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Contadino, vignaiolo, artista: all-around Renaissance man Edi Kante is as much of an enigma as the brilliant wines that he ekes from the rugged Carso hills in Friuli. After early experimentation with orange wines in the 1980s, Edi soon decided this was not the best way to express the local terroir. It’s all about the stone here: the terreno of Carso, a rugged limestone plateau in the hills above Trieste, is the defining common denominator in Kante’s wines. They are distinguished by a shared thread of chalky minerality, maritime freshness, fleshiness, smooth textures that lack hard edges, and awesomely singular presentation of grape variety.
In an increasingly homogenized universe, it is refreshing to encounter such a unique vision. From the vineyard to the unconventional techniques in the cellar to the hand-painted labels, Kante meticulously controls every step of the production process and follows the beat of his own drum, producing wines that are patiently made, aged to perfection in the three-story cellar he carved out of Carso bedrock, and released only when he deems them ready.
The Malvasia Istriana strain grown here is a far cry from the Malvasia of other parts of Italy. Like any Kante wine, it flourishes with some air, and the ripe fruit will tighten up into a wiry, briny, Muscadet-like seafood wine.
|Vineyard:||19 years average, 3 ha|
|Soil:||Clay and Limestone|
|Aging:||Aged for 12 months in old barrels, then aged for 6 more months in stainless steel tank|
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch