2020 Franco Toros, Sauvignon Blanc, Collio DOC, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy.
The Azienda Agricola Toros, now under the direction of Franco Toros, was new to me and I was excited to try this brilliant Sauvignon from the Collio DOC, an area in the Friuli-Venezia Giulia, which has long been home to French vines, Sauvignon Blanc, Franc and Merlot especially and I’ve long been a fan of these wines and of Italian Sauvignon Blanc, from here and in the Alto Adige. In fact, I tasted this one blind and nailed it, it could have been a Pouilly-Fumé, but I went with Collio, trusting my gut as it reminded of some other fine efforts from this region with loads of gooseberry, elderflower/merigold, bitter herbs, lemon/lime and tart peach leading the way on the medium bodied, ripely smooth palate, along with sea shore notes, mineral, almond and a loamy earth element. While dry, crisp and steely, there’s a pleasing textural quality and persistence that makes this wine a standout and maybe more interesting than other Sauvignon Blancs in this price range and it was wonderful with food, even grilled spicy octopus and tartare, which was a bonus for a simple white that is best enjoyed with less complicated dishes and or shellfish. Franco Toros is from a multi-generational wine growing family and his three daughters, Eva, Cristina and Erika, are the new generation, and ready to show their stuff, and will continue the family winemaking tradition well into the future. This saline rich straw/gold Sauvignon, which carries a fine tension, was cold pressed to tank and was exclusively fermented and aged in large up-right stainless steel tanks, seeing some lees aging to allow for the rounded mouth feel and giving the pure expression of terroir and varietal character.

Sauvignon Blanc grows exceptionally well here in the Collio DOC, in the extreme north-east of Italy, in that area of ​​Friuli Venezia Giulia that is, that Toros notes, located between the Isonzo river and its right tributary, the Judrio river, which cuts through the lands of nearby Slovenia. This hilly area, located between the Julian Alps and the Adriatic Sea, is perfect for growing vines. It is here in the Collio Goriziano, where the Azienda Agricola Toros winery is based in Novali in the small hamlet of Cormòns. The Toros family has many native varietals planted as well, including local favorite Ribolla Gialla, along with Friulano, plus Pinot Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay, as well as the mentioned Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, all of which go into single varietal traditional bottlings. The mild winters and rather cool summers, as the winery again notes, because of the closeness of the Adriatic Sea, which helps to mitigate temperature variations, all of which keeps a core of acidity to go with the concentration found in the wines, which can be closer to 14.5% natural alcohol, but without flabby weight. The Collio DOC wines typically impress and this one is a class act and will appeal to those that admire the famous Sauvignon Blanc producer and legendary winemaker Didier Daguenau, who’s wines were known for their intensity and age worthy quality. Toros says his soils are made up of stratified marl and sandstone which, over the centuries, have been eroded by atmospheric agents, creating an ideal soil for the vines to dig into and give the wines balance, depth and mineral tones, which is clearly on display here in his Sauvignon Blanc. I look forward to exploring more of these wines and can certainly recommend this one to those looking for a distinctive and savvy version of Sauvignon Blanc.
($42 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

By admin