Although the name of Enzo Pontoni says relatively little to the vast majority of wine consumers, it is worth remembering that he is the mind and arms that lie behind the Miani winery, wich produces with incredible constancy rare and legendary wines. The story of Enzo begins around the early ’80s when he decided to leave the engineering sector, where he worked, to take care full-time of the Buttrio family winery (10 kilometers southeast of Udine), and the family vineyards, between Buttrio and Corno di Rosazzo, in the denomination Colli Orientali del Friuli.
The “secret” of Miani wines is the expertise and maniacal care with which every phase of wine production is followed, constantly with the aim of giving life to authentic standout wines. The vineyards grow on soils rich in marl (the famous Friuli ponca), at an altitude between 150 and 300 meters, and are fertilized with cattle manure. The grapes are treated exclusively with copper and sulfur, and the treatment is interrupted during the veraison phase to avoid that these substances remain on the skins of the grapes at the harvest, “soiling” the wine with their scent. The two most characteristic aspects of the work in the vineyard are, however, an incredibly low yield of the vines (from about 20 hectares managed, Enzo does not get more than 20,000 bottles of wine per year) and the choice to vinify each individual vineyard separately, exalting the concept of Cru so dear to the wines of Burgundy, to which Enzo makes no mystery to be inspired. In the cellar the philosophy is a mix between a natural approach (extractions very delicate, without temperature control) and the conviction that the hand of man must take action to transform the grapes in the wine that Enzo is up to.
Among the wines produced we find the Miani Colli Orientali del Friuli Rosso, a blend of Merlot, Refosco, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc which is the entry point, although always of the highest quality, in the universe of Enzo wines. After a careful manual harvest and the subsequent pressing, the must of each variety ferments separately in French oak vats. The subsequent blending and aging takes place in barrique and is followed by bottling and marketing.
The 2016 vintage has an intense ruby color, textured and impenetrable, with an olfactory range that opens on notes of black cherry in spirit, cooked plum, mulberry blackberry and crème de cassis, followed by pot pourri, carob, black olive and vanilla, with concluding echoes of goudron, sweet pipe tobacco, carpentry and hints of blood. The palate combines depth, glyceric softness and a fresh balsamic vein, framed in a powdery tannin delicately hinted; all enriched by the return of the ripe red fruit and the blood component that accompany the sip until a closure of excellent length.
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