Sampling Italian White Wines

Wine companies and public relations companies have in the past arranged professional wine tastings to enable buyers and journalists to sample their latest products.  But since they can no longer arrange these types of gatherings, I have been receiving more samples of wine than in the past. The reason for this I believe is that there is no other way to reach  the consumer. It may be months or even a year before there are organized wine tastings again. I miss attending these tastings and learning about the wines from representatives of wineries. I was able to ask questions and discuss the wines with the representatives, often the owner, and hearing what the other wine writers that were there had to say.

Here is my report on 8 wines that I received as samples.  Each of them is made with unique varieties of Italian grapes.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG “L’Albereta Riserva” 2017 IL Colombaio Di Santachiara, the winery is certified organic. Made from 100% Vernaccia di San Gimignano. The soil is rich in cave stone. The vineyard is at 280/230 meters. There are 5,500 plants per hectare and the training system is spurred cordon. Hand harvest begins at the end of September. There is a soft pressing of the grapes and fermentation with local yeasts takes place in durmast oak barrels at a controlled temperature. 70% maceration takes place in durmast barrels for 12 months and 30% is in cement. The wine ages in cement vats for 8 months and in bottle for 12 months before release. The wine has hints of apricot, a touch of apple and a note of citrus fruit. It has a long finish and very pleasing aftertaste. It is a white wine that can age.

Colli Euganei Pinello DOC Vino Frizzante Antichi Reassi 2019 Azienda Agricola Reassi made from 100% Pinella. The vineyard is at 120 meters and the exposure is north. There are 4,500 vines per hectare and the soil is clay and silt. The training method is guyot. Harvest is the second week of September. Hand harvest and manual selection of the grapes followed by destemming, a short cryo-maceration and a soft pressing . Fermentation is for about two weeks at a low temperature. Maceration is on the lees until the spring with periodic lees stirring. The second fermentation is in stainless steel tanks, according to the Martinotti method. The wine remains in the bottle for 3 months before release.This is a wine  with hints of grapefruit, pineapple and floral notes.

Tebbiano Spoletino DOC 2018 made from 100% Trebbiano Spoletino Cantina Fratelli Pardi . The soil is of sedentary and clayey origin, the exposure is east, south east and the vineyard is at 220 meters. Harvest is in the middle of September. There is a soft pressing of the whole grapes and fermentation is at a constant temperature of 18C for 20 days in stainless steel tanks. The wine is aged in bottle for 3 months before release, 6 to 8 months after the harvest.

Colli Maceratesi Ribona DOC “ Le Grande” 2018 Boccadigabbia made from 100% Ribona (aka Maceratino)Ribona is a rare grape varietal grown only in the province of Macerata. The 23 hectares of vineyards stand on hills in two separate zones in Civitanova and Macerata. The soil is sandy-clayey and the exposure is northeast and the training system is guyot. The grape clusters are soft crushed and fermentation lasts for about 12 days in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks. After fermentation, whole slightly overripe berries are added to the wine. This second fermentation lasts for 10 days and allows an added extraction of compounds and aromatics from the skins. It is a well-structured wine with fragrances of ripe citrus fruit with a hint of melon.

Donna Angelica DOC Sicilia 2018 made from Catarrato, Grillo and Zibibbo Assuli Production area Mazara del Vallo (northwest Sicily). The soil is clay with limestone, organic elements and nitrogen. The vineyard is at 200/250 meters and there are 5,000 plants per hectare. The training system is vertical trellises. Harvest is from the end of August and the end of September depending upon the weather. There is an extremely soft pressing of the grapes with a membrane press, followed by static clarification of the must and fermentation takes place at a controlled temperature in stainless steel tank. The wine spends 8 to 10 months on the lees with batonnage. The wine is in bottle for 3/4 months before release. This is a wine with a fruit bouquet, a touch of white flowers and hints of apricot and white peaches.

Moscato Sicilia DOC “Mosca” Barone Sergio made from 100% Moscato Bianco. The soil is of medium texture, mineral and calcareous. The vineyard is 70/80 meters and the system of cultivation is espalier. Harvest takes place the first week of September. The grapes are hand harvested. There is criomaceration for 24 hours followed by a soft pressing. Then cold clarification of the must followed by fermentation in steel at a controlled temperature. The rest is in stainless steel tanks on the lees for 6 months. This is an aromatic wine with hints of peach, sage and white flowers.

Friuli Colli Orientali Bianco “At Oasi “2017 Aquila Del Torre. Made from 100% Picolit grown on hillside terraces. The soil is flysch, interbedded clayey-textured marl and sandstone. The vineyard is at 175/ 300, the training system is guyot simple and there are 5,000 vines per hectare. The wines are 14 years old on average and the exposure is south/southwest. Spontaneous fermentation with native yeasts in French oak barrels. The wine remains on the lees for 12 months. This is a dry white wine with hints of citrus, floral notes and a touch of balsam.

Soave Classico 2017 “Vigneti di FoscarinoInama made from 100% Garganega. The vineyard is at 150/200 meters, the soil is organic and the vines are up to 53 years old. The training system is the pergola. Selected yeast is used for fermentation and when fermentation is complete the wine remains in barriques (used) for 6 months with batonnage every 6 weeks. Malolactic fermentation takes place in barriques and there is cartridge filtration. This is a complex white wine with hunts of citrus fruit, spice, a touch of herbs and a nutty edge. It has nice minerality and good acidity. This is a white wine that can age.

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