Sunday, June 09, 2019

A natural Italian wine that reminds me of a cousin

I found this wine in a care package, the person who provided it was very excited for me to taste this wine. And seeing as I respect this person’s opinion, I told him I’d try it as soon as possible.

The wine is the 2017 Tenuta di Valgiano Palistorti Bianco, a Toscana IGT blend of Vermentino 50%, Trebbiano 16%, Malvasia 16% and Grechetto 16%. On the neck band there are two markings, Demeter and Vignaioli Independenti. This is a northern Tuscan estate in the Luccan Hills.

The visual impression of the wine was pretty straightforward. It was clear, with the slightest tincture of green.

Olfactory-wise, this is where the wine took over. It smelled like a light retsina, coupled with the aroma of the holiday spray called “The Smell of Christmas,” which I remember from my mom, who used to get it at the Hallmark store. And finally, a briefest impression of methanethiol, not entirely unpleasant, as it wasn’t a dominant trait. But for those who have eaten asparagus and later noticed an unusual byproduct, that was the part of the forest it was hiding in.

In the flavor, it was light, delicate, with the faintest hint of pine. It felt like Italian wine I’d had in the distant past, but I couldn’t pinpoint where or what. There was the slightest effervescence to the wine. It also reminded me of Greek wine in the 1970’s, which probably explains the pine and the reference to retsina. Again, it wasn’t unpleasant, just different.

The wine reminds me of a cousin, one we probably all have. She looks like the mother, but bears no resemblance to the father. She’s interesting, a little bit exotic, even mysterious. And she’s a welcome relief to the genetic sameness of a family. She’s also a bit of an outsider. Yet how can you not feel for another outsider?

Imported in the US by North Berkeley Imports. SRP in the USA under $30.




written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

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