Here’s a fresh look at some ancient grape types that are worthy of your summertime quaffing consideration.
The parameters for this collection are:
- Italian whites
- Widely available
- Under $15.00 per bottle
- No Pinot Grigio (not that there’s anything wrong with Pinot Grigio!)
From the Veneto, long a mainstay (blended with Trebbiano) for Soave, this grape can bring a lush, pear, melon and apricot experience.
Ferdi, Bianco Veronese, 2006, IGT, Sartori, $14.99
Mass maker Sartori delivers value and juicy fruit with this winner. Sharon says “Wow, I even get some honey in here!”
Victor Hazan thinks the Vermentino arrived from Spain to Liguria…then migrated to Sardinia. Others believe in the Spanish origin, but see it arriving in Sardinia via Corsica. It thrives in heat and dryness and is grown successfully in Sardinia, Liguria and coastal Tuscany. Aromatic fireworks…sometimes with deep piney herbs, other times more plump, rounded and melony.
Costamolino, Vermentino di Sardegna, 2008, DOC, Agriolas $14.99
This classic is tightly structured, firm, spirited and bright to the taste.
Prelius, Vermentino Maremma, 2008, IGT,Volpaia, $9.99
This is a wonderful example of the Tuscan coastal success with Vermentino. Nice grip, piney nose, breezy.
It’s the most planted white wine grape and the second-most planted grape (behind Sangiovese) in Italy. Long a blending wine, it can be a refreshing party or picnic pleaser, when handled by a caring producer.
La Piazza, Catarratto, 2007, IGT, Cantine Calatrasi, $10.99
Simple, just a hint of pear…like a soft wind blowing into Trapani.
Donnafugata 2007, IGT, Anthili, $14.99
This pleasurable blend of Catarratto and Ansonica (Inzolia) symbolizes the growth of the Sicilian wine industry. Crisp, delicate fruit hints of peach. You’ll get some attention with this one.
I’ve come to enjoy this grape over the years….and especially since our visit to Campania. It’s a beachside natural.
Falanghina Sannio, 2007, DOC, Fuedi Di San Gregorio, $16.99
I pushed the $15.00 envelope with this beauty…but it still represents great value. Bracing, in a sea breeze manner, with crisp fruit and a waft of pine.
Do you have a special Italian summer white? Leave a comment and tell us about it.