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 Editorial  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 151, May 2016   
Contrasts of Garganega and VermentinoContrasts of Garganega and Vermentino Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 150, April 2016 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 152, June 2016

Contrasts of Garganega and Vermentino

Two great white grapes protagonists of wines among the most representative ones of Italy, with different characters however expressions of great personality

 The number of autochthonous wine grapes of Italy has no equal in any other country of the world. The enological beauty of Bel Paese is also expressed by this particular characteristic allowing every region of Italy to have at least one indigenous variety. An invaluable richness allowing this country to offer a remarkable number of wines, different territorial expressions in which each grape can offer a unique character. Of course this does not mean each autochthonous grape is capable of making quality wines - and the same is true for territories - it is however true this characteristic makes Italy a unique wine land of the world. It is not by chance, in fact, when ancient Greeks arrived to these lands, they called Italy Enotria Tellus. Land of wine but also of grapes - many grapes - already present and common at the times of Magna Graecia.


 

 Ancient Greeks, it should be said, introduced many grapes to the lands which will then become Italy, and the influence of Hellenic people in wine making and viticulture of this country is still today evident in the names of many grapes. The grapes of our tasting by contrast of this month are very important representatives of the huge heritage of Italian autochthonous varieties: Garganega and Vermentino. The former variety - Garganega - is the grape which undeniably marked the rebirth of one of the most famous Italian white wines: Soave. Vermentinno is the protagonist of many white wines of Sardinia, however it also plays an important role in Liguria and Tuscany. The presence of these grapes is also found in other regions of Italy - although marginally - whereas Vermentino is also cultivated in France and Corse.

 Garganega is the most important white berried grape of Verona and Vicenza provinces, the main grape of Soave and Gambellara wines. In particular, in Soave territory, Garganega is responsible of the rebirth of white wines of this area, giving them a better personality, elegance and finesse. The origins of Garganega are not clear, however it is believed its presence in this land is evidently dated back to remote times, as well as believing it was introduced to this territory by Etruscans. Pietro de' Crescenzi, the famous writer and agronomist of the 1200s, mentioned Garganega in his book and, even at those times, this grape was praised for the production of sweet wines. On this regard, it is believed Garganega was used by Rhaetian people for the making of their sweet wines, also mentioned by Pliny the Elder, whom, among the many things, supported the idea Rhaetian people were of Etruscan origins.

 Garganega is still today one of the most prestigious grapes and having a good versatility, protagonist of white and sweet wines of remarkable elegance. The famous white berried grape of Veneto is the main variety of Soave and Recioto di Soave, and today it is the main grape used for these wines, most of the times it is the only one. With time, Garganega has in fact replaced the other varieties provided for the production of these wines, in particular Trebbiano di Soave, and today most producers tends to use it alone. The same can be said for Gambellara wines, in which Garganega is used alone both for dry and sweet wines of the territory. This grape is mainly found in Veneto, however it is also marginally found in other regions of Italy, such as Umbria and Lombardy. The best expression of Garganega is however found in the provinces of Verona and Vicenza, both for white wines and sweet wines produced with dried grapes.

 The origins of Vermentino seem to be clearer. The origin of this great white variety is to be found in Spain, more likely in Portugal, it was then introduced to the lands of France, therefore to the Italian territory. Vermentino is particularly common in Sardinia, introduced here from the neighboring Corse, and it is today the most common white berried grape of the island. From Sardinia Vermentino has been then spread to Liguria and therefore Tuscany, regions in which this white grape is still today widely common. Moreover, it is believed some autochthonous varieties, such as Pigato, Rollo and Favorita, are indeed similar to Vermentino and, therefore, it is the same grape. The same consideration is true for the so called Vermentino di Gallura and Vermentino di Alghero, both cultivated in Sardinia and both representing the same variety.


The color of
Vermentino. The greenish yellow nuance is clearly evident.
The color of Vermentino. The greenish yellow nuance is clearly evident.

