Three Italian Whites That Get It Right
As Spring makes its appearance where I like to walk along Frog Hollow Road, yellow flowers bloom, tractors cough awake from their winter rest, the season’s first bicyclists spin past coloring the landscape with bright, eye-catching outfits.
Spring also brings with it a gradual shift from hearty cold weather fare to lighter warm weather eating.
In anticipation of summer’s bounty, mealtimes al fresco and leisurely aperitifs on the terrace, I recently road-tested a field of Italian whites: here are three that will not fail to appear on my warm weather wine list 😉
A Casa Falanghina 2007
Produced from 100% Falanghina grown in soil hosting deposits of sandstone and clay, vinified in stainless steel. This Campanian white shows aromatics of apple, pear, pineapple and papaya with traces of licorice and mint on the finish, vibrant acidity and good structure. A superb partner to shell fish or seafood – served either alone or in pasta or risotto – classic caprese salad, grilled vegetables, poultry, red or white pizza. $$.
Pra Soave Classico 2009
This 100% Garganega Soave hails from 30 year old vineyards and is vinified in stainless steel. With spectacular aromatics and super articulation, this Veneto white exudes terroir and personality showing honeydew melon, apple, pear, and flowers underscored by delicious minerality. Finishes with subtle whispers of citrus and almond. You’ll want this bottle close at hand wherever and whenever you find yourself with a picnic basket in hand: pair it with chicken or potato salad, dishes that feature eggs or cream such as classic quiche, savory pastry –Greek spanikopita will be a certain winner – grilled vegetables, certainly pasta primavera and, of course, seafood. This wine is a great entrée to Italian wines for lovers of French or West Coast Pinot Gris. $.
Barberani Orvieto Classico Superiore Castagnole 2009
A blend of typical Umbrian varietals – Procanico, Verdello, Grechetto, Malvasia, Drupeggio, (and, I believe, a splash of Chardonnay) – this Orvieto from Barberani is grown in distinctively chalky soil. Aromas of fresh hay, lime, and minerals are followed by flavors of pear, apple and lemon that rise with smokey minerality on a lively palate. Concludes with grace notes of almond and basil. A massively refreshing and harmonic wine that pleases with its natural softness and good structure. Fish, poultry, light pastas – try a satisfying plate of capellini with almond basil pesto – and vegetarian dishes will all rock with this wine, but this bottle is so full of nuance and class that it will play a good solo paired with elegant summer salads. $.
Note: A Casa, Pra, Barberani … imported by Vinifera Imports, Ltd., Ronkonkoma, NY