"This one is really important to me," says Bobby Stuckey, co-owner of Frasca Food & Wine. "I've wanted to get these guys out here since we opened, but I never thought I'd really be able to do it."
He's talking about Stanko Radikon and his son, Sasa, who make wine in Friuli, the Italian region that inspired Frasca. And despite Stuckey's earlier doubts, Sasa Radikon will be on hand for tonight's Monday night wine dinner, pouring his juice and talking about his family's wine-making.
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Radikon's website explains that "the winery's philosophy is to always make a natural, organic wine with the least human intervention possible and with the maximum respect for the soils and nature." Ostensibly, that means the family has eliminated all use of chemical treatment in the growing process and sulfur in the aging process. But the wines are also unique because they're macerated, which means the juice is left in contact with the skins and stems for several months. Maceration is usually a short part of the wine-making process (if it's part of the process at all -- it's how red wines get their color, but white wines often forgo it entirely), so Radikon's final product, which is also aged in Slovenian oak barrels for three years plus another year in the bottle, is complex -- many sommeliers say profoundly so.
Radikon's incredibly unique Friulian wine makes the Radikons highly sought-after producers, though they rarely leave the vineyard, preferring instead to stay home and take care of the grapes. "This is their first trip to Colorado," Stuckey notes.
Sasa Radikon will pour three examples of his wine tonight at Frasca, paired with a $45 fixed price menu (pairings are extra). For more information, call 303-442-6966.