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RUSSIZ SUPERIORE

FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA

RUSSIZ SUPERIORE

FRIULI-VENEZIA GIULIA



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ABOUT THE WINERY

In the commune of Capriva del Friuli, in the heart of the Collio Goriziano wine area on the border of Slovenia, is the estate of Russiz Superiore. Russiz as a place-name is traced back at least as far as 1273, when a certain Raimondo della Torre became the patriarch of Aquileia (basically, prince-bishop of Friuli). He named his estate Russiz Superiore due to its high (superior) location above the hamlet of Russiz. The estate passed through innumerable hands over the next several centuries, but was apparently known for most of that time as a source of fine winegrapes. In 1967, the property became available for sale. Marco Felluga—owner of a self-named winery in the nearby town of Gradisca d’Isonzo—recognized the superb potential of the vineyard land and bought it. He knew the estate, already famed for its Cabernet Franc, could become the jewel of the family holdings. So, rather than folding Russiz Superiore into the family’s existing vineyards, he decided to maintain it as a separate working estate, vinified and bottled as a distinct brand. 

Marco Felluga represented the fourth generation of a wine merchant family that had begun plying its trade in Istria (part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) in the late 1800s. His grandfather had begun selling wine in Friuli after World War I, and the family ended up relocating permanently to Italian Friuli after World War II and the loss of Istria to the Soviet Bloc under Yugoslavia. Marco Felluga had founded his winery in Gradisca d’Isonzo in 1956 and was ready to expand with the purchase of Russiz Superiore a decade later. 

Roberto Felluga, son of Marco, has now taken over the family wine business and continues the practice of treating Russiz Superiore as a unique estate within the portfolio. Russiz Superiore wines use only estate-grown fruit—with several native and international grape varieties, mainly white but also red. To further distinguish the Russiz Superiore line, the white wines generally have about 15–20% of the juice fermented in new oak barrels. Like the Marco Felluga line, they are designed to improve with age for several years. The well-respected Cabernet Franc vines also produce an excellent red wine for the portfolio.

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WINERY LOCATION: Capriva del Friuli (Gorizia province), Friuli–Venezia Giulia
WINE REGIONS: Collio DOC
VINEYARD LAND: 125 acres (50 ha)
FARMING PRACTICES: Organic
GRAPE VARIETIES: Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Friulano, Verduzzo, Cabernet Franc
WINE STYLES: Dry white; dry red
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 200,000 bottles (150,000 liters)
YEAR FOUNDED: 1967
OWNER(S): Roberto Felluga
WINEMAKER(S): Alessandro Sandrin and Roberto Felluga

WINES

RUSSIZ SUPERIORE SAUVIGNON COLLIO DOC

Collio’s hilly terrain is well known for producing excellent white wines. This estate-grown wine is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, with 15% of the grape must fermented in barrels.

RUSSIZ SUPERIORE SAUVIGNON COLLIO DOC RISERVA

The Russiz Superiore Sauvignon Riserva is aged for an unusually long time before release—over 4 years, including 3 years on the lees—so it is much richer and more complex than the average white wine. The wine is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc, of which almost a third is barrel fermented.

RUSSIZ SUPERIORE FRIULANO COLLIO DOC

Collio’s hilly terrain is well known for producing excellent white wines. This wine is made from 100% Friulano, with 15% of the grape must fermented in barrels. Friulano is one of the oldest indigenous grape varieties of Friuli, with plantings in the area dating back to the 11th century.

RUSSIZ SUPERIORE PINOT GRIGIO COLLIO DOC

Collio’s hilly terrain is well known for producing excellent white wines. This estate-grown Pinot Grigio gains added richness from the 15% of the juice fermented in barrels. Pinot Grigio is the most important grape variety in Friuli and has been grown in the Collio area since the second half of the 1800s.

RUSSIZ SUPERIORE PINOT BIANCO COLLIO DOC

Collio’s hilly terrain is well known for producing excellent white wines. This estate-grown wine is made from 100% Pinot Bianco, with 15% of the grape must fermented in barrels for extra richness.

RUSSIZ SUPERIORE PINOT BIANCO COLLIO DOC RISERVA

The Russiz Superiore Pinot Bianco Riserva is aged for 3 years on the lees before release, developing considerable complexity. The wine is made from 100% barrel-fermented Pinot Bianco.

RUSSIZ SUPERIORE “COL DISÔRE” COLLIO DOC BIANCO

Collio’s hilly terrain is well known for producing excellent white wines. This estate-grown Collio Bianco is a blend of four important white grape varieties of the area: Friulano, Pinot Bianco, Ribolla Gialla, and Sauvignon Blanc. The wine is aged for 2 years, including a year on the lees. The wine’s name means “Upper Hill” in Friulano dialect. During Napoleon’s reign, the hamlet of Russiz was divided in two parts, with the higher section taking the name Russiz Disôre, or Russiz Superiore in Italian.

