Lis Neris Cabernet Sauvignon 2012

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

Friuli-Venezia Giulia, that mountainous, alpine region in the north of Italy, never fails to delight. Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon have been grown here for centuries. The combination of high elevation chill, intense sunlight, and glacial soils imprints, as Lis Neris puts it, a distinct “northern soul.”

Coming in at a lovely nine years bottle age, this beauty is open and approachable from the first pull of the cork. Cedar, brandied cherries, and a brambly blackberry core emerge from the glass with a soft and polished mouthfeel. The evolution in bottle has mellowed out the tannins, complementing a ripe, dense core of polished red currants, blackberry, and a savory note evocative grilled meat and eucalyptus. Grill up some lamb burgers with mint and ginger, open this just 15 minutes prior and go nuts!

Lis Neris is a family-owned affair in the far northeast corner of the region, tucked away in the mountains on the border with Slovenia. The winery is a model of sustainability and nature-informed practices. Unassumingly built into the hillside where it’s naturally temperature-controlled, the estate is entirely solar-powered. Organic treatments are used and zero chemicals deployed in the vineyard. The farm dates back to 1879 and has been in the Pecorari family for four generations. The site speaks for itself: the gravel-and-clay soils date back literally millions of years, when surrounding glaciers tugged the mountain rocks downward into the valley – the “glacial moraine” deposits of gravel and stone goes down 150 feet! The vines snarl their way through the deep, infertile soil bed in search of water and nutrients, making the resulting grapes all the more concentrated and flavorful, buffered by the fierce wind coming off the Adriatic from the east.

“Lis Neris has been well-known in Italy for years, but I rarely, if ever, hear much about the wines in the US, which is a shame. Proprietor Alvaro Pecorari crafts rich, textured wines from his vineyards in the Isonzo district.”

– Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media

Their Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% hand-picked, and aged in 500-liter barrels of Slavonian oak, bottled unfined and unfiltered. Experience the wine and you’ll be left with no doubt that Fiuli is a natural home to this notable grape!

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