Lovely, affordable sustainable wine from Friuli: Radical methods from, er, Radikon

Radikon is apparently a name well known amongst discerning, sustainably-minded winemakers and appreciators.

I discovered it today at lunch in a lovely restaurant in Ventimiglia, on the border with France, called Il Giardino del Gusto.

Having eaten there today if someone had told me it had a Michelin star I probably wouldn't have been surprised. IMG_1572

Browsing the wine menu (I match food to wine rather than vice-
versa) I came across a recommended bottle.

Having a penchant for aged Friuli wines (I have one bottle left of 2001 Ronchi di Cialla 'Cialla Bianco' Colli Orientali del Friuli, which is completely unique) I was intrigued to see 2002 Stanislao Radikon Merlot on the menu, and so googled it.

The Organic Wine Journal review of his work convinced me to order it with the superb three course served at Il Giardino del Gusto. (Potato dish with truffles, Rabbit-stuffed pasta, below, and a beguiling pork dish suited it well).

The OrgIMG_1575anic Wine Journal does a better job than I of describing the techniques used. The approach is uncompromisingly sustainable from what I read.

Biodynamic, organic, natural, no-added sulphite wine. Aged until ready, released when ready, with ageing potential.

It's a superb find for me, as I love the idea of a sustainable, natural wine that can age well.

Here are my tasting notes and some images below of the wine and meal. Highly recommended.

The only wine I have had so far, that changed quite like this in the glass and gave such a journey was 1983 Gruard Larose, which I reviewed here a couple of years back.

"Nose: Strong farmyard and tertiary aromas on opening. After thirty minutes in decanter a strong burnt caramel sweet note comes through, then faded and opened up to a more summery, hard-to-describe slightly composty sweet tone, with a freshness on top of the age and the classic tertiary, forest floor notes.

In the mouth reminds strongly of a particular 1970 left bank Bordeaux, (Calon 1970 I think, but may have been Leoville Las Cases) but with a lightness that must be from being 100% merlot.

It lacks the mid palate density, power and graphite/pencil notes of a left bank Bordeaux but has myriad other subtle flavours which are hard to define but make this a wonderfully unique wine from a fascinating reading made without interference. 52 Euros for 50 CL. Unbeatable value."

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