 Vermentino expresses different characters in the three lands in which it is mainly found: Sardinia, Liguria and Tuscany. In Sardinia Vermentino generally makes wines of good body and complexity, whereas in Liguria gives wines of more refined elegance of aromas and a weaker body. In Tuscany Vermentino seems to express quite different characters, while keeping both elegance of aromas and good body. Sardinia is today considered the main land of Vermentino and wines produced with this grape are recognized as Denominazione d'Origine Controllata in the whole territory of the island. The most prestigious expression certainly is Vermentino di Gallura - recognized as DOCG (Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita) - having a pretty strong personality while expressing good elegance. Vermentino is however a versatile grape, in particular in Sardinia where it is used for the production of sparkling and dry wines, as well as sweet wines from dried grapes.

 The wines of our tasting by contrast will be chosen from the areas of Soave, in Veneto, and Gallura, in Sardinia. Specifically, as for Garganega, we will choose a Soave Superiore, whereas for the other variety our choice will be about a Vermentino di Gallura. In both cases, we should consider the respective production disciplinary provides for the use of different varieties of the territory, it is therefore indispensable our wines will be made with 100% of the respective grapes. This is particularly important for Soave Superiore, as production disciplinary provides for a minimum Garganega of 70%. We will choose wines belonging to the latest vintage as we need young wines capable of expressing the character of the respective grapes. Production technique is important as well, we therefore make sure both wines are produced in steel tanks. The samples of our tasting will be served at the temperature of 10 °C (50 °F) and poured in tasting glasses.

 Let's pour both wines in glasses and start the evaluation of appearance from Vermentino di Gallura. Let's tilt the glass over a white surface - for this purpose is enough a simple sheet of paper - and observe the wine at the base of the glass. It will be observed an intense and brilliant straw yellow color and a very high transparency, something easily predictable. We will not in fact have any problem in recognizing the details of an object put between the glass and the white surface. Nuances of color, observed at the edge of the wine towards the opening of the glass, shows a greenish yellow hue. Let's now observe the appearance of Garganega expressed by Soave Superiore wine. At the base of the glass will be observed an intense straw yellow color, sometimes tending to golden yellow, with a transparency - also in this case - very high. Nuances of Garganega confirm its color, showing a straw yellow hue tending to golden yellow.

 Aromatic profiles of Garganega and Vermentino have some common characteristics as well as substantial differences, they however give the nose of the taster a character of elegant personality. Both varieties are mainly characterized by their aromas of white pulp fruits, in particular apple and pear. The aromatic profile of Vermentino, in general terms, expresses qualities directly recalling citrus fruits - in particular lemon - with a character, like to say, crisper than Garganega. The white berried grape of Veneto is characterized, among the other things, by a typical aroma of almond, a quality which can be perceived both in its dry and in sweet wines made from dried grapes. In both varieties are found sensations recalling tropical fruits, in particular pineapple, and aromas recalling flowers mainly express hawthorn and broom.

 Let's now pass to aroma evaluation of the two grapes of our tasting by contrast. We will start from Vermentino di Gallura, by holding the glass in vertical position and without swirling. Let's do our first smell in order to evaluate opening aromas. From the glass will be perceived aromas of apple, pear and hawthorn, intense and well perceptible. Let's now swirl the glass - in order to favor the development of the other aromas - and do a second smell. From the glass will be perceived the characteristic aroma of lemon to which follows broom, plum, peach, pineapple and a hint of almond. Let's now pass to the evaluation of Garganega's aromas expressed by Soave Superiore. The opening of this wine gives the nose of the taster aromas of apple, broom and pear, as well as the characteristic almond aroma. After having swirled the glass, the olfactory profile is completed by hawthorn, peach, plum, pineapple and apricot. In Garganega can also be sometimes perceived the aroma of honey.

 Gustatory qualities of Vermentino and Garganega are characterized by pretty evident differences, in particular structure. Both varieties make wines with a pretty high alcohol by volume - it is not rare to have wines having 13% of alcohol - a characteristic clearly affecting the gustatory profile. In the attack of Vermentino di Gallura can be appreciated an evident crispness, given by acidity, a quality making this wine very agreeable. It will be noticed the contribution of alcohol in the balance of wines, as well as the good correspondence to the nose, in particular apple, pear and pineapple. Let's now take a sip of Soave Superiore. The attack of Garganega is characterized by a rounder crispness than Vermentino and, in general terms, a more robust structure. Also in this wine alcohol plays an evident role in the balance, something also contributing to increase roundness, clearly stronger than Vermentino. Correspondence to the nose is very good and we can perceive apple, pear and peach.

