The Cellar: New Wines, Great Values
Friday, March 22, 2013
The wines from Soave are becoming increasingly popular with American wine drinkers. Every year more and more delicious, inexpensive examples are hitting our shores so if you haven’t tried one yet –
Valpolicella-based house Santi, which dates back to 1843, sources its fruit from a network of growers in and around the commune of Monteforte d'Alpone. They only make around 45.000 bottles of this wine which is made from 90% Garganega and 10% Trebbiano - ripasso-style (sort of). After fermentation, a small portion of wine made from later-harvested, lightly dried Garganega grapes was added back to the must to boost the aromas and body of the wine. The wine was then aged 7 months on the dead yeast cells prior to being bottled. The result is a wonderfully aromatic, medium-bodied white displaying ripe tropical fruits (especially lychee) and fresh squeezed lemons on the finish. This is a well-made wine that finishes long and strong. While I wouldn’t give it a 95 point score, this certainly is a solid Soave and a great example of what these wines bring to the table.
This week’s second wine is a Cellar first - it is a Macedonian wine made from the Vranec grape. Macedonia is an up-and-coming wine producing nation – one that I think we will see a lot more from in
As mentioned in the preview the highly productive Vranec vine grows grapes that make wines similar to Zinfandel. That being said, this is not a big hedonistic Lodi Zin – far from it. This is more like a Primotivo or a Crljenak Kaštelanski. What I mean by that is this: This wine is intensely colored and soft (very much like a Zin), displaying many of the same dark fruits and spices. But the 2010 ‘Special Selection’ Vranez is lighter than your Californian Zin with more pronounced acidity – especially on the finish. It’s a well-made wine with extraordinary length. I like it a lot, especially for ten bucks!
Steffen Rasch is a Certified Sommelier and Specialist of Wine. Feel free to email him at [email protected] with any wine-related question.
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