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  Wine Tasting Issue 163, June 2017   
Contrasts of Falanghina and Pinot GrisContrasts of Falanghina and Pinot Gris Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 162, May 2017 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

Contrasts of Falanghina and Pinot Gris

One of the most famous white grapes of Campania compared to one of the international glories which found in Italy one of its places of expression

 The huge richness of grapes found in the Italian territory - the National Directory of Grape Varieties lists more than five-hundred - has no equal in any other wine making country in the world. To the rich heritage of indigenous varieties - so rich each region has their own - have been added, in more or less recent times, also the so called international grapes. Most of them is, as everyone knows, of French origin, grapes that today are widely spread in every country of the world in which is being produced wine. Thanks to the remarkable presence in the Italian territory, these varieties - today cultivated everywhere in Italy - express in every region unique and identifying qualities, however expressing their typical character. A condition which evidently occurs for every grape and for every territory, however, as for international varieties this is something becoming even more interesting because of their spreading and therefore the diversity in expression.

 Pinot Gris is one of the many allochthonous grapes introduced in Italy and that, in some regions, has been capable of expressing a particular and identifying character as to become a reference model for other wine making countries. Pinot Gris will be compared to one of the glories of Campania, Falanghina, one of the most prestigious white berried grape of this region. Two clearly different varieties, of remarkable personality, which will evidently show their respective differences while expressing their own qualities. We will see, in fact, Falanghina and Pinot Gris express very different sensorial characteristics to the senses of the taster in many regards. They are therefore two varieties well suited for our study based on contrasts. Grapes of remarkable wine making versatility, Falanghina and Pinot Gris are also well suited for the production of wine by using many techniques while making very interesting styles.

 

Falanghina


 

 Falanghina is one of the most famous and representative white berried grapes of Campania. A variety particularly common in the territory of Benevento - in particular in the Sannio Denominazione d'Origina Controllata area - Falanghina is widely common in other areas of the region as well. Among the many is mentioned Campi Flegrei area in province of Neaples. On this regard we should notice there are two varieties sharing this name: Falanghina Beneventana and Falanghina Flegrea, different grapes according to a genetic point of view. These two varieties however make wines having pretty similar organoleptic characteristics, although they are distinct varieties having no genetic connection. This caused, in past times, a certain confusion between the two varieties, something cleared only after proper genetic research. The two varieties also differ for the shape and size of bunches, as well as for the areas of cultivation.

 The origin of both varieties is uncertain. As for Falanghina Beneventana, it is believed to be originated from Bonea, a village in province of Bevenento, and its presence is also found in some areas in Avellino. Falanghina Flegrea is one of the most ancient varieties of Campania and it is believed it was introduced in the territory of Campi Flegrei by ancient Greek colonizers. The name Falanghina seems to come from Latin Falangae, that is the wooden supporting pole used for the cultivation of vines, a direct proof of how this variety was cultivated in remote times. Falanghina is today a variety cultivated in the entire territory of Campania and its presence is also found in other Italian regions, in particular Apulia and Molise. It should also be noticed in relatively recent times Falanghina is becoming more and more reevaluated by producers, after having been ignored for a long time in favor of other grapes. The results obtained in the last years are confirming - with no doubt - the huge potentials of Falanghina and it is becoming one of the most representative and famous grapes of Campania.

 

Pinot Gris

 Everything originates from Pinot Noir. This magnificent and sumptuous black berried grape - among the most ancient and extraordinary varieties of the wine scene - is in fact the parent of Pinot Gris. The grape of our tasting by contrast is in fact the result of a color mutation of Pinot Noir. Pinot Blanc too is the result of a color mutation of Pinot Noir. Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc are in fact characterized by the same genetic profile of Pinot Noir, however the color of their skins is evidently different as well as the wines they make. Pinot Gris is a very popular grape and it is found in many wine making countries of the world, everywhere playing an important wine making role as to be known with different names. In Italy, and in other places of the world, it is known as Pinot Grigio; in France it is called Pinot Gris; in countries which languages have a Germanic origin is known as Ruländer or Grauburgunder; other names with which it is known also include Malvoisie and Szürkebarát.

