The Colli Orientali del Friuli wine region is tucked into Italy’s northeast corner at the foot of the Alps, with Austria to the north. To the east are the rolling hills of Slovenia, and the Adriatic Sea lies to the south. The wines produced here are mainly whites and mostly crisp ones with a lot of green fruitiness.
As with most quality regions, prices can vary considerably, but the ones in this edition of The Dozen are very reasonably priced – good weekday and party wines.
2022 Torre Rosazza Colli Orientali del Friuli Ribolla Gialla ($12) – Very fresh, with vibrant, intense green flavors of kiwi and lime.
2022 Torre Rosazza Colli Orientali del Friuli Pinot Grigio ($10) – Like many Grigios, the mid-palate is a bit dull, but overall there is a crisp greenness and good mouth feel.
2022 Torre Rosazza Colli Orientali del Friuli Friulano ($13) – Crisp blue green flavors with medium body and a good finish.
2021 Torre Rosazza “Ronco delle Magnolie” Colli Orientali del Friuli Bianco ($32) – Some nice savory notes to go along with the green fruits and a touch of bitters in the finish.
NV Torre Rosazza “Dineri” Italia Brut ($23) – Somewhat tart (good) with metallic minerally and green but floral flavors.
2019 El Coto Rioja Crianza ($17) – Smooth and creamy with dark berries, moderate body and acidity with light tannins – enjoyable.
2021 Pali Wine Company “Huntington” Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir ($23) – A light red with good raspberry fruit and modest savory notes, if a touch on the sweet fruity side – a bit like a red Côtes de Rhone.
2020 Château Hourtin-Ducasse Haut-Medoc Rouge ($32) – A pleasant, everyday red for steak night – lean with light red fruits and neutral oak flavors backing it up.
2022 LangeTwins “Thirty Eight Vineyard” Jahant Cabernet Sauvignon ($32) – From Lodi, it has nice Cabernet flavors of dark cherries, but is a little more tangy and tart than most Cabs.
2021 Crossbarn by Paul Hobbs Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs ($36) – Lovely penetrating dark cherry flavors with some rooty notes – firm with medium weight and very satisfying.
2017 Torre Rosazza Colli Orientali del Friuli Picolit ($39/375 ml) – An enjoyable dessert white with golden honeyed flavors – not heavy, but lighter like a Sauternes. There are some nice defining bitter notes around the edges.
2021 Kopke Quinta São Luiz Port ($75) – Good red fruitiness, but not much depth or complexity, even for a young Port.
Prices listed are generally SRP or from wine-searcher.com.As more wineries are now shipping direct-to-consumer, check the winery website if you can’t find a bottle in your retail store.