We have been buying Arbe Garbe every vintage since its inception in 2007 which was a rare Ribolla Gialla bottling from the Vare Vineyard in Napa. This time the 2019 “proprietary white” is without Ribolla Giallo, but is still another dazzling blend of 50% Malvasia, 30% Tocai Friulano and 20% Chardonnay.
Arbe Garbe is a reference to cover crop of “bad weeds” grown between the rows of the organically farmed vineyards of Collio of Friuli in the northeast corner of Italy along the Slovenia border. We explored this area for a week in April of 2019 and have developed a real appreciate for the regions vibrant whites and lithe reds.
Winemakers Enrico Bertoz and his wife Letizia Pauletto each grew up here. They worked their way through the local university while working in the neighboring vineyards (Jermann just outside the village of Cormons). After graduation they followed their dreams to California. Settling first in southern California, Enrico worked in the cellar at Valentino and with Manfred Krankl as his assistant winemaker at Sine Qua Non. Then they moved north where Enrico continued his education at UC Davis, and then to wine making at Girard and Flora Springs.
Winery Notes: Winemaker Enrico Maria Bertoz considers this wine “the Holy Trinity of Friuli,” where he was raised. The Malvasia (Catie’s Corner in Windsor) is split into portions, with one portion whole-cluster pressed, a second portion on skins for 12 hours and a third portion on skins for 24 hours. These lots are then blind tasted to create the final blend. The nose explodes to musk, lychee, warm peaches, charcuterie and beeswax with high-toned notes of fresh green herbs. The medium to full-bodied palate has a gorgeous silken texture, ever-so-slightly creamy, with kaleidoscopic bursts of ripe fruit in the mouth. It’s concentrated while still incredibly light on its feet, addicting in its freshness and long, textured finish. What a gorgeous vintage for this wine!”