 Pinot Gris makes wines of remarkable interest, capable of coloring its wines according to the wine making technique used for the production. The skin of Pinot Gris' berries is in fact characterized by a color in between yellow-green and purple, therefore, according to the role played by the skins in production, wines get different colors. Maceration of skin in the must produces in fact the famous style with a coppery color, very appreciated in the past and today less common. In recent times it is in fact preferred to vinify Pinot Gris as a white, therefore avoiding the contact of skins with the must, a technique giving - of course - a white wine with a more or less intense straw yellow color. Pinot Gris is particularly common in the North-Eastern area of Italy: Veneto, Friuli Venezia Giulia, Trentino and Alto Adige. Wines produced with this grape in this area - in particular in Friuli - have been successful in becoming a characteristic expression of the grape and have become a wine making model in other countries of the world.

 

The Tasting


The color of
Pinot Gris vinified in white
The color of Pinot Gris vinified in white

 In choosing the wines of our tasting by contrast, we will make sure the bottles are produced with the two varieties only. Our choice will be in favor of wines produced in Italy - a forced choice, in particular, for Falanghina - therefore we will pay attention on composition. Because of the laws in force in Italy concerning the composition of wines, despite in the label is stated the name of just one variety, this could be present for at least 85% of the overall composition. We will therefore make sure both wines are produced with 100% of the respective varieties. The first wine we will choose is a Sannio Falanghina - also known as Falanghina del Sannio - whereas the second wine will be a Friuli Isonzo Pinot Grigio, vinified without skin maceration in the must. In both cases we will make sure vinification was made in inert containers and belonging to the most recent vintage. The two wines will be served in tasting glasses at the temperature of 10 °C (50 °F).

 Let's pour Falanghina and Pinot Gris in their respective glasses and start our tasting by contrast, by evaluating - as usual - appearance. The first wine we will evaluate is Falanghina del Sannio. By tilting the glass over a white surface, let's observe the base of the glass. The wine shows a pale straw yellow color and a very high transparency. Let's now pass to the evaluation of nuances by observing the wine towards the opening, where the thickness of the liquid mass is thinner. We will se a greenish yellow color, a sign - last but not the least - of the young age of the wine. Let's now evaluate Friuli Isonzo Pinot Grigio by observing the base of the glass. The color is more intense than Falanghina and it is possible to see a brilliant straw yellow hue. Nuances of Pinot Gris - observed towards the opening of the glass - confirm the same color. Let's now place the glasses side by side: differences in color are evident.

 Olfactory profiles of Falanghina and Pinot Gris are very different one from each other, despite - in certain aspects - they may share some common characteristics, in particular aromas recalling fruits. Falanghina gives to the nose aromas of flowers and fruits in which can be mainly perceived apple, pear and plum as well as broom and hawthorn. Sometimes can also be perceived sensations recalling tropical fruits, in particular banana and pineapple. Other olfactory qualities which can be perceived in Falanghina include almond and hazelnut. Also in Pinot Gris can be perceived aromas recalling fruits and flowers, in particular - as for aromas recalling fruits - apple, pear and peach, most of the times followed by pineapple, lemon, apricot and hazelnut. In Pinot Gris can also be perceived pleasing aromas recalling flowers, in particular acacia, broom and hawthorn.

 Let's now proceed with the olfactory analysis of the wines of our tasting by contrast, starting from the glass of Sannio Falanghina. By holding the glass in vertical position and without swirling, let's evaluate the opening. From the glass are perceived intense aromas of apple and pear to which follow flowery aromas of broom and hawthorn. After having swirled the glass, let's do a second smell in order to complete the olfactory profile of Falanghina. From the glass are perceived aromas of plum, peach, hazelnut and sensations of tropical fruits, in particular pineapple. Let's now pass to the glass of Friuli Isonzo Pinot Grigio and evaluate its opening. From the glass are perceived intense aromas of apple, pear and peach followed by the aroma of broom. After having swirled the glass, in order to favor the development of the other aromas, the profile of Pinot Gris is completed by acacia, pineapple, lemon, hawthorn, apricot and grapefruit.

