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Gravner, “Rujno” RossoFriuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy 2005 (750mL)

From the Wine Shop

Gravner, “Rujno” Rosso Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy 2005 (750mL)

“Combine First Growth Bordeaux, Pomerol, and the savory rusticity of a mature Piedmont red, and you’re starting to enter the realm of Gravner’s astoundingly rare 2005 “Rujno” Rosso. This is their current release, and they allocated just 90 bottles for the entirety of America.”

Even if you consider yourself a Josko Gravner disciple, there’s a good chance you’ve never tasted or laid eyes on today’s epic 16-year-old red. Even back when I was the wine director of one of Northern California’s ritziest resorts, Gravner’s reds were never made available to me, and upon launching SommSelect, I naturally assumed the wines would remain impossibly out of reach. However, we’ve built up an intricate network and managed to score a couple of them over the years—but never “Rujno.” This is their finest, rarest, and most age-worthy red: Unlike their straight “Rosso” bottling, “Rujno” Rosso matures twice as long, is only realized in extraordinary vintages, and is released in pitifully small quantities. Coming from a single, old vineyard on the fringe of Slovenia, Gravner’s luxuriously robust and hauntingly emotive 2005 is largely Merlot with a splash of Cabernet that spent 84+ months in barrel and another 84+ in bottle before exiting the cellar. In total, over 15 years passed before it was released. We rarely throw around the phrase “unicorn wine,” but this is as close as it gets in the alluring pantheon of Gravner wines. The haunting nose erupts with dominant scents of black cherry, dried plum, and currant followed by licorice, crushed black rock, lead, loose tobacco, smoke, charred bay leaf, vintage leather, and garrigue. This is a robust, rustic, and somewhat wild red, but the noble Bordeaux grapes combined with 16 years of evolution have allowed for a medium-plus bodied palate full of remarkably supple and silky layers. The dark-berried fruit shines through here, propelled by a powerful core of crushed minerals, anise, and espresso. Savor this slowly, and should you be in a position to buy more than one, be sure to store the remainders in a dark, cool place. This ’05 is built for the long haul, easily another 10-15 years. 

  • CountryItaly
  • RegionFriuli-Venezia Giulia
  • SoilSandstone & Marl
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendMerlot 95%, Cabernet Sauvignon 5%
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • OakLarge Slavonian Barrels
  • Temp.Serve at 65° F
  • GlasswareBordeaux Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2031+
  • Decanting60 Minutes
  • PairingItalian-Style Lamb Chops

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