"Ferdinando Zanusso founded I Clivi when he returned to Italy after thirty years and three different careers in Africa, including a stint in the United Nation’s World Food Program. His son Mario joined just after its inception and is involved in all aspects of the farm. Together they seek the fullest expression of their highly reputed terroir in Friuli’s esteemed Colli Orientali del Friuli and Collio growing districts. What distinguishes I Clivi from their peers are their devastatingly low yields, steep terrain, and old vines that range from sixty to eighty years of age. It is not surprising that their soils of calcareous clay, or ponca in local dialect, have been noted for their similarities to Burgundy’s Côte d’Or and organic farming goes without saying for vineyards of this caliber and rigor. All work in the cellar follows similar principles and attention to detail. Hand-harvested bunches are pressed very gently at Champagne levels so to squeeze only the purest must, a philosophy that sets the stage for the superb quality of the finished wines. Using only stainless steel vats for the white wines, the Zanusso’s produce wines of precision and definition without the interference of maceration or prolonged contact with the skin." — Coeur Wine Co
What The Critics Say
89/100 Vinous, Ian D'Agata
"Bright pale yellow. Clean aromas of peach, pineapple, apple, white pepper and minerals, with suggestions of exotic fruits. Then also rather gently flavored, with yellow apple and pear notes offering lovely if almost too delicate inner-mouth perfume and verve. Still, I like this wine’s early appeal and knockout mineral purity."
Winemaker notes on current 2018 vintage
"The hand-picked whole grapes (i.e. with no prior de-stemming) are pressed very gently (max 1.2 bar) in order to
extract only the first and cleanest part of the must (mosto fiore), which is immediately pumped in a stainless steel vat where the
most solid and heavy parts decant overnight. In the morning the upper part of the must is separated from the bottom (feccia grossa
- hard lees) and racked in to another stainless steel tank, where the natural, grapes’ own yeasts start the fermentation of the sugars.
This fermentation (called alcoholic) lasts till complete reduction of the sugars (which at the end are below 2 gr/lt) into alcohol. At
the end of this process, the wine stays on its own fermentation deposits (feccia fine - lees), which are kept floating in order to avoid
reductive (asphyxia) effects and to gain the stabilization and anti-oxidative benefits that these natural components bring. This is
called maturation on lees. The length of this maturation varies from wine to wine; this Ribolla Gialla matures 6 months on its own
lees, always remaining in stainless steel vats (no oak). After this time, the wine is bottled with a light filtration, meant only to
eliminate the cloudiness brought by the floating lees. 30 mg of SO2 are added per liter, which with the natural amount produced
by the alcoholic fermentation adds up to a 50 mg/lt total, where the maximum amount allowed by EU Organic Regulations is 150
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