 Let's finish our tasting by contrast with the evaluation of final sensations the two wines leave in the mouth after having been swallowed. Vermentino and Garganega make wines of interesting characteristics leaving in the mouth sensation of very good quality. The finish of Vermentino di Gallura has good persistence and in the mouth can be perceived - after having swallowed the wine - pleasing and clean flavors of apple, pear, pineapple and lemon. Final sensations left in the mouth by Soave Superiore's Garganega are interesting as well. The persistence of this wine is very good and in the mouth can be perceived flavors of apple, pear, plum and the characteristic bitter hint of almond. As opposed to Vermentino, in Garganega can be perceived the sensation of a more robust structure while crispness given by acidity seems to be lower than Vermentino. Both grapes can certainly be considered excellent, capable of making great white wines, of remarkable personality and quality.

 






 Editorial  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 151, May 2016   
Contrasts of Garganega and VermentinoContrasts of Garganega and Vermentino Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 150, April 2016 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 152, June 2016

Wines of the Month


 

Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Good value wine Good value wine
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale La Dolce Vite 2011, L'Antico Palmento (Apulia, Italy)
Primitivo di Manduria Dolce Naturale La Dolce Vite 2011
L'Antico Palmento (Apulia, Italy)
Primitivo
Price: € 30.00 Score:

Deep ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of blackberry, black cherry and plum followed by aromas of dried violet, blueberry, carob, tamarind, pink pepper, walnut husk and nail polish.
Sweet and tannic attack, however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of blackberry, black cherry and plum.
Aged in steel tanks.
Jam tarts, Chocolate tarts, Hard and piquant cheese



Primitivo di Manduria Sant'Anastasia 2013, Beato Vini (Apulia, Italy)
Primitivo di Manduria Sant'Anastasia 2013
Beato Vini (Apulia, Italy)
Primitivo
Price: € 22.00 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of plum jam, black cherry jam, blackberry jam followed by aromas of dried violet, tobacco, vanilla, chocolate, mace and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum jam, black cherry jam and blackberry jam.
12 months in barrique.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Montefalco Sagrantino Passito 2011, Fattoria Colleallodole - Milziade Antano (Umbria, Italy)
Montefalco Sagrantino Passito 2011
Fattoria Colleallodole - Milziade Antano (Umbria, Italy)
Sagrantino
Price: € 40.00 - 500ml Score: Wine that excels in its category

Deep ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of blackberry, plum and dried violet followed by aromas of black cherry, blueberry, vanilla, licorice, chocolate, mace, tobacco, walnut husk and nail polish.
Sweet and tannic attack, however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of blackberry, plum and black cherry.
18 months in barrique, 6 months in bottle.
Chocolate tarts, Hard cheese, Jam tarts



Montefalco Sagrantino Collepiano 2011, Arnaldo Caprai (Umbria, Italy)
Montefalco Sagrantino Collepiano 2011
Arnaldo Caprai (Umbria, Italy)
Sagrantino
Price: € 75.00 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of blackberry, black cherry and violet followed by aromas of plum, blueberry, vanilla, tobacco, mace, pink pepper, face powder, chocolate, cinnamon, leather and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of blackberry, plum and black cherry.
22 months in barrique, at least 6 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Barolo Gramolere 2011, Manzone Giovanni (Piedmont, Italy)
Barolo Gramolere 2011
Manzone Giovanni (Piedmont, Italy)
Nebbiolo
Price: € 36.60 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of raspberry, blueberry, vanilla, rose, tobacco, chocolate, licorice, mace, leather and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, plum and raspberry.
30 months in cask.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Barolo Riserva Gramolere 2007, Manzone Giovanni (Piedmont, Italy)
Barolo Riserva Gramolere 2007
Manzone Giovanni (Piedmont, Italy)
Nebbiolo
Price: € 60.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of brick red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of cherry, plum and dried violet followed by aromas of raspberry, dried violet, strawberry jam, vanilla, tobacco, licorice, cinnamon, cocoa, leather, mace and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of cherry, plum and raspberry.
48 months in cask.
Game, Stewed and braised meat, Roasted meat, Hard cheese



