2014 Schioppettino, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Marco Sara, Udine

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While Friuli – and indeed Marco Sara – is best known for its whites, the slopes of the hillier Colli Orientali zone closer to Slovenia are home to some fine, indigenous black grapes, such as Schioppettino, alias Ribolla Nera. A bit of a tongue-twister to say, but Marco’s example is a delicious mouthful: dark rubino red, the nose is delicately perfumed with menthol and wild-rose notes. Suave, medium-bodied at 13 percent, the wine is brambly, with a minerally elegant, complex fragrance, supported by time in tonneau and barrique. For those who like a Syrah/Shiraz style of wine perhaps? Drink 201