10 native Italian varieties worth seeking out
Ribolla Gialla & Schioppettino
Both wines of Friuli Venezia Giulia, made with native grapes of the same name. The latter is a lovely medium-bodied red wine loaded with small black fruit and green peppercorn notes, and on a resounding comeback after risking extinction in the 1970s. The former is made in both dry and sparkling styles, with some producers treating it like a red wine, favouring long skin contact. Highly touted by some, I found the wines too similar and a bit disappointing. Ribolla is best when fresh with citrus, floral and white pepper aromas.
Try: Ermacora, Schioppettino, Colli Orientali del Friuli 2009
Plenty of green pepper, ripe black cherry and blackberry for a lovely midweight, refreshing red. Creamy. 17pts/20
Price: £17.50–£20 Bottle Apostle, The Sampler