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May 15, 2006

99 Gravner, Breg

If we could taste how hard Gravner worked to make this wine or incarnate the history behind making what might have tasted the same some 4,000 years ago, our hearts could take only thimblefulls before collapsing into themselves. But, you can't do that. Unless you read up on Gravner for the couple hours before you and your friends open this bottle, you can't do that. And you should never have to do that to make a wine be great. Whatever agenda this Friulian master has, it shows dimly at best in the 99 Breg--a blend of "naturally"-fermented sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, pinot grigio, and riesling. Technology has its place and here it would have been to make a much more interesting wine. The 99 Gravner is too shy, as delicate as a dry sherry and assertively tart with bitter lemony Gueuze-like characteristics, but little to merit its cultish following. There's nearly nothing here but a (good) hypothetical blend of basic white Bourgogne and vermentino... or Lemonheads.


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