09 Miani Rosso: "A marvel."

Posted by Joe Salamone

Devotion and Results
2009 Miani Rosso
One Parcel: The Only Bottles in the Country

"Enzo Pontoni is simply on another planet. In the best years his wines frankly have no peers in Italy. The textural richness and depth Pontoni coaxes from his old-vine parcels is a marvel."
- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate

With praise like that, you might expect that Pontoni and his wines made under the Miani label would be more widely known...

But then you have to consider that Pontoni makes no more than 800 cases TOTAL per year, spread across nine different cuvées. Production on today's 2009 Miani Rosso qualifies as miniscule.

Enzo Pontoni is considered a bit of a recluse; until recently, the winery was little more than a garage with a few barrels - his mother lives above the small operation.

Enzo Pontoni

Indeed reports of those who have tried to visit the estate are mostly with meeting his mother; Enzo himself is nearly always in the vineyards, which are tucked away in one of Italy's most obscure and enigmatic regions, the Friuli.

Specifically, Miani's vines are in Friuli's Collio Orientali, an area that's thought to be Friuli's best subregion. Collio Orientali's slopes are famous for their Ponca soils, which are marl with limy marine deposits. The soils are credited with giving the region's wines their streak of bright elegance - an element that Miani is able to highlight better than most, providing a most extreme balance to the wine's coating and dense fruit.

Within the Collio Orientali, Miani's vineyards reside in what are considered the area's "Grand Crus," the towns of Buttrio and Rosazzo. Here he is notoriously fastidious about tending his vines - which are often on terraced slopes and of formidable age - with absolute devotion. He's known for selecting only the best fruit to be brought back to the winery and, once there, he's equally ruthless with barrel by barrel selection for what will be bottled and what will be sold off.

The results of such extreme dedication and militant vineyard work are wines that are rich, powerful and extremely textured, yet wines that are simultaneously balanced, detailed and mineral driven.

While all of Miani's wines are fiercely sought out by those "in the know," the reds have to be considered his real cult wines. The 2009 Rosso is no exception. The vintage was, like most other regions in Europe, a ripe year with heat waves. Miani made very good white wines in 09, but he made especially great reds, as the vintage played directly to his strengths in coaxing such depth and richness - such decadence yet with restraint - out of the fruit.

Miani's wines are always in short supply, yet they're conversely long-lived in the cellar. They deserve ample time to show off and reward a long decant. I'd tell you to "go long" if you can, except that we'll have to make allocations. Still, give us your maximum order, and we'll do our best.

To order, please email us at offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Joe Salamone
Wine Buyer
Crush Wine & Spirits

2009 Miani Rosso