, and a fullness on the palate. It certainly adds this to Sharis (30% Ribolla Gialla) – the wine is balanced, complete and an exceptional summer lunchtime accompaniment at a reasonable 12.5% alcohol. I recently enjoyed it on the banks of the Grand Canal in Venezia, Italy!
Livio Felluga Sharis 2009
delle Venezie IGT