Italy, although a small country in size compared to Canada or the USA produces the most wine in the world. From Italy there is the range of red, white, rose, sparkling and sweet wines to choose from. It seems like each time we have #VinItaly coming to Vancouver, there are many more wineries that I have not yet heard of, or taste their wines. Grapes can be international varieties like Chardonnay, but can also be indigenous grapes like Trebbiano or Garganega. I do enjoy trying the indigenous grapes, as they tend to have different aromas and flavours from the international varieties, and can maybe give you some ideas for new food and wine pairings. With the last visit by #VinItaly I tried many white, red, sparkling, and sweet wines, but for this article I will concentrate on the white, sweet and sparkling wines that I enjoyed during this tasting, as there are too many wines to list if I include the red wines as well.
Two indigenous grapes that I have tasted in the past are Trebbiano d’Abruzzo and Garganega, as well as during this tasting. Both make very flavourful wines and would be nice for this summer. Give these grapes a try, and put down that bottle of Chardonnay.
My Recommended White, Sweet, and Sparkling Wines
Agricola Tiberio SRL, Abruzzo, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo Tiberio DOC 2016 – Made from the Trebbiano grape, this wine has a nice stone fruit nose. It is between off-dry and dry. Salty minerality is prominent. Stone fruit flavours, some floral, and balanced acidity.
Azienda Agricola di Graziano Pra Sas, Veneto, Soave Otto DOC 2016 – Made from the Garganega grape, this wine has light pear aroma. Dry, with medium acid prickle on the tongue. Pears, some tropical fruits and sweet spices. A very tasty wine for the summer.
Azienda Agricola di Graziano Pra Sas, Veneto, Soave Staforte DOC 2014 – Lighter tropical fruit nose. Vanilla, oak and sweet spices, together with a mix of citrus and stone fruit flavours. Dry and smooth.
Azienda Vinicola Umani Ronchi Spa, Marche, Vecchie Vigne, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC 2014 – Light apple and stone fruits on the nose. Medium plus body, with mouth filling feel. Oak, almonds, apples and stone fruit, together with some sweet spices later on. A quality wine.
Conte Tasca d’Almerita Soc Agr A. R. L. Catarratto Antisa DOC 2016, Sicily – Floral and spearmint nose. Dry, medium body and medium acidity, juicy fruit gum, spearmint and red delicious apple flavour at the finish.
S.Agri.V.It SRL Picolit 2010, Lazio – Agricola Vitivinicola Italian Sagrivit is an interesting group of wineries; 14 historical farming estates and 3 wineries in Umbria, Veneto and Friuli ColliOrientali. They cover more than 5000 ha of land and is the property of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. This dessert wine made from the Picolit grape has intense stone fruit nose. Quite sweet with medium acidity. Nutmeg and ripe stone fruit flavours. I have been told that this wine goes up in price over time, as sweet wines can last many years due to the preservation from the sugar. Buy a few bottles.
Sartarelli Soc. Agr. Sartarelli Brut N.V., Marche – A sparkling wine with a nice sweet ripe apple nose. Bruised apple, small creamy bubble. Dryish with medium acid and apple flavour.
Sartarelli Soc. Agr. Sartarelli Classico DOC 2016, Marche – Ripe stone fruit nose. Soft and round with medium acidity. Apples and stone fruit together with some sweet spices. Tasty
Sartarelli Soc. Agr. Sartarelli Passito DOC 2014, Marche – (Sweet, dessert wine) Nice nutty, apricots and other rich, ripe stone fruit aromas. Full mouth feel, semi-sweet, medium bodied. Ripe stone fruit flavours and some pepperiness. Nice.
Tenute Barzan La Voglio Brut DOCG 2015, Friuli Venezia Giulia – (Sparkling wine) Lots of stone fruit, in particular peach on the nose. Medium body with light creamy bubble. Tasty stone fruit flavour. Off dry with light body. Elegant.
Tenute Barzan Giada La Ribelle Friulano DOC 2014, Friuli Venezia Giulia – Is made with what was known as the “Tocai” grape before. Light melon nose. Medium body, silky smooth with light acidity. Light stone fruit and honey on the palate.
And what would you enjoy these fresh white wines with? How about some cheese, nuts, and grapes. Enjoy.