Here’s a rare treat, well at least so far on this blog… tonight I’m reviewing a white wine. What’s not so rare, is it’s an Italian wine… you know me, after all. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy white wine, despite being preferential to reds. As I consider myself a wine student in a lifelong class, I try and enjoy almost everything I drink and find what’s good about them in each and every case, and learn something new along the way. Not to mention, refresh myself on what I’ve already learned to cement it in this brain. When I grabbed this one off the rack, due to the dark bottle, I didn’t immediately realize it was a white (something I could have picked up on had I simply looked at the back where it was clearly stated “Toscana Bianco!”) In my defense I was quickly browsing our selection for a nice glass to enjoy while doing some planting. I saw it was Italian, and that was the mood I was in. I’m in the mood for Italian wines pretty often though, especially from Tuscany. As I opened it of course it dawned on me. It’s a very pleasant wine, and until now I had never had a white Super Tuscan.
From my education, I’m thinking there’s definitely Vernaccia in here, a classic white of this region, with its own DOCG, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. This is the very same famed town from which I’ve had many quality reds and I believe is where the Strozzi family has been making their reds, for the royal family that includes relatives of the Mona Lisa herself, and who were the first employer of Macchiavelli. But you won’t find any Sangiovese here. Also in the area is a DOC for wines made from Vermentino, Colli di Luni. This region is just west of the Chianti Classico region. As it is one of the very oldest winemaking sites in Italy, and Vernaccia di San Gimignano was designated the first DOC in 1966, you know you’re going to get quality in every glass. While this winemaker does make a 100% Vernaccia, this is a special house blend with some Malvasia, Chardonnay, and of course, Vermentino. At about $17, it’s a good deal, especially since the last few vintages have gotten near 90 points from Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast. It seems to be selling well, and selling out, with many retailers.
It is a deep straw color with a hint towards gold, and on the nose you have subtle vanilla oak which is from being aged and fermented in fine French barriques, as well as crisp mineral and exotic fruit aromas of pineapple. That I suspect is the Chardonnay speaking. On the palate, apple, citrus, spice, and some toast and cream flavors appear with a nice minerality to balance that all out. It lingers nicely, and acidity and body are firm and full but still feels light. Alcohol is a pleasant 13 percent. A perfect match to the Italian sausage I am preparing. I imagine with seafood and prosciutto it would pair beautifully as well. Italy never seems to let me down, and this is no exception. Thanks again, Italy! Keep them coming.