FRIULI - ITALY
The Carso district of southeastern Friuli, just outside of Trieste, is a unique micro-climate sandwiched between the Adriatic Sea to the south, the Alps to the north, the low hills of Collio to the west, and the Balkan peninsula to the east. The temperatures are cool at night and the grey limestone is everywhere and in abundance. In this near-perfect combination of climate and terreno, Edi Kante produces wines that are poised, solid, fresh, and brimming with the character of both the chosen grape and the stark limestone soil of Carso. The Kante style is born not only of his incredibly energetic, passionate, mad-scientist like personality, but also of the inherent characteristics of Carso and his deliberate decision to allow these characteristics to shine through rather than be dominated by wine-making technique.
Kante was born a contadino in this rugged area of northeastern Italy, at the crossroads of Italian, Slovenian, and Croatian culture today and historically at the crossroads of the Venetian and Austro-Hungarian cultures. Taking over from his father, Edi began to bottle the family estate's wines separately by varietal in the late 1980s. After experimenting with various styles, including being a pioneer of the orange wine movement, he settled on the direction he has followed for almost two decades: making pure, consistent wines that reflect their region, stand the test of time, and above all, provide a lot of pleasure at table. Kante ages his white wines for a year in older barrels, then six months or more in stainless steel on the lees, then bottles them unfiltered. All takes place in an incredible three-story cellar carved out of solid stone beneath his house. The ability of his wines to age and improve consistently is uncommon for Italian white wine, and he always has plenty of older magnums on hand to prove this point.
The most exciting part of Kante’s production are his Selezione wines. Released in small quantities from select vintages, these are small lots that Kante has selected in the cellar and aged extensively in bottle before release. They typically have between 8 and 10 years of age upon release and can be drunk upon release or aged further.
Kante Chardonnay 2012
18 points, Jancis Robinson MW -“Creamy and slightly honeyed on the nose but the strongest impression on the nose is the chalky, dusty character that has some echoes of top-notch Chablis. There's just a touch of oak sweetness on the palate and the texture is deliciously creamy. Fine hints of orange and ginger on the palate. Great freshness and subtlety. A wonderful wine and likely to be GV going by the trade price.”
Kante Sauvignon Blanc ‘Selezione’ 2006
97 points, Antonio Galloni -“The 2006 Sauvignon Selezione shows why this variety is so at home in the Carso. Bright saline notes support the crystalline fruit in and intensely mineral, focused wine that captivates all of the senses with its fabulous class and complex, multi-dimensional personality. Crushed rocks, sweet floral notes and orchard fruit are woven into the haunting, mind-bending finish. Today, the 2006 is firing on all cylinders. It is without question one of the greatest wines I have ever tasted from Friuli, maybe the greatest. Readers who can find the 2006 should not hesitate. It is simply magnificent. Simply put, this is world-class Sauvignon Blanc.”
Kante Vitovska ‘Selezione’ 2006
95+ points, Antonio Galloni -“The 2006 Vitovska Selezione is stunning. Rich, honeyed, layered and voluptuous, the 2006 bursts out of the glass with tons of intensity and power. Lavender, hazelnuts, petrol, sage and a host of savoury notes appear later, adding dimensions of depth and nuance. The 2006 is a white wine with tons of structure, volume and pure resonance. With time in the glass, the 2006 begins to soften up nicely. There is no shortage of intrigue in this compelling, dazzling Vitovska from Edi Kante. Readers who want to experience the full pleasure the Kante wines can provide are going to have to wait at least a few years. Today, the 2006 is all about power. It is without question super-impressive, but very, very young.”