Azienda Agricola Primosic, Friuli’s Ribolla Gialla at its best

Azienda Agricola Primosic

Wine is a passion. Reading about wine, writing about wine, learning about wine, all this gives you so much reward. But most of it, getting to know the people around wine is a luxury. Many times as when we visit wineries, many times we know the wines, some of them maybe, we might know about the way they produce wine but you barely know in advance about the people working there. Until you go and visit them. And when you go and they treat you like you are a friend or family, that’s when you realize how much of a passion is needed in this business.

Azienda Agricola Primosic is one of the wineries in Friuli, in Northeast Italy. Located in Oslavia, Gorizia, they produce excellent wines with a local white variety, Ribolla Gialla. At ristorante Al Granzo in Trieste we had the opportunity of enjoying some of their wines. We tasted Ribolla Noir Brut, an spumante wine with Ribolla Gialla and Pinot Nero, Ribolla di Oslavia Riserva 2012, DOC Collio, a wonderful wine elaborated after the must was macerating in contact with the skins for 24 days, then transferred into oak barrels for two years over its lees, and finally Klin 2011, a blend featuring Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Friulano and Ribolla Gialla. The first three grapes are fermented together and then the Gialla is added for aging in oak barrels during 24 months. After enjoying those wines, we did a bit of research and then a visit was due.

Primosic was founded in the 1960s by Silvan Primosic. Nowadays is managed by his sons Marko, in charge of the winery, and Boris, the winemaker. For our visit, Lara Kosic welcome us at Primosic. It was early morning, Saturday, we were ahead of schedule yet she was there for us. She gave us a tour on the premises, visiting the wine cellar and the aging area. We had the opportunity to see the first official bottle of the Consortium of Collio Wine Producers, labelled number 1, of what would be the DOC Collio, a 1967 Tokay Friulano still stored in their cellar and elaborated by Silvan. Here they also store bottles of almost every vintage since then, like some Rieslings or Merlots so old you couldn’t read their vintages. They use three kinds for oak barrels or casks for their wines: regular French 225-liter ones and Slavonian 550-liter/600-liter and 1,800-liter casks.

Primosic is member of an association called Associazione Produttori Ribolla Di Oslavia, formed by Italian producers elaborating wines with the Ribolla Gialla variety, which they call the Yellow Soul of Oslavia. Six producers created the association: Silvan Primosic, Dario Prinčič, Stanko Radikon, Rinaldo Fiegl, Franco Sosol (Il Carpino) and Nicolò Bensa (La Castellada).

After we visited the cellar we went to the Tasting Room. Here Lara opened a few bottles of their young wines to warm up: Ribolla Gialla Think Yellow 2015, Malvasia 2015, Friulano 2015 from the Belvedere plot and Chardonnay 2013 from the Gmajne plot. Really delicious fresh young wines.

Then Lara prepared a mini-vertical tasting of Klin, the aforementioned white blend. Three vintages, 2011, 2010 and 2009, but the 2009 was not the regular Klin but a special edition only produced that year called Platinum and dedicated to a Mercedes-Benz event. As we said, the wine is aged two years in wood and one year in bottle. Klin 2011 was really smooth, soft and equilibrated. Like touching velvet. Lots of fruit, both in the nose and the mouth. Klin 2010 had more power. One more year of aging was highly perceived and it had more structure than 2011. It was definitely the big brother. You could see the different character in both wines. 2011 would never be like 2010, but that at the same time, 2011 was a really good wine. Both would serve you well for different moments. 2011 you can drink it alone while meditating on life or with some cheese or prosciutto. 2010 with any kind of food.

And we are sure you will be wondering how was Klin Platinum 2009. Well, my friend, this is truly a special wine. Not for the faint of heart. Pure power for a white wine, an incredible structure and as full bodied as you can find around. The difference between the three vintages was unbelievable. All of them were really good wines, each in its one style, from the balanced and smoothness of the 2011 to the full power of 2009. Incredible to see the difference between these three vintages. One can only wonder about the other wines in the cellar, how they must taste now.

To finish with the white wines, Lara offered us the Ribolla Di Oslavia Riserva 2012. We can only say we love this wine. The must macerated 24 days with the skins and the wine is just brutal. You have to either love it or hate it, as it is the unique Orange Wine Primosic produces, and we really love it.

Then, three Red wines: Refosco 2013, a local variety (Refosco del Pedunculo Rosso) that we are still trying to understand, though in this case it was a fine wine you can drink easily. Then their red blend: Metamorfosis 2011. Very interesting blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. In this case also, the must stays 19 days in contact with the skins after fermentation. Two years in Slavonian casks and two more years in the bottle before being released.

And for finishing the tasting, Lara opened a bottled of their Merlot 2012 from the Murno plot. Very, very good, with a well-balanced structure and tannins. A nice red wine you can also drink with no problem at all. 19 days in contact with the skins, two years in Slavonian casks.

The visit to Primosic showed they are a really serious winery in Friuli elaborating high quality wines. Really good red ones, but especially with the white wines they are superb. We have become a fan of Orange wines and also of the Ribolla Gialla. Many thanks are due to Lara Kosic for her splendid kindness and hospitality.

Soon we will talk to Boris, the winery winemaker, about the way they work with the Ribolla Gialla and also the use of skin contact for long periods of time.