Utterly self-absorbed & absolutely delicious Friulano by Di Lenardo

Hey, I’m the first one to tell you that wine blogging is all about the vanity. The best advice that anyone ever gave me about wine blogging was 1) remember that all blogs are vanity blogs (so true); and 2) write what you feel (as William James once famously said, truth is what works).

“I may not be perfect but it scares me how close to it I am,” reads the message that greets you when you visit the Di Lenardo winery website.

Honestly, I’d never heard of Massimo Di Lenardo and his unrivaled self-absorption and narcissism. And when a friend poured me his Friulano by the glass last night in Houston, I wasn’t expecting much: usually, low-end wine with packaging like “Max’s” delivers yeasted and overly sulfured quaffing wine at best.

It’s a good thing that I had never seen his website before tasting his wine because I don’t think I’d be able to palate it if I had (“take your time, relax and… fly into my world!” he writes).

But when top Houston sommelier Sean Beck poured it for me last night at the Backstreet Café, I was blown away by how fresh, varietally correct, and utterly delicious it was. It had this crazy spearmint note that put it up there with some of the best Friulano I’ve ever tasted (and I’ve tasted A LOT of Friulano). Sean’s pouring it for $7.50 a glass and a quick look at WineSearcher reveals that it generally retails for under $15 in the U.S. I loved everything about this wine.

And the vanity? Max, bring it on!

Above: Caravaggio’s Narcissus. “We watch in reverence, as Narcissus is turned to a flower.” (Can anyone tell me where this lyric comes from? Hint: 1970s prog rock.)

5 thoughts on “Utterly self-absorbed & absolutely delicious Friulano by Di Lenardo

  1. That quote is hilarious, although I think Salvador Dali came closer to saying the same thing without the self-loving: “Don’t strive for perfection—you’ll never reach it.”

    My personal top prize for pretentious Italian wine website must go to Tenute Dettori, whose home page greets you with this nonsensical nugget:

    “If being a Homo sapiens sapiens means looking but not observing, eating but not tasting, hearing but not listening, smelling but not enjoying a scent… well then, I am proud to be a Homo sapiens sapiens and nothing more. I feel myself an animal just like the other animals. Part of planet earth and of the universe.
    I want to be an animal with that minimum of rationality necessary for my free will. That is why I make wine… it is the method I know for making me feel what I am: instinctually an animal.”

  2. James, when I saw the site for the first time, I thought it was a joke! The Dettori quote is awesome (and of course, the wines are life-changing imho). Great to see you here.

    Angelo, “a flower?” I saw them play it live a couple of times in the 80s… :)

    • Never got a chance to see them with Gabriel but the Canadian cover band Musical Box does their material justice. Love your blog and your in sight on all things related to Italy and its wines.
      Love the photos of the family too, keep up the good work!

  3. Wow. I haven’t tried the wines but that they must be memorable to get beyond that amount of vanity. I guess I should try them and see if it rocks my world. :)

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