 The next phase is about the evaluation of gustatory profiles, analysis from which will be evident - just like the previous ones - substantial differences. Let's take a sip of Sannio Falanghina in order to evaluate the attack of wine, that is the initial sensations perceived in the mouth. Falanghina is characterized by a pleasing crispness opposed to a good structure and moderate sensation of roundness. In the mouth can be perceived flavors of pear, apple and plum. Let's now pass to the evaluation of the attack in Friuli Isonzo Pinot Grigio. The initial sensations produced in the mouth by the wine are characterized by a pleasing crispness given by acidity and which is promptly balanced by an evident sensation of roundness. In the mouth are perceived flavors of apple, pear and peach, as well as a pleasing sensation recalling lemon. The perception of roundness is also accentuated by the effect of alcohol. Let's now compare both wines: differences in structure and roundness are evident.

 The ending phase of our tasting by contrast will evaluate the final sensations left in the mouth by the wines after having swallowed them. The finish of Sannio Falanghina is persistent and in the mouth are clearly perceived flavors of apple, pear, plum and hazelnut, as well as a pleasing crisp sensation given by acidity. The finish of Friuli Isonzo Pinot Grigio is persistent and in the mouth leaves intense and pleasing flavors of apple, pear and peach as well as the sensation of acidity in which can be perceived lemon. In Pinot Gris is also perceived a pleasing sensation of roundness, evidently stronger than Falanghina. It should also be noticed the burning effect of alcohol which can be perceived in both wines. In Falanghina the burning sensation of alcohol is mainly balanced by crispness, whereas in Pinot Gris, besides crispness, is also balanced by roundness.

 



 Editorial  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 163, June 2017   
Contrasts of Falanghina and Pinot GrisContrasts of Falanghina and Pinot Gris Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 162, May 2017 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

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




Trentino Superiore Marzemino d'Isera Etichetta Verde 2015, Cantina d'Isera (Trentino, Italy)
Trentino Superiore Marzemino d'Isera Etichetta Verde 2015
Cantina d'Isera (Trentino, Italy)
Marzemino
Price: € 11.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of ruby red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of blueberry, blackberry, raspberry and almond.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry.
Aged in cement tanks.
Cold cuts, Pasta with meat and mushrooms, Sauteed meat, Roasted white meat



Trentino Superiore Marzemino d'Isera Corè 2013, Cantina d'Isera (Trentino, Italy)
Trentino Superiore Marzemino d'Isera Corè 2013
Cantina d'Isera (Trentino, Italy)
Marzemino
Price: € 13.00 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of ruby red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, blueberry and violet followed by aromas of plum, blackberry, cyclamen, raspberry, geranium and almond.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, blueberry and plum.
Aged in cement and steel tanks.
Cold cuts, Stuffed pasta with meat, Sauteed meat, Roasted white meat



Antenata 2013, Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Antenata 2013
Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Merlot
Price: € 38.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, black currant and plum followed by aromas of dried violet, blueberry, chocolate, vanilla, tobacco, leather, mace, pink pepper and eucalyptus.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, black currant and plum.
16 months in cask, 12 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Vallocaia 2013, Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Vallocaia 2013
Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese (90%), Colorino del Valdarno (10%)
Price: € 30.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of ruby red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of blueberry, blackberry, raspberry, rose, vanilla, tobacco, cocoa, cinnamon, mace and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry.
2 years in cask, 1 year in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Franciacorta Dosage Zero Monogram 2011, Castel Faglia (Lombardy, Italy)
Franciacorta Dosage Zero Monogram 2011
Castel Faglia (Lombardy, Italy)
Chardonnay (80%), Pinot Nero (20%)
Price: € 18.80 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant golden yellow and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of apple, bread crust and plum followed by aromas of ripe banana, citrus fruits, hazelnut, grapefruit, hawthorn, yeast, butter, honey and mineral.
Crisp and effervescent attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, bread crust and plum.
Refermented in bottle on its lees for at least 30 months.
Stuffed pasta, Roasted fish, Roasted white meat, Mushroom soups