Nebbiolo d'Alba Superiore Crussi 2013, Ca' Richeta (Piedmont, Italy)
Nebbiolo d'Alba Superiore Crussi 2013
Ca' Richeta (Piedmont, Italy)
Nebbiolo
Price: € 12.20 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of raspberry, rose, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate and mace.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, plum and raspberry.
24 months in cask, 6 months in bottle.
Pasta with meat and mushrooms, Broiled meat and barbecue, Roasted meat



Vino da Messa 2006, Ca' Richeta (Piedmont, Italy)
Vino da Messa 2006
Ca' Richeta (Piedmont, Italy)
Moscato bianco, Sauvignon Blanc, Other Grapes
Price: € 14.50 - 375ml Score:

Intense amber yellow and nuances of amber yellow, transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of raisin, dried fig and honey followed by aromas of dried apricot, peach jam, quince jam, candied fruits, date, almond, vanilla and nail polish.
Sweet attack and pleasing roundness, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of raisin, dried fig and honey.
48 months in barrique.
Hard cheese, Dried fruit desserts



Monferrato Bianco Solis Vis 2014, Tenuta Montemagno (Piedmont, Italy)
Monferrato Bianco Solis Vis 2014
Tenuta Montemagno (Piedmont, Italy)
Timorasso
Price: € 11.00 Score:

Brilliant straw yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of apple, citrus fruits and pear followed by aromas of hazelnut, honey, plum, peach, hawthorn, pineapple and broom.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, plum and hazelnut.
Aged in steel tanks.
Stuffed pasta, Broiled white meat, Broiled fish, Roasted fish



Barbera d'Asti Superiore Mysterium 2013, Tenuta Montemagno (Piedmont, Italy)
Barbera d'Asti Superiore Mysterium 2013
Tenuta Montemagno (Piedmont, Italy)
Berbera
Price: € 15.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of cherry, blueberry and plum followed by aromas of violet, raspberry, blackberry, vanilla, chocolate, tobacco and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, blueberry and plum.
12 months in cask and barrique.
Broiled meat and barbecue, Roasted meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms



Aglianico del Taburno Riserva Vigna Cataratte 2008, Fontanavecchia (Campania, Italy)
Aglianico del Taburno Riserva Vigna Cataratte 2008
Fontanavecchia (Campania, Italy)
Aglianico
Price: € 16.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, black cherry and blackberry followed by aromas of dried violet, blueberry, tobacco, vanilla, cocoa, clover, cinnamon, leather, mace and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, black cherry and blackberry.
14 months in barrique.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Taburno Falanghina Facetus 2008, Fontanavecchia (Campania, Italy)
Taburno Falanghina Facetus 2008
Fontanavecchia (Campania, Italy)
Falanghina
Price: € 12.00 Score:   Good value wine

Deep golden yellow and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of ripe apple, citrus fruit peel and hazelnut followed by aromas of honey, plum, dried apricot, quince jam, pear jam, vanilla, praline, peach jam, hawthorn and mineral.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of ripe apple, dried apricot and hazelnut.
9 months in barrique.
Roasted white meat, Broiled meat, Roasted fish, Hard cheese



Luteraia 2012, Luteraia (Tuscany, Italy)
Luteraia 2012
Luteraia (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese (70%), Canaiolo Nero (20%), Mammolo, Malvasia Aromatica Bianca (10%)
Price: € 13.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and dried violet followed by aromas of blueberry, tobacco, vanilla, chocolate, leather, mace, cinnamon and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, black cherry and blueberry.
12 months in cask, 24 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011, Luteraia (Tuscany, Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2011
Luteraia (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese (70%), Canaiolo Nero (20%), Mammolo, Malvasia Aromatica Bianca (10%)
Price: € 13.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of brick red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, black cherry and dried violet followed by aromas of blueberry, chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, mace, leather, mace and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, black cherry and blueberry.
12 months in cask, 24 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese






 Editorial  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 151, May 2016   
Contrasts of Garganega and VermentinoContrasts of Garganega and Vermentino Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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