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Vodopivec Vitovska Classica IGT Venezia Giula 2009
The vineyards are dry-farmed (never irrigated) with rocky soils on a base of the indigenous “Carso triestino” at an altitude of 260m. Vines are planted at 10,000 vines/ha, and are trained with Alberello trellasing, with minuscule yields of only 0.5kg per plant. Grapes were harvested manually on September 20, and placed in small, wooden crates. 2009 was characterized by a wet start in late June and early July, followed by a hot july and August.
The destemmed grapes are crushed and fermented in Georgian Amphora (terra cotta), and left to rest on their skins for 6 months. During this period, the cap is plunged several times a day. There is no use of temperature control or cultured yeast. After fermentation, the must is pressed with a basket press. The wine is then further matured for an additional 6 months in Georgian Amphora (terra cotta), followed by 24 months in large 3,000L Slavonian oak barrels, where it was carefully racked every 6 months. No sulphur is used during vinification. The wine is bottled unfiltered, and as such may show some sediment or deposits in time. Best served at 15°C.
The 2009 vintage has not been rated, however Robert Parker's Wine Advocate has rated several vintages as follows:
2007 received 91 points
Below is the review for the 2007:
"Paolo Vodopivec is now on his own, but the commitment to making great wines of notable breed is intact. In 2007 the estate’s vineyards were hit by hail. Vodopivec produced just his straight Vitovska, which is vinified in amphora and aged in cask. The 2007 Vitovska wields considerable power. This is an especially intense, masculine wine from Paolo Vodopivec. Yellow stone fruit, dried flowers, savory herbs and honey wrap around the textured finish. Even with time in the glass the 2007 remains powerful and virile to the core. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017."
Below is the review for the 2006:
"The 2006 Vitovska Classica is a touch more floral than the Vitovska. Here the tannins are silkier and more finessed than the Vitovska, while the fruit retains a regal, elegant personality showcasing great focus and length. The subtle, refined 2006 Vitovska Classica is a great effort from Vodopivec. The Vitovska Classica was fermented and aged in large, neutral oak. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2016.
The Vodopivec brothers work out of a tiny winery located in one of the most remote corners of Friuli. Their densely-planted vineyards are among the most pristine I have ever seen, something that is made all the more remarkable considering the rugged, rocky terrain that only allows the vine to survive in small, isolated parcels. Biodynamic farming and natural, non-interventionalistic winemaking are the rule here. The resulting wines are some of the purest, most complex whites readers are likely to come across. Like all whites macerated on the skins, a measure of patience is required. As with discovering a great book, painting, or piece of music, the rewards for those who take the time to appreciate these wines is immeasurably rewarding."
Below is the review for the 2005:
"The 2005 Vitovska Classica was fermented in oak, and saw two weeks of contact on the skins prior to being racked into cask for subsequent aging. This subtle, understated wine reveals attractive ripe apricots and peaches intermingled with delicate aromatics. The cool vintage and rocky terrain give this wine a focused, minerally personality compared to more opulent vintages such as 2004 and 2006. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2012.
Vodopivec is a young estate still searching for its voice. These 2005s signal a new shift in direction for brothers Walter and Paolo Vodopivec, who have begun using amphoras. There are now two Vitovskas; the Classica which is fermented and aged in oak, and the Amphora, which as its name implies, is fermented in amphora and aged in cask. These are beautiful wines in a good, but not great, vintage. It will be interesting to see where this small, artisan estate goes from here. Certainly the 2006s and 2007s I tasted from cask show quite a bit of promise."
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