2008 Jermann Vintage Tunina IGT

Year: 2008
Appellation: Friuli
Country: Italy
Wine Spectator: 92
Wine Advocate: 92
White Wine
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A secret blend of Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana, Picolit

"Dry and smoky, this is enriched by a hint of crystallized honey that accents flavors of spiced apple, apricot gelée, salted butter and toasted brioche. Well-balanced, with a lovely texture and a lingering, minerally finish. Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit. Drink now through 2016. " (WS)

"The 2008 Vintage Tunina is terrific. The wine’s trademark expansive bouquet and generous fruit are beautifully balanced by a vein of minerality that is the hallmark of this cool year. All of the elements come together beautifully in the glass as the 2008 Vintage Tunina shows off layers of succulent peaches, pears, apricots, flowers and mint, along with hints of sweetness from the late-harvested fruit that is such a big component of the wine’s signature style. Vintage Tunina is Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.

These new releases from Silvio Jermann include a number of fabulous bottles. In particular, I was impressed with the top 2008s, a vintage where the cool minerality of the year prevails over the house’s typically lush style, an approach I tend to find less interesting. Jermann has a new red on the horizon, the Pignolo Vigna Truss, from recently purchased hillside vineyards in Dolegna, the home of his massive, new cellar. Previously, Jermann’s Pignolo had mostly come from the flats of Villanova, a far less prestigious village in Isonzo, rather than the Collio. I tasted all of the 2009 entry-level whites from screwcaps. Readers should be aware that Jermann is owned by my wife’s uncle. I have always viewed education as an important component of wine criticism. An article on Friuli without these wines would have been incomplete and ultimately the consumer would have been poorer for their exclusion. For those reasons I have chosen to include the wines in this report. Neither my wife nor I have any financial or other interest, direct or indirect, in this property." (WA)

Winery Notes:
The blend now known as Vintage Tunina was first produced in 1973. However, its first official release under this name was in 1975. A pet name for Antonia, "Tunina" was the first owner of this vineyard. Another "Tunina" lived in the 1700s, and was the only lover of Casanova's to have been of humble birth - working as housekeeper for an illustrious Venetian family. To this intriguing and romantic figure, Silvio Jermann dedicated Vintage Tunina.

"Brilliant straw yellow in color, with golden reflections. Intense, ample, very elegant and persistent, with scents of honey and country flowers. On the palate it is dry, mellow, well balanced, with extraordinary persistence thanks to the full body. Matches first courses with truffles, fish dishes and poultry. Great with fresh salmon stuffed with Parmesan cheese and artichokes." (Translated from an Italian-language review by Daniele Cernilli)

Did you know that...? In 1976, the most celebrated wine journalist of the 1900s, Luigi Veronelli, asserted that Vintage Tunina was to be considered the "Mennea of Italian wines" (Italy's Pietro Mennea was the greatest sprinter in the world, holding the 200 meter record for 17 years).

The 1997 vintage was acclaimed by Gambero Rosso as the best Italian white.

The 1998 vintage was awarded the Italian Sommeliers' Association's "Wine Oscar".

In October 2000, Cesare Pillon wrote in Civiltà del Bere magazine: "Vintage Tunina is extraordinary in many other ways. So far, nobody had ever been aware that this is the best meditation wine ever produced - not just in the passive sense (wine to be sipped as you meditate), but also in the active sense: Vintage Tunina is a wine that makes you think..."