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2009 Delle Venezie Malvasia “Malvatea”

Vignai da Duline
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A sublime late harvest of Malvasia, this rare one-off vintage from Duline celebrates the birth of Lorenzo and Federica’s second daughter, Rosa Tea (hence the name, “Malvatea”). The classic characteristics of Duline’s usual Malvasia bottling, the spectacular “Chioma Integrale,” echo here: citrus zest, salinity, and a distinct brightness. All of these soften into Malvatea’s distinctive nose, which reminds me of being on the coast of south Florida, eating a slice of key lime pie. Sumptuously delightful with a perfectly tart bite.

Allyson Noman

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Technical Information
Wine Type: dessert
Vintage: 2009
Bottle Size: 375mL
Blend: Malvasia Istriana
Appellation: Delle Venezie
Country: Italy
Region: Friuli
Producer: Vignai da Duline
Winemaker: Limestone and red clay soil
Vineyard: Planted in 1960, .36 ha
Soil: Limestone and red clay soil
Aging: Aged for 11 months in 2.5 hl oak barrels
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 13%

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About The Region

Friuli

map of Friuli

Friuli may be forever tied to its bland, acidic Pinot Grigios, which at one point saturated the export market, but a deeper look reveals a captivating array of unique grape-growing sites, distinctive indigenous varieties, and passionate small growers keen on preserving a rich tradition of winemaking.

Here in Italy’s northeast corner, the region is shared between the Julian Alps in the north and plains leading to the Adriatic Sea in the south, bound by the Veneto to the west and Slovenia to the east. While it is one of the wettest regions of Italy—and all of Europe, for that matter—Friuli benefits from the push-and-pull of cool air currents from the mountains meeting warmer breezes from the Adriatic. A crescent-shaped slice of foothills, where both play a role, tends to produce the region’s finest wines.

Nothing is more emblematic to Friulian wine than a crisp, peachy Ribolla Gialla served with thinly sliced prosciutto San Daniele, a local specialty. And yet, this only begins to tell the story: high-acid, mineral-driven whites from a number of local varieties including Tocai Friulano, Pinot Grigio, and Malvasia range from light and crisp to powerful and age-worthy, complementing Adriatic shellfish, hearty mountain cheeses, and everything in between. Native reds like Schioppettino, Terrano, and Refosco all have something unique to say, while there has even been significant success with French varieties like Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Merlot, all long established in the region.

Friuli’s diversity is its strength, and it keeps us coming back for more. In fact, Kermit imported one of the region’s first organic growers toward the start of his career; our more recent collaboration with producers like Vignai da Duline is a testament to the enormous potential when devoted artisans put their hearts into Friuli’s fascinating terroir.

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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

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