2003 Breg Anfora Josko Gravner

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Average critic rating : 92.0 points



The 2003 Breg Anfora is a richly textured, compelling wine loaded with the essence of candied orange peel, sweet spices, apricots and flowers. Nothing in particular stands out here, just the wine’s exquisite balance and silky tannins. Today the Breg comes across as slightly more linear than the Ribolla, but it, too, is a winner. The Breg spent seven months in amphora, and was subsequently aged in cask, with just one racking per year until it was bottled. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2013. ||My visit with Josko Gravner in May was memorable, as we spent several hours tasting through every cask in the cellar. Given that Gravner keeps his wines in oak for a minimum of several years, the tasting amounted to multiple vintages of each of his wines, which was a fascinating exploration into this producer’s style. No other grower in Italy has pushed the boundaries so ambitiously as has Gravner over the last 20+ years. To be sure, even by his own admission Gravner has made mistakes, but at these levels there can’t be innovation without the occasional failure. Today, Gravner has inspired a whole new generation of younger producers, but at the end of the day, Gravner remains in a league by himself. When I taste these wines I often feel I am in front of the work of a gifted musician or painter, where the work is easily classified into periods that each hold significance. His approach reminds me of that of Miles Davis; always looking forward and never behind. Over the coming years Gravner plans to focus just on two native varieties, Ribolla and Pignolo and will phase out his international grapes. Today, the wines are fermented in terra cotta amphora, where they stay until spring. The wines are then racked into casks where they spend several years prior to being bottled. As of May 2008, Gravner still had a portion of his whites in amphora, as he is experimenting with longer aging periods in the terracotta vessels. Gravner’s “whites” are really much more like reds in terms of their structure and weight. It is therefore not surprising that Gravner favors hot, arid vintages, including 2003, which he places among his favorites, something of a contrarian view in the region. Wine Advocate.October, 2008


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