RUSSIZ SUPERIORE CABERNET FRANC COLLIO DOC

Russiz Superiore makes this wine from 100% Cabernet Franc, the second most planted red grape variety of Friuli–Venezia Giulia (after Merlot). Proximity to the Alps and the sea, which send cooling afternoon breezes over the vineyards after a warm day of sun, create the ideal situation for producing complex, well-structured wines that are very ageworthy.

LOCATION


WINERY:
Capriva del Friuli (Gorizia province), Friuli–Venezia Giulia

VINEYARD:
Capriva del Friuli (Gorizia province), Friuli–Venezia Giulia

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NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN THE INDUSTRY



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93
AUGUST 2021
Russiz Superiore Pinot Bianco Collio DOC Riserva 2016

Chamomile, apple pie, smoked almonds, dried lemons and salted caramel on the nose. It’s full-bodied, rich and buttery with a backbone of bright acidity. So concentrated and flavorful with lingering, toasty notes. Drink now.

90
NOVEMBER 2020
Russiz Superiore Cabernet Franc Collio DOC 2017

The 2017 Russiz Superiore Cabernet Franc, also from the Collio DOC. This wine took a day before I could truly appreciate it: fresh red-fruits aromas and lively cranberry-herbal-mineral flavors in a dry, medium-bodied red with grainy tannins, supple texture and good concentration.  It is enjoyable now, but I’d give it two years to show at its best, considering how much my appreciation for the wine evolved overnight.  

90
JANUARY 2021
Russiz Superiore Cabernet Franc Collio DOC 2017

Masses of purple-tinged peppery florals, crushed plums and smoky minerals lift up from the 2017 Cabernet Franc. It’s lean and focused in the mouth, coming across as salty and savory with tart wild berries that saturate all that they touch. That said, the 2017 maintains wonderful energy, even through its structured and almost-chewy finish. While this shows a bit of the warm vintage with its intense fruit and gruff tannin, it should still flesh out nicely and drink beautifully over the medium term.

91
OCTOBER 2020
Russiz Superiore Pinot Bianco Collio DOC 2018

An elegant white, finely knit and fresh, with a spine of sleek acidity and a spicy mineral underpinning, this is light- to medium-bodied, offering flavors of Fuji apple, spring blossom and star fruit. Hints of pastry cream and smoke play on the supple finish. Drink now through 2025. 2,000 cases made, 30 cases imported.

94
FEBRUARY 2021
Russiz Superiore Sauvignon Collio DOC Riserva 2016

A release of some 4,000 bottles, the Russiz Superiore 2016 Collio Sauvignon Riserva is creamy and honey-like in intensity with tropical layers of papaya and pomelo with sweet almond and pastry cream. This is a mild, mid-weight wine with a silky and polished finish that lasts long on the palate. The wine delivers density and weight on the palate, something you don't usually get with Sauvignon Blanc. You could dedicate this bottle to a more sophisticated plate of scallops with a saffron cream sauce.

94
SEPTEMBER 2021
Russiz Superiore Sauvignon Collio DOC 2020

Delicate but enticing aromas of elderflower, citrus and baking spice shape the nose. Boasting exceptional class and an understated elegance, 
the polished palate delivers ripe white peach, grapefruit, fennel and a dollop of vanilla before an almost salty finish.

FEBRUARY 2021
Russiz Superiore “Col Disôre” Collio DOC Bianco 2016

A release of about 4,000 bottles, the Russiz Superiore 2016 Collio Col Disôre is an oak-fermented blend of Pinot Bianco, Friulano, Sauvignon Blanc and Ribolla Gialla. This is a generous, mid-weight white with rich apricot, honey, panettone fruit and pastry cream with dustings of cinnamon and nutmeg. There is enough textural richness here to pair with Peking Duck with crunchy skins. Already five years since the harvest, this wine should continue its steady bottle evolution.

92
NOVEMBER 2020
Russiz Superiore Sauvignon Collio DOC 2018

The 2018 Russiz Superiore Sauvignon is a dry, medium-bodied white with vibrant, high acidity and rich, creamy texture.  Its aroma is quiet, suggesting non-fruity notes of nuttiness, honey, vanilla, white toffee, smoke and flint along with lemon peel.  But the aromatics that are reticent to your nose come alive in your mouth.  The flavors run from white peach, tangerine, and grapefruit rind to fresh herbs, grassiness, and green apple, and these are all vivid and showing good concentration of flavor.  A gentle, smoky note suggests the use of some oak, as does the creamy texture.  In fact, 15 percent of the juice was fermented in barrel.  The oak seems to have nuanced the wine in aroma and texture but has not subdued the fresh, lively flavors.