Tocai or Tocai Friulano is an old Friulian name for Sauvignonasse, a widely planted white varietal in northeastern Italy. It’s a productive, late-budding varietal that produces a light-bodied wine with floral and almond notes best consumed in its youth. In addition to the Friuli region in Italy, this varietal is also planted in California, in the Hudson Valley in New York State as well as a touch in Argentina.
This varietal is not related to Tokay d’Alsace, an Alsatian synonym for the Pinot Grigio, which can be found alongside the Tocai in Friulano. It also has nothing to do with Hungary’s great wine, Tokaji, which is probably why the Hungarians succeeded in convincing the EU to ban Italy’s use of the term in 2007.
Tocai is the most popular and widely planted white grape region of the Friuli region and old names can die hard. di Lenardo has honored the varietal’s original name by giving his wine the proprietary name, “Toh!”. Massimo’s family has been making wine in the area since the late 1800s. All of their grapes are picked by hand and the Toh! is their most popular wine. Greenish-yellow in color, the wine had a delicate nose of white flowers and bitter almonds. It had great acidity, but was round and delicate rather than angular on the palate. Homer might opt for a burger or a donut, but I think you’d find a better match with shellfish.
More good news – it retails for around $14.