August 22, 2018
Venditti Sannio Bianco

MASSERIA VENDITTI Sannio Bianco 2015

This esoteric white wine is from Campania, southern Italy (the shin-Mediterranean side). It is 70% Grieco di Castelvenere, 30% Cerreto. Cold soak for 3 days, then pressed off for a 2-3 week fermentation. Really cool wine…lemon zest, candied orange peel, fresh green olives, grapefruit, coriander, white pepper. It has medium/high acidity and an oily texture. For $19 it’s rare to get something so good and interesting.
August 20, 2018
Ronchi Manzano Ribolla Gialla

RONCHI DI MANZANO Ribolla Gialla 2017

A delicious skin-ferment white wine, this spent 4 months on the skins, half the time fermenting. While it fits into the “orange wine” category by its ferment, the Ronchi di Manzano Ribolla Gialla is not orange. It’s a light lemony-yellow color with an ever-so-slight haze. Let’s get to the important stuff-smell and taste. Smoked whole Meyer lemons, crushed seashells, green apple peels, fresh pineapple, sea air. Yes, it’s fun AND tasty. The finish doesn’t let go: bold acidity, salty, creaminess…it’s tart and creamy at the same time. I feel the need to give a food pairing with this wine, so […]
June 24, 2018
Pievalta Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi

PIEVALTA Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi 2016

This is a delicious, light, crisp white wine from the Le Marche region in central Italy, Adriatic Coast on its east side. It’s a go-to fish wine of the area, and for Italian white drinkers everywhere. Smell and taste lemon zest, orange blossoms, tangy green apple skins & flesh, kiwi and nectarine. Bright for sure, but not to the level of cooler-climate wines like Loire and Mosel. This wine’s fleshiness makes for a nicely versatile wine to pair with most chicken, pork and fish dishes. For $17/bottle I will happily drink this anytime!
May 22, 2018
Villa Varda Friulano

VILLA VARDA Friulano 2017

A native grape to Friuli, Friulano flourishes next to the better known, better-selling Pinot Grigio grape (Villa Varda also makes a delicious Pinot Grigio for about the same price, by the way). Zippy and earthy (in a crushed white rock kind of way), the Villa Varda Friulano brings together a bright, citrus-driven fruitiness and a chalky, mineral-y earthy character. Wound up to the point of being austere, it is almost too much so. Almost, that is, as the orchard fruit, Eureka lemon and grapefruit flavors “pop” on the mid-palate. This is a really nice match with fresh goat and sheep milks […]
April 22, 2018
Murgo Etna Bianco

MURGO Etna Bianco 2016

Best known for red wines, Sicily’s Etna wine region is capable of making delicious (and great value) white wine as well. This MURGO Bianco is 70% Carricante, 30% Catarratto (both native grapes of the region). This starts with a piercing, citrus zest, spring blossoms, rocky aroma. Tangy, lemon/orange acidity and exotic honeysuckle flavors. Very dry, very crisp. Drink this as you would a cool-climate Sauvignon Blanc or quality Northern Italian Pinot Grigio. Also, interestingly, this has similarities to dry Riesling. I’d like to taste this side by side with a good, dry Riesling from Alsace, Australia or Washington and see […]
April 22, 2018
Vadiaperti Coda di Volpe

VADIAPERTI Coda di Volpe 2016

I love the fruitiness of this wine. From beginning to end get orchard fruits (peach, pear and apple), fresh orange and a little bit of lemongrass. Take all this and drizzle a thin stream of honey over the whole kitten-kaboodle. It’s not sweet by most definitions, but I do perceive a little more “sneaky sweetness” than in most wines. Which I have no problem with, and from my experience I speak for the majority.   Campania, near Naples and the Mediterranean, south of Rome (it’s the SHIN of Italy). The grape Coda di Volpe, native to Campania, translates to “tail […]
March 28, 2018
Vadiaperti Fiano

VADIAPERTI Fiano di Avellino 2016

Zesty, zippy, “electric” white wine with an unmistakable “minerality” weaving through. Smell and taste lemon zest, citrus blossoms, Granny Smith apple (skin-on), crunchy pear and crushed chalky rocks. The best Fianos (like this) marry tangy with creamy a la bright Chardonnay (think Chablis) and dry Riesling. Similar, but different. The Vadiaperti is spot-on delicious and invariably a great introduction to crisp, southern Italian white wine for someone in your wine-loving clan.   Fiano is grown is a small region in Campania, near Naples and the Mediterranean, south of Rome (it’s the SHIN of Italy). While Fiano has a long-storied history […]
March 14, 2018
Wassererhof Pinot Blanc

WASSERERHOF Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige 2016

This is high-quality Pinot Bianco (aka Pinot Blanc, aka Weissburgunder) as it should be. Lovely, bright fruit, ample acidity, more mouth feel than Grigio, crisp and lingering 15 second finish. In the fruit realm get pears, green apples, Meyer lemon and nectarine. Aging on its lees is for body, not flavor. This is a great anytime drinker.
March 14, 2018
Ca Lojera Lugana

CA’ LOJERA Lugana Bianco 2016

Made from 90% Verdicchio (aka Trebbiano di Lugana). This light, solid-structured white wine smells & tastes of kiwi, lime, river rocks, fresh white flowers and honeydew melon. All steel tank ferment and aged. This is crisp and refreshing as all get-out and still with a texture that gently lingers on the 15 second finish. Drink this by itself or with vegetable pasta & light fish dishes. Lugana: an Italian DOC in Lombardy, which sandwiched between Veneto and Piedmont in Northern Italy. Ca’ Lojera is located on the southern end of the impressive Lake Garda, and 20 miles west of Verona.
October 26, 2017

CONTE ROMANO Malvasia Istriana 16

Malvasia Istriana (one of the many grapes in the Malvasia family) is originally from Croatia, which is less than 100 miles southeast from the vineyards of Conte Romano in the northeast corner of Italy. An ancient grape of style and substance, Malvasia makes a wine I can fairly call a “wine geek’s delight” because it does take many forms. This young pup from Conte Romano sports a rich, round mouthfeel, gently floral and mineral-y aromas, a bit of crushed rock earthiness and a core of pear and stone fruit earthiness. For body and texture it compares favorably to a more earthy-style […]
October 5, 2017

ALOIS LAGEDER Weissburgunder “Haberle” 15

Finding top-notch Pinot Blanc is quite rare. That’s one reason I’m excited about this northern Italian representative. Grown at 1500 feet in rocky soils, so intensity and “nerve” is natural for the wine. Smell and taste lemon/apple, citrus zest, Bosc pear, touch of fresh bread crust. Lightness but with more stuffing than it’s more popular cousin Pinot Grigio. Excellent starter wine.