2017 Škerk Terrano
Region: Carso < Friuli < Italy
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: certified organic farming with some biodynamic practices, iron rich clay, 25 day maceration, then pressed into small and medium neutral barrel, on lees for 12 months, then racked to large barrel for another 4-6 months. Unfined and unfiltered with minimal added So2 at bottling only; 11% ABV
Winemaker: Sandi Škerk
On the eastern edge of Italy, bordering Slovenia, Carso is nestled in a rugged stretch of mountains above Trieste with views of the ocean and a unique microclimate, and a winemaking tradition unlike any other in the country. The young, energetic Sandi Škerk keeps this tradition alive following his grandfather’s methods to produce some of the most alive and characterful wines we’ve tasted. A card-carrying member of the Friulian school of naturalists led by Gravner, Škerk macerates his whites on the skins for 30 days, and for reds, works with the iron-rich local grape Teran.
A third generation winemaker, Sandi took over from his father in the early 2000s and found himself reverting to his grandfather’s methods – a little less maceration, less oxygen (for preservation) and more balanced use of oak. He has put his stamp on the wines in such a definitive way that not only do they represent him, and the family’s 350 year old estate, but they could be emblematic of the Friuli region as a whole. It is really his humble ethos and ability to truly observe without expectation that bring the wines to life. And he is also working with incredible raw material- the variety Teran, which is native to this area, home to a specific clone that doesn’t grow anywhere else. Already prone to iron-y, savory flavors, these come through with more intensity but also more balance than they do with other clones.
And how how we love this wine! It may help that at just 11% alcohol and won’t weigh you down when you are busy consuming holiday goodies. However, even with the low ABV it packs a punch. Bursting with juicy red fruit, tangy orange and savory herbs, it also shows black olive, violet and pepper. Like the best natural wines, it possesses a certain liveliness and makes you want to drink more, and more… and more. We’ve seen a bottle disappear in 30 minutes once when paired with cioppino. However don’t shy away from cheese, charcuterie, richer dishes and herbaceous sauces or garnishes. It will take your breath away, promise!