Italy’s 10 leading fine white wines7th February, 2013 by Rupert Millar
2. Gravner, 1993 Sauvignon Blanc
Grape variety: Sauvignon Blanc
Classification: Collio Goriziano
Average price per bottle: £103
A final return to the Slavic/Germanic borderlands of Friuli now for a winemaker whose entire range is held in a mixture of awe and mild confusion.
Owner Josko Gravner was well known in the 1990s for his long maceration times and in 2001 he released the first of his wines macerated on their skins, in amphorae, a la Georgia’s winemakers, and then aged for a further six years in barrels and another year in bottle.
Gravner also works entirely in accordance with phases of the moon.
He resulting wines are, therefore, “unique” in every sense of the word. Robinson politely declares that they are “not for her”, while acknowledging their potential with food and gave the 1993 Sauvignon 17(!) points, while Galloni tends to be more positive in his reviews while simultaneously acknowledging that the huge following Gravner has in Italy can mean that the prices are “grossly out of line with respect to their quality/price rapport”.
Other fears rest on the notion that the thick, slightly oxidised characters – if not the slightly alarming orange hues – these wines exhibit obliterate any hint of terroir.
The Sauvignon takes the lead as it is the most expensive but there is similar enthusiasm among admirers for the, slightly cheaper, Breg (a mix of Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc/Riesling and Pinot Grigio, averaging £40 a bottle), Ribolla Gialla (from a Slavic/Mediterranean grape called Ribolla, £40 a bottle), and Pinot Grigio (£80), both their pre- and post- amphorae versions. These wines tend to gain better points.
From the website (which is just in Italian) and the review sites of Purple Pages and WA, it does not appear that the Sauvignon Blanc is made anymore, with only the 1993 making any kind of appearance.
If this is the case then that is likely the reason why it is so expensive.