Wine Dharma

Ribolla Gialla wine guide: all you need to know about one of the best Italian white wine

Ribolla Gialla wine guide: Ribolla Gialla grape variety, taste, scents, history Ribolla Gialla is the pivotal wine of Friuli Venezia Giulia, it is the wine that has always been produced in the countryside. Once upon a time, it was the turbid and sweet wine that oxidized within a few months and became almost coppery in color and it had to be drunk immediately.

Today, Ribolla Gialla is an extraordinary wine of infinite purity and elegance, one of the best Italian white wine.

Organoleptic characteristics of Ribolla Gialla

First of all Ribolla Gialla is a wine that you will recognize for its fine, mineral aromas and sharp fruit. It is a wine with balsamic traces and clear suggestions of aromatic herbs. Wisteria, lime, and citrus are the clues to look for recognizing it. In the mouth it is mineral, pulpy, crunchy, never too round or alcoholic. Let’s say that it succeeds in the difficult intent to have a perfect balance.

Ribolla is a grape variety that loves the tops of the hills, well-drained, windy and mineral soils. Its maturation is slow, it is harvested in late September and this allows to develop elegant aromas and deepness. The thermal excursion between day and night helps this process and prevent grapes to develop too many sugars. You will never see Ribolla Gialla in Sicily or Spain.

Ribolla Gialla produced with long maceration of the must on the skins deserves a separate discussion and we are going to it immediately. It is part of the orange wine family, where the pigmentation is due to the release of polyphenols, anthocyanins, and dyes present in the skins. Here everything is amplified, the wine is less stylized and wider, the pulp increases dramatically.

But it is normal, the contact of the must with the skins helps the wine to expand its charm.

The scents are more resinous, denser, balsamic, spicy, aromatic, but also more difficult to “digest”. The wine is more structured, multifaceted, but also tannic.

We do not make comparisons between the Ribollas. And we do not say that one version is better than the other. They are interpretations, completely different wines, indeed the opposite, and both deserve a lot of love.

If we want to schematize to make the division clearer, we could say that the Ribolla Gialla with short maceration is more graceful and sunny. The macerated one (Orange Ribolla) is more dense, realistic, with darker tones.

If you drink Gravner’s Ribolla Gialla, the aromas are those of autumn: there are chestnuts, toasted almonds, plums, leaves, cocoa, and cider. The color is dark amber and in the mouth, it is thick and consistent, but splendid and velvety at the same time.

Ribolla Gialla the best bottles, tasting of the best wines of Friuli On the other hand, if we take into consideration Ribolla Gialla of the Colmello di Grotta winery it is yellow, full of aromas of flowers, thyme, bergamot, and mineral suggestion. In the mouth, it is slender, salty, floral.

Thickness and alcohol do not change: it is the perception of colors.

Sparkling Ribolla Gialla

Consider that some wineries in Friuli Venezia Giulia have started producing sparkling Ribolla Gialle to make fuzzy aperitif wines or even more structured Spumante Metodo Classico. But it is understandable, Ribolla lends itself to the production of bubbles. It’s acidic, savory and fragrant. And since we are in the midst of the Prosecco storm, sparkling wines are the new black…

The history of the Ribolla Gialla

The info about this noble grape variety is scarce, there are not many official documents, all we know is that the first testimonies date back to 1300. The name comes from the Slovenian Rébula who later became Ribuele in the Friulian dialect.

The name is characteristic, thanks to the massive amount of malic acid, the wine started to boil, but today thanks to controlled temperatures storage, this problem no longer exists.

Ribolla Gialla production area

All we’ve said about Ribolla applies to both Friuli and Slovenia, given that these areas have always shared this vine. The favorite area in Friuli is the Oslvavia enclave (where many produce orange wines with long maceration on the skins) and the whole hilly area around Gorizia. But the Collio and Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC wines are also valid, where Ribolla is vinified with shorter or no maceration.

Ribolla Gialla food pairings

They range from fish appetizers, sushi, cold cuts and fried cake, polenta with melted cheese, Valdosta fondue, pumpkin tortelli with valance, spaghetti with clams, rice noodles with prawns and vegetables, sweet and sour pork, veal with tuna sauce, ravioli with herbs Parmesan, truffle risotto, spaghetti carbonara, tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms. If you uncork a macerated Ribolla Gialla, dare with roasted pork and sweet and sour pork or chicken curry.

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