Silvio Jermann, Friuli, Italy   
Currently making some of Italy's most exciting whites


Silvio Jermann has a reputation for making Italy’s some of Italy's best white wines. It's a deserved reputation, in my view.

This range of wines, which come from the predominantly mountainous Friuli-Venezia Giulia region in the northeast corner of Italy, is consistently superb. Taking over the family business in the 1970s, Jermann has raised the quality and grown the range. He now has a sizeable 130 hectares of vines, and two wineries, at Villanova and Ruttars.

What impresses me most about these wines is the purity and depth of flavour coupled with huge mineral extract, all perfectly poised and in balance. They are quite expensive, but for this sort of quality they’re competitively priced.

Jermann Vinnae 2008
A blend of Ribolla Gialla with a little bit of Riesling and Tocai Friulano. Full yellow colour. Slightly reduced minerally nose leads to a powerful, grapey, herby palate. Nutty and intense but very fresh with some citrussy notes. A powerful, complex wine. 93/100

Jermann Pinot Grigio 2008
Full yellow colour. Rich, bold, intense, nutty and grapey with lovely textured fruit. Notes of melon and herbs; full and fleshy with lovely depth. 92/100

Jermann Pinot Bianco 2008
Fresh, focused and citrussy with lovely purity to the intense, concentrated fruit. Very pure with lemon, herbs and subtle nuttiness, as well as smooth texture. 93/100

Jermann Vintage Tunina 2006
A blend of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia and Picolit. Deep coloured. Rich, toasty, figgy and quite powerful. Textured, nutty and bold with great concentration and smoothness. A beautiful wine. 94/100

Jermann Capo Martino 2006
Malvasia, Tocai, Picolit and Ribolla. Deep yellow gold colour. Complex, nutty and toasty. An intense wine with lovely powerful herb, nut, melon and grapefruit notes. Some crystalline fruits. Textured, long, powerful and balanced. 94/100

Wines tasted February 2010

The next notes are from March 2002, and a tasting held at La Vigneronne wine shop.

Afix Riesling 2000 IGT Delle Venezie
Named after Silvio’s son (no, he’s not called Afix; this is a name taken from parts of his two first names). Quite a beguiling, delicate floral/fruity nose. It’s quite ‘pretty’, with good density. The palate is rich and rounded showing great balance between the fruit, acidity and the touch of residual sugar. A complex, full flavoured wine, this is mineralic and slightly spicy. Perfectly poised, and brilliant stuff. Excellent (£14.95)

Pinot Bianco 2000 IGT Venezia Giulia
Another delicate but full nose: with rich bready and slightly nutty notes, this is complex and aromatic. Nicely rounded palate is rich and nutty. Very fresh with good acidity and full flavoured, slightly lemony fruit. Quite delicious. Very good/excellent (£14.95)

Pinot Grigio 2000 IGT Venezia Giulia
Fresh, slightly spicy nose with a hint of the savouriness/meatiness often found in Alsace Pinot Gris. The palate is full and rich, nutty and savoury with some varietal character. Good acidity. Currently quite youthful and fresh, this has the mineral extract to age, I suspect. Very good+ (£13.95)

Chardonnay 2000 IGT Venezia Giulia
Savoury, almost meaty nose with a smoky, bacon fat edge. I’d have guessed this as a Pinot Gris tasted blind. Quite complex. Full flavoured but light textured palate with good acidity and nutty, savoury fruit. Some minerality, too. A delicious, savoury interpretation of Chardonnay. Very good/excellent (£13)

Vinnae 2000 IGT Venezia Giulia
A blend of Ribolla, Riesling and Malvasia. Very minerally, savoury nose is tight and complex, with a slightly creamy edge. Concentrated, rich-textured mineralic palate, with good acidity and finishes dry. Nicely structured and will no doubt develop. Superb stuff: not showy but very elegant. Excellent (£13)

Vintage Tunina 2000 IGT Venezia Giulia
A blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Malvasia, Picolit and Ribolla, with the grapes actually vinified together. There’s a fresh lift to the stunningly complex mineralic, spicy nose. In fact, it’s almost floral. Quite a fruity palate but with good acidity and some minerality providing a nice foil. Complex stuff. Very good/excellent (£27.50)

Capo Martino 2000 IGT Venezia Giulia
A single-vineyard blend of Pinot Blanco, Pinot Grigio and Tokay, aged for 10 months in Slovenian oak. A remarkable opulent nose with lots of toasty, nutty vanillin oak. Very rich and exotic. Rich creamy, buttery palate but with good acidity. Very savoury, this is quite a striking, unusual wine, although not one that will be to everyone’s taste. Very good/excellent (£28)

Were Dreams, now it is just wine! 1999 IGT Venezia Giulia
Forget the barmy name. When someone makes wines as good as these, we can forgive them a few quirks. Quite a restrained nutty nose that isn’t giving much away except for a creamy, bready edge. Rich, nutty savoury palate with good acid structure. Tight at the moment, but with good balance and well integrated oak this may well age nicely. Very good/excellent (£30)

Red Angel on the Moonlight, Pinot Nero 2000 IGT Venezia Giulia
Another barmy name. This wine is a vivid red colour. Quite a striking cherry fruit nose with a herbaceous edge; leafy and intense. Quite a lean palate, but with good acidity. Interesting stuff, but it seems to be /flirting with unripeness. Perhaps an effective food wine. Very good (£15)  

wines tasted March 2002

See also:

The new Douro (series)

Wines tasted as indicated  
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