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Piculit Neri in the US?

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Living in PA, under the monopolistic Soviet-style state system entity otherwise known as the Liquor Control Board, the wonderful Piculit Neri (Emilio Bulfon) is inattainble to me, even though my taxes help fund this antiquated and politically-charged nepotistic anachronism of a distribution system.

But I digress. My question is: Is this wine available in your state? I'm asking as I'll be doing some traveling this year and if I'm in a state where it is available, I'd love to get some. It appears some places in Illinois used to have it, but don't carry it as of the moment. Anywhere else?

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  1. You can blame the PLCB for many things, but you cannot blame them for not having this wine. Piculit Neri is such an obscure, ancient grape from Friuli Venezia Giulia that there is little market for it here in this country. Just by Googling the grape, I found a number of restaurants that carry it, as well as a couple of stores. But why not order directly from the winery in Friuli, or at least contact them to find out their importer who can tell you directly where the wine is sold?

    Azienda Agricola Emilio Bulfon
    Via Roma, 4
    33090 Valeriano
    (PN) Italy
    Tel. 0432 950061
    Fax 0432 950921
    Email:bulfon@bulfon.it
    Contact page on website:
    http://www.bulfon.it/eng/contatti.html

    11 Replies
    1. re: maria lorraine

      Maria, thanks for that info. A request for info on a US distributor had been sent a few weeks ago but haven't heard anything. I turned to Google and learned it had been recently available at Sam's in Chicago, but I didn't turn up any other retailers in the US.

      I did write directly to a restaurant in CO about it. Seems it's served at several places in Denver, so if you're out there and get a chance to try this wine, I highly recommend it.

      And as it's in CO, it could certainly be a Charman's Selection in PA if they wanted. So yeah, I can blame the PLCB for anything I want ;-)

      I'm not particularly interested in ordering directly from the winery as I couldn't order enough to make the per bottle price reasonable. it would have to be shipped to the LCB which would about double the price by adding numerous handling fees for doing nothing as well as normal taxes plus the 18% levy to pay off that flood from back in 1936. Add shipping costs to that and we're now taking a $15 bottle and making it a $40 bottle.

      I believe Sam's was selling it for around $25, which is still an OK price. That's about my pain limit for this particular bottle.

      1. re: Panini Guy

        I emailed the folks at winelibrary and was told to contact Brant (the special order manager) directly for pricing and availability. Since the retailer is in NJ I thought it may be a possibility for you. Here is his email if interested.

        bkrihak@winelibrary.com

        1. re: tom porc

          Tom - thanks a ton, that could work. The wine isn't as rare as one would think - just underappreciated here, I guess. Apparently Bulfon specializes in bring back "old" grape varieties. Based on what he's done with this wine, I think it's only a matter of time before demand for his wines outstrips supply. It's a beautifully orchestrated bottle.

          1. re: Panini Guy

            http://www.ninibeads.com/vinoterra/lo...

            1. re: Panini Guy

              Winelibrary is huge retailer so maybe this will cause them to look at it.

              1. re: Panini Guy

                Tom,
                I was travelling from Boston to Pittsburgh and made a stop there last weekend. Didn't have the PN nor any other Bulfon wines, but it's a terrific wine shop and I picked up few things. Thanks for mentioning it - as it's right off I78 it's pretty convenient whenever I make the trip to New England.

                1. re: Panini Guy

                  Was it something they could order for you? I read below that the importer's in Boulder, CO.

                  Sorry, I just noticed you live in Pittsburgh area. Too far to drive for wine.

                2. re: Panini Guy

                  Not just "old," but ancient, uncultivated since the time of Pliny, I believe I was told.
                  The Bulfon website maria lorraine links to has some charming factoids in Italglish. (Englian?)

                  I actually just did a post about Forgiarin / Piculit Neri on my blog: http://denveater.typepad.com/denveate...

                  I sure would like to get my hands on some of the Bulfon whites, but no luck yet.

                3. re: tom porc

                  Places that ship wine are not bothering to go to the trouble of doing all the nonsense the PLCB requires for them to legally ship to PA. So on their web sites they will not acknowlege any shipping arrangement or shipping fee to PA. But they make it possible for you to contact them.

                4. re: Panini Guy

                  http://www.samswine.com/emilio-bulfon...

                  $19

                  I think we paid 9 euros in Florence last April at Le volpe e l'uva...ah, the weak dollar...

                  1. re: kenito799

                    That's where we bought ours! What a great store and a terrific, knowledgable owner. Loved it when we asked what he'd recommend for a white, and he replied, "You don't want a white." lol.

              2. I brought a bottle back from Florence! Great to hear there are other fans. I find Piculit-Neri similar in some ways to Ruche (Piedmont) and Fer (SW France, Marcillac, Gaillac, etc). Have you tasted these, maybe you can find some in the SSR of PA to tide you over?

                1 Reply
                1. re: kenito799

                  I do love the wine library. You should visit it one day.

                  Sam's also has the 2005. Corkscrew Wine (also in Illinois) has the 2004.

                2. I'm a huge fan & I'm drinking it right here in Denver, CO. Divino orders it, & their importer's in Boulder; you could call for the name. They get the Forgiarin sometimes too.

                  http://www.divinowine.com/

                  1. The sole U.S. importer is Patrick Mangold of Vinoterra importers. He distributes the wine in Colorado through his distribution company, Terranova. I'm told he is a good friend of Emilio Bulfon and gets about half of his Piculit Neri production.
                    http://www.terranovawines.com/
                    http://www.vinoterra.net/

                    1. Just want to make sure folks differentiate the wine from this thread, Piculit Neri, a red wine from Friuli, from the luscious dessert wine from Friuli called Picolit. Just to make things slightly more confusing there's another grape from Friuli called Piccola Nera.

                      I'm a big fan of Picolit, the Friulian stickie.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: maria lorraine

                        Not wanting to hijack the thread, but Picolit just might be my favorite dessert wine. Especially the ones from Dorigo.

                        1. re: Brad Ballinger

                          On one spectacularly lucky day in 2001, I ventured into the Castello di Udine main hall and tasted at least 40 Picolits. I'd never tasted a one before, let alone 40+. It's a shame more Picolot doesn't make it to the US.
                          I'm a bit confused by the winemaking -- it seems to be either a passito style or a late-harvest (botrytis) style.

                          Yes, Dorigo is the most acclaimed producer.

                      2. This wine is worth resurrecting this eleven month-old thread. I am enjoying a glass now from a bottle purchased at The Highlands Wine Seller in Highlands Ranch, CO. As noted, the distributor in Boulder gets most of the production; the Wine Seller gets the bulk of the available stock from the distributor.
                        www.highlandswineseller.com/

                        -----
                        Highland Wine Seller
                        Highlands Ranch, CO, Highlands Ranch, CO

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: G.Elrod

                          ....and I'll resurrect your resurrection to agree that this is very nice, totally new to me, and, on a quiet Sunday at the Black Pearl in Denver, HALF PRICE and the perfect accompaniment to their excellent beef shoulder...half price being, if I recall correctly, about $27-28 (I'm sure its regularly in the mid to upper $50s) and a screaming good deal. Every bottle in the joint is half price on Sundays, and it's a good list.