Franciacorta Brut Monogram Millesimato 2010, Castel Faglia (Lombardy, Italy)
Franciacorta Brut Monogram Millesimato 2010
Castel Faglia (Lombardy, Italy)
Chardonnay (90%), Pinot Bianco (10%)
Price: € 41.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant straw yellow and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of apple, banana and bread crust followed by aromas of pear, grapefruit, hazelnut, hawthorn, yeast, honey, butter, mineral and hints of vanilla.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, plum and grapefruit.
The base wine ferments in steel tanks and barrique. Refermented in bottle on its lees for at least 36 months.
Stuffed pasta, Roasted fish, Roasted white meat, Broiled crustaceans



Lahn 2016, Castelfeder (Alto Adige, Italy)
Lahn 2016
Castelfeder (Alto Adige, Italy)
Kerner
Price: € 11.80 Score:

Pale straw yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of apple, pear and lemon followed by aromas of peach, anise, hawthorn, broom, elder flower, plum and nutmeg.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of pear, peach and lemon.
4 months in steel tanks.
Pasta with fish and crustaceans, Fried fish, Broiled crustaceans, Dairy products



Alto Adige Gewürztraminer Vom Lehm 2015, Castelfeder (Alto Adige, Italy)
Alto Adige Gewürztraminer Vom Lehm 2015
Castelfeder (Alto Adige, Italy)
Gewürztraminer
Price: € 12.80 Score:

Intense golden yellow and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of grape, peach and lychee followed by aromas of white rose, pear, apple, honey, pineapple, nutmeg and sage.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of grape, lychee and peach.
4 months in steel tanks.
Roasted fish, Roasted white meat, Stuffed pasta, Mushroom soups, Broiled crustaceans



Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry Castèl 2016, Merotto (Veneto, Italy)
Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry Castèl 2016
Merotto (Veneto, Italy)
Glera
Price: € 17.00 Score:

Brilliant greenish yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, fine and persistent perlage, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of pear, wisteria and apple followed by aromas of peach, pineapple, tangerine, broom, hawthorn and plum.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing sweetness.
Persistent finish with flavors of pear, apple and peach.
Fermented in closed tank for 50 days, aged on its lees for 4 months.
Aperitifs, Vegetable and crustacean appetizers, Risotto with vegetables, Sauteed crustaceans



Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut Rive di Col San Martino Cuvée del Fondatore Graziano Merotto 2016, Merotto (Veneto, Italy)
Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut Rive di Col San Martino Cuvée del Fondatore Graziano Merotto 2016
Merotto (Veneto, Italy)
Glera
Price: € 18.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant greenish yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of pear, peach and wisteria followed by aromas of apple, tangerine, pineapple, broom, citrus fruits, hawthorn, kiwi, plum and mineral.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of pear, apple and peach.
Fermented and aged in closed tanks for 6 months.
Fish and crustacean appetizers, Sauteed crustaceans, Pasta and risotto with crustaceans



Trento Rosé Brut Pian Castello 2011, Endrizzi (Trentino, Italy)
Trento Rosé Brut Pian Castello 2011
Endrizzi (Trentino, Italy)
Pinot Nero
Price: € 19.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Pale cherry pink and nuances of cherry pink, transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of cherry, raspberry and bread crust followed by aromas of strawberry, cyclamen, apple, plum, citrus fruits, blueberry and hints of vanilla.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry.
Refermented in bottle on its lees for 60 months.
Stuffed pasta, Roasted white meat, Roasted fish, Mushroom soups



Gran Masetto 2012, Endrizzi (Trentino, Italy)
Gran Masetto 2012
Endrizzi (Trentino, Italy)
Teroldego
Price: € 39.00 Score:

Deep ruby red and nuances of garnet red, impenetrable.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, blackberry and black cherry followed by aromas of dried violet, blueberry, tobacco, vanilla, chocolate, leather, licorice, pink pepper, mace and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum.
20 months in barrique, 6 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 163, June 2017   
Contrasts of Falanghina and Pinot GrisContrasts of Falanghina and Pinot Gris Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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