The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2013

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Page 31 of 149

SAN FRAN INSIDER Champions Wanted by Deborah Parker Wong PHOTO COURTESY OF ZUANI Zuani's Antonio Zanon champions international blends in Collio. PHOTO: DEBORAH PARKER WONG W ilhelm "Willi" Klinger, Director of the Austrian Wine Marketing Board, made a rare appearance in San Francisco as part of a month-long series of tastings that ran from coast to coast. Klinger poured an impressive line up of wines from the deep list at Slanted Door for a roundtable lunch and tasting with several of the Bay Area's top specialty importers, including Hiram Simon of WineWise and retailer Steve Sherman from William Cross. Like Riesling and Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner is readily favored by sommeliers but the varietal's image seems to have suffered a bit in recent years. When it's not competing at the $10 mark, the wines can be difficult to find. "Austrian wines are rare and unique," said Klinger whose supports the trade's emphasis on integrity and sought comments about the characteristics of the wines and the success of the pairings. "While that's a significant part of their appeal, it's essential that we're visible." Jesse Becker MS, who was in town that day , with Winebow's Italian portfolio, believes that Austrian wines would "no longer be viewed as a novelty if a super star producer were to come forward and champion the region." Of the dozen wines poured, standouts included several older vintages like the Högl 2007 Schon Grüner Veltiner and a Mantlerhof 2007 Wieland Riesling. A Stadlmann 2010 Anninger Rotgipfler, a medium-acid indigenous white, found its voice when paired with a glazed prawn salad while lighter reds, Moric 2009 Reserve Blaufränkisch and Umathum 2010 St. Laurent, chimed in as tenors and a Tschida 2005 Muskat Ottonel Eiswein offered up the final note of the chorus. With more emphasis being placed on identifying cru sites in Italy, the winemaking family of Zuani, led by fifth-generation winegrower Patrizia Felluga, the daughter of Marco Felluga, and her children Antonio and Caterina Zanon, was among the first in Friuli Venezia Giulia's Collio DOC to champion Austrian Wine Marketing Board Director Willi Klinger has quality on his side. the concept. Though the region is known for mono-varietal wines, blending is part of the tradition in Collio where Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio join Fruliano in Zuani's aromatic blends. When we asked him about the history of Chardonnay in the region during a tasting at A16, Antonio Zanon, who handles exports for the company, said family research indicates that it arrived in Collio in the early 1980s and was officially adopted by the Consorzio Collio after 1985. Zuani's current releases include two wines: unoaked Zuani 2011 Vigne ($23), which is hugely aromatic with chalky, ripe citrus, green pineapple and broad minerality, and Zuani 2010 Zuani which spends two to three years in French oak and has rich vanilla and ripe apple and citrus flavors. 30  /  the tasting panel  /  july 2013 TP0713_001-33.indd 30 6/24/13 5:36 PM

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