2009 Az. Ag. Grillo, Schioppetino, Friuli, Italy.
This grape, Schiopettino, dates back to 1282 at least in Northeast Italy and was nearly extinct until recent years when heritage vines made a comeback in the region, it is known as “Gunshot” or little crack in Italian. I had not tried this variety before and found it charming and spicy with dark color and sexy aromatics making it all that much more appealing. The 2009 Grillo, Schiopettino starts with a violet perfume and red pepper before a lively and firm palate of plum, cherry and dried currants again with a cayenne spice and chalky mineral streak. Tannins are solid, but refined while a nice touch of acidity keeps these fresh and vibrant making for a real food friendly wine that has nice balance of fruit, spice and structure. This rare red is not going to be an easy find, but in case you happen across it, get a few bottles and enjoy them over the next few years, it is an intriguing wine that is sure to give a lot of pleasure.
($26 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive

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