Livio Felluga 1999 "Sossó" Colli Orientali del Friuli Rosazzo Rosso Riserva ($35.00)
A blend of 70 percent Merlot and 30 percent Friuli's indigenous Refosco, this is an inky, black wine with a bright reddish-violet edge. Black plums and fennel dance together in the aroma, the fruit forward but with a distinct anise note in the background. Mouth-filling and tart, ripe black fruit - juicy sour cherries with a dash of anice - is laced up with lemony acidity. The wine is distinctly tannic, but the tannins are smooth and palatable.

SECOND DAY: The wine has opened up a bit, the anise flavors seem even more distinct, shading toward licorice, and a whiff of blueberry has joined the black fruit in an increasingly complex aroma. Lemony acidity remains a signature, but the tannins are resolving into something like pleasantly bitter dark chocolate. An excellent wine, demonstrating that Friuli's eastern hill country, best known for its whites, is nonetheless capable of producing world-class, ageworthy reds. US Importer: Hand-imported from the winery (Dec 25, 2004)

FOOD MATCH: Fine with rare roast prime rib of beef, which helps ameliorates the tannins. An ageworthy wine.

WEB LINK: http://www.liviofelluga.it/

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