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The wines of La Vigne di Zamò, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Italy

Azienda Agricola Le vigne di Zamò, Via Abate Corrado 4, Loc. Rosazzo, Manzano, Italy
Tel: 0039 0432 759693 Fax: 0039 0432 759884
E-mail: info@levignedizamo.com Website: www.levignedizamo.com

Anyone familiar with the Californian wine scene will do a double take the first time they see the labels of these Fruili wines: they are strikingly similar (in font face and design) to the labels used by Ridge. I don’t know which was first…

La Vigne di Zamò began life in 1978 when the Zamò family purchased 10 hectares of vineyards 35 ha in Rocca Bernardo, which was later supplemented by 12 ha at Buttrio in 1990 and then 15 ha in Rosazzo in 1996. From these three vineyards they make a large range of wines, using both traditional and international varieties, as is the way in this part of Italy. It’s now a substantial operation with a gleaming new winery, but the fact that the Zamòs haven’t lost touch with tradition and the soil is demonstrated by the fact that the press pack comes with a sample of the soil (small flaky stones – they look like limestone, but I’m no geologist).

This may be a slightly controversial statement, but Friuli is really white wine territory, and it is the whites here from this small sample of the range that impress the most. The reds from this part of the world tend to be fresh and tasty, with primary fruit characters, but they’re usually not quite as compelling as the whites, which can be spectacular.

La Vigne di Zamò Tocai Friulano 2002 Colli Orientali del Friuli (tank sample)
Gently herby, grassy nose. Palate is nutty and fresh with a nice savoury character. Good density. Very good+ 87/100

La Vigne di Zamò Pinot Grigio 2002 Colli Orientali del Friuli (tank sample)
Most Italian Pinot Grigio is fresh and anonymous, but it can make serious wines if yields are kept low and the fruit gets fully ripe. Subtle, herby, fruity nose. Nicely weighted, nutty palate with good concentration of fruit and some complexity. Very good+ 88/100

La Vigne di Zamò Tullio Zamò 2001 Colli Orientali del Friuli
A varietal Pinot Blanc. Lovely taut herbal fruit combines well with nutty oak. Huge concentration of richly textured, herbal fruit on the palate. Boldly flavoured and unusual, but quite compelling. Very good/excellent 92/100

La Vigne di Zamò Ronco delle Acacie 2000 Colli Orientali del Friuli
An oak-aged blend of Tocai Friulano, Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco. Lovely nutty nose with a toasty edge. The palate shows barrel ferment characters combining nicely with some herby fruit. Rich, soft texture. Very good+ 88/100 

La Vigne di Zamò Ronco dei Roseti 1999 Colli Orientali del Friuli
A blend of Cabernets Sauvignon and Franc with Merlot, from the Rosazzo vineyard. There’s a chalky, minerally, leafy edge to the bright fruit on the nose. The palate is bright with vivid cherry fruit and good acidity. A lighter cool-climate style of red. Very good+ 85/100  

see also: Spotlight on the wines of Friuli

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