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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 and the fifth generation, took over the family wine business in 2000 and continued to elevate the quality of the Russiz Superiore wines through a more sustainable approach to viticulture and winemaking.  His work in both estates was seen as beneficial by his peers across the region and Italy as a whole.  Unfortunately Roberto passed away in the Fall of 2021, leaving his family's legacy and future to his daughter, Ilaria Felluga, the sixth generation of the family to oversee the wineries.  Ilaria started working alongside her father in 2017, and today she is leading with a focus on sustainability and creating the highest quality wines possible, while gaining a reputation for her dynamic personality and devout knowledge of Friuli and her family's legacy in helping to establish it as a premier winemaking region.  

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 wines, the white wines generally have about 15–20% of the juice fermented in new oak barrels. Like wines from 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
REGION: 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): Ilaria Felluga
WINEMAKER(S): Alessandro Sandrin and Ilaria 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
APRIL 2023
Russiz Superiore Sauvignon Collio DOC Riserva 2019

Deeply floral and rich in the glass, the 2019 Sauvignon Riserva opens up with a spicy bouquet of sour melon and sweet exotic flowers offset by a whiff of lemon zest. This is pure class, refined, savory and mineral in style, nearly salty, with a twang of citrus-tinged acidity and tart orchard fruits that adds a lovely tension. The 2019 finishes staining and long, with a lingering concentration that puckers the cheeks, yet also promises many years of positive development. This is full of potential.

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.

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.  

92
JANUARY 2021
Russiz Superiore Sauvignon Collio DOC Riserva 2016

The 2016 Sauvignon Riserva shows a tropical display of citrus and florals before evolving further with notes of exotic spice, white smoke and dried apricot. There are tremendous depths to its silky textures, perfectly contrasted by brilliant acid and lifting minerality, with ripe orchard fruits that soothe the senses. The palate buzzes with energetic tension through the finale with an inner air of heather and savory herbs.

NOVEMBER 2022
Russiz Superiore Sauvignon Collio DOC 2021

The 2021 Sauvignon Collio from Russiz Superiore shows the dimension the region can produce in the variety. The wine has a great balance of fruit, herbs, and minerals — less racy and “grassy” than Sauvignon from New Zealand and more like some of those from France’s Loire Valley. Flavors of green apple, apricot, and lemon-lime are accented by touches of flinty mineralogy and herbs like sage and thyme. There’s a bit of creamy softness on the long finish, a reflection of aging on the lees and a small percentage of the grapes fermented in oak barrels. Aging takes place in stainless steel tanks. It is a highly versatile wine that can be enjoyed with lots of simple fish and shellfish dishes, roast chicken, and vegetable-based risottos and pastas. it’s more expensive than many of the countless Sauvignons you’ll find from just about every corner of the wine world. But the price is offset by the fact that this is a singular Sauvignon Blanc that’s among the world’s best.

92
APRIL 2023
Russiz Superiore “Col Disôre” Collio DOC Bianco 2017

A graceful white, with lavish spices, vanilla and graphite serving as a fragrant entry point, layered with a supple frame of bright acidity and flavors of glazed pear, salted butter and roasted hazelnut. Drink now through 2027.

90
AUGUST 2020
Russiz Superiore “Col Disôre” Collio DOC Bianco 2016

A light- to medium-bodied white, round and creamy, with ripe acidity framing the apple tarte Tatin, ginger-infused pastry cream and lime blossom notes. Offers a pretty, aromatic finish. Pinot Bianco. Drink now through 2023. 1,333 cases made, 25 cases imported.

91
AUGUST 2023
Russiz Superiore Friulano Collio DOC 2022

Fresh acacia flowers and stones to the lemon zest and kiwis on the nose. This is zingy, bone-dry and salty on the palate, showing plenty of gastronomic allure to the limey finish. Drink now.