Another indigenous Italian grape for you. This one is the Biancolella of Ponza. According to Casale del Giglio, “The Biancolella grape was introduced to the Island of Ponza from the Island of Ischia (in the Bay of Naples) during the 18th century, when the city was ruled by the Bourbon monarchs. Cultivation of the grape in the Lazio region is authorized exclusively on the Island of Ponza where it grows at the base of a sheer sea cliff surmounted by the imposing lighthouse, ‘Il Faro della Guardia’. Built in 1886, the lighthouse rises 112 metres above sea level. Its rotating beam of white light has a range of 24 nautical miles and a mainly southerly sweep through 225 degrees. The deepest part of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the trench known as ‘La Fossa del Tirreno’, lies some eleven miles to the southwest of the lighthouse rock.”
It is quite amazing where this grape is grown at the base of a sheer sea cliff! The Biancolella of Ponza grape is a white variety. There are approximately 164 acres of this indigenous grape grown in Italy. Casale del Giglio note that their wine shows an intense perfume of hawthorn blossom, ripe golden peach and fresh apricot. It is flinty and fresh, reminiscent of the ‘volcanic – calcareous’ vineyard soils and sea breezes that sustain the vine. A lingering fruitiness on the finish and a hint of citrus.
My Tasting Notes
Casale del Giglio Faro Della Guardia Biancolella di Ponza Lazio IGT 2019 – This wine has a medium plus intensity lemon colour in the glass. A lighter intensity nose, but shows rich ripe pears and peaches, along with lemon and pine needle aromas. Pineapple with some air. With decanting the aroma intensity jumps up to medium plus and you get lots of tropical fruit aromas. This wine is dry with a thicker round, viscous texture. Medium acidity. It has rich ripe pears and other stone fruits, along with tropical fruits and citrus. There is also some bitter peach pit. Light pepperiness from the mid-palate to the finish. Add apple with some air. With decanting the wine feels a little lighter in your mouth, smoother, with less pepperiness and adds some pine needle flavour. The wine finishes with a combination of stoniness and salty minerality. Honey, ripe pears and apricots and peach pit on the finish. With decanting the apricot flavour diminishes. I prefer the undecanted version as there is more variety in aroma and fruit flavours.
Rating: – A nicely balanced wine. It has a rich, ripe pear aroma along with some peach, lemon, pine needle and pineapple. It has a thicker viscous texture with ripe tropical fruit, pears and apples on the palate. No decanting needed.
Where Can I Buy This Wine?
The Alberni and Bute BC Liquor Stores carry this wine. The following restaurants carry this wine:
- Fiore Famiglia,
- Stable House Bistro,
- Cin Cin,
- La Quercia