Okay the temperatures are getting hot, and it’s time to park the rich red wines of winter for the cool crisp whites of summer. I know, I know, I’m not a big fan of white wines either, but I’m willing to learn!
So because Griffy just wants to have fun, I’ve decided that we should have the GREAT WHITE WINE hunt for the summer of 2013. I declare its open season on white wine! So, this is what I want you to do; tell me what your favorite white wine is, I’ll pick 12 of them, sample them, sample hell, and I’ll drink them and review each. Now, we have to put some limits, so unless you are buying, limit the purchase price between $10 and $25. I am going to rule out some varietals; no Chardonnay, no Rieslings, no Pinot Grigio, or Sauvignon Blanc, I’ll get you out of your 9 wine rut if I have to drag you screaming and kicking. I’ll make an exception on the varietals above if they are included in a blend but they must be less than 30% of the blend.
There are 12 weeks of summer, we are hunting 12 bottles; a coincidence? I think not! Get your lists together, send them to me, and let the hunt begin!
To kick off the GREAT WHITE WINE hunt of 2013 I have a wonderfully tasty white for you from Loreto Aprutino in Abruzzo Italy. The name of the vineyard is Torre Dei Beati which means “The Tower of the Blessed.” This is the name of a 14th century fresco that hangs in a nearby church of Saint Maria in Piano, Italy. The fresco depicts souls attempting to reach heaven by living right, striving to imitate Jesus.
The vineyard seeks to produce the very best wine possible through hard work, careful selection of grapes, and organic farming techniques. The vineyard is a family business and they planted their first vines in 1972. They started the winemaking activity in 1999. Originally focused on producing wine from just Montepulciano grapes, in 2005 they began making some very interesting wines based on the traditional white grapes of the region, Pecorino and Tebbiano.
The wine’s name is “Giocheremo coni fiery,” or, “Playing with the flowers.” I love Italian! Do you know what Portare fuori la spazzatura means? Me neither, but my wife says it to me every night, so it must mean how much she loves me! The grape is 100% Percorino. Percorino is an old grape variety that originated in the wild around the Sibillini Mountains. The word stems from the Itialian word “percora,” which means sheep, and the sheep would eat the wild grapes while moving through the vineyards. It’s also the name of a cheese.
Folks, this is a great wine. The color is straw yellow with light golden tones. The bouquet gave up an overtone of pear with hint of honey aroma. It’s slight, but I liked it. Flavor is far more full-bodied than whites I’ve drank before and the finish lingers far longer than I expected with a white wine. The vines for this wine were planted in 2005, and if they are yielding grapes this good at such a young age the future looks very bright for this vineyard. Fermentation takes place 75% of the time in stainless steel and 25% barrique. They recommend you serve the wine at around 50° F. Mine was at about 38° F, and both the flavor and the nose opened up as the wine warmed.
I’m psyched for this summer and our little adventure. A quick pass through my favorite wine store, Center Street Wine and Spirits in Wallingford, told me that in this one store only looking at my beloved Italian wines there were 27 different kinds of white grapes represented. Wow, we could do our contest from here! So stop in and check them all out, send me your list of Great Whites and let’s have a great summer.
“Penicillin can cure those that are ill, but wine brought me back from the dead!”