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  Wine Tasting Issue 167, November 2017   
Contrasts of Trebbiano Toscano and AlbanaContrasts of Trebbiano Toscano and Albana Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 166, October 2017 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

Contrasts of Trebbiano Toscano and Albana

Two white grapes compared in the glasses of this month. The former usually blended to other grapes, the latter mainly vinified alone.

 This month we are going to cover the subject of white grapes by examining two important varieties of the Italian wine scene. They are grapes very common in their respective regions - Tuscany and Emilia Romagna, specifically, the eastern part of this region - and are used for the production of many wines. Trebbiano Toscano and Albana - these are the grapes of our tasting by contrast of this month - are in fact widely used for the production of wines and, as for the Tuscan grape, it was once used in some red wines as well, in particular Chianti according to the famous formula of Baron Ricasoli. Albana is mainly used alone for the production of wines belonging to the Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita Romagna Albana DOCG. These two grapes are easily recognized when they are in our glasses, capable of giving their character to the wines in which are used.

 It should be said the two grapes does not have, like to say, a strong personality, a consideration mainly true for Trebbiano Toscano. Also in terms of versatility both grapes express different qualities. Of the two, Albana certainly is the one having a better versatility, used for the production of many wine styles, from sparkling to sweet wines. Trebbiano Toscano is mainly used for the production of table wines and, in certain cases, it is also used in sweet wines from dried grapes, in particular the so called Vin Santo typical in Central Italy. Moreover, it should be noticed Trebbiano Toscano is the fundamental grape for the production of the famous wine distillates Cognac and Armagnac, glories of France where this variety is known as Ugni Blanc. From a sensorial and organoleptic point of view, Albana and Trebbiano Toscano are very different one from each other, from appearance to taste, they are evidently different for their respective characters.

 

Trebbiano Toscano


 

 Trebbiano Toscano is one of the many varieties belonging to the numerous family of the so called trebbiani, grapes whose origin is most of the times unknown. There are in fact many grapes identified with this name and, besides “Toscano”, are mentioned Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, Romagnolo, Giallo, Modenese, Spoletino as well as Trebbiano di Soave and Lugana. It whould be noticed that, despite they are all identified by the same name, all these varieties have no genetic connection and - as a matter of fact - they are distinct grapes. Everyone agrees on the origin of the name from Latin trebulanum and mentioned in the monumental Naturalis Historia by Pliny the Elder. The famous naturalist of ancient Rome mentioned, in fact, that in the agro trebulanis - that is in the country of Trebula near the modern Capua - was produced a vinum trebulanum (wine of Trebula). It should also be noticed that, in past times, the term Trebula was used for the identification of many villages, in particular in Central Italy. Therefore the term trebulanum - Italianized in “trebbiano” - will later get the meaning of something or someone, in our case grape, typical of a certain place.

 According to Andrea Bacci, as mentioned in his book De Naturali Vinorum Historia, Trebbiano Toscano is named after a trebula village of ancient Etruria and located near the modern town Luni. This variety is today one of the most cultivated grapes in Italy and it is virtually found all over Central Italy and in other regions as well. In its historical journey, Trebbiano Toscano unavoidably got names and expressions according to the viticultural adaptation of the places in which was introduced. On this regard, it should be noticed Procanico grape of Umbria, used for the production of Orvieto DOC is indeed Trebbiano Toscano. Moreover, some believe Biancame, the grape used for the production of Bianchello del Metauro, is indeed a Trebbiano Toscano resulted from the adaptation it underwent with time in that territory. Finally, it should be noticed this variety is also found in France, where it is known as Ugni Blanc and with which are produced the famous distillates Cognac and Armagnac. Wines produced with Trebbiano Toscano are characterized by the appreciable acidity, with a moderate body and usually poor in relevant olfactory and gustatory quality.

 

Albana

 White grape among the most representative ones of Romagna, Albana is a variety characterized by a remarkable versatility and having with this territory a very long story. Albana is the variety with which are produced the wines of the first Denominazione d'Origine Controllata e Garantita appellation of Emilia Romagna, established in 1987 with the name Albana di Romagna, since 2011 known as Romagna Albana. The origin of this variety are not clear. The most recurring hypothesis wants this grape to be introduced in these lands by ancient Romans, however there are no evident proofs supporting this origin. The first historical evidence about Albana has been provided at the beginning of the 1300 by Pier de' Crescenzi, the first one who wrote about this variety and talking about its presence and wine making use. From that moment on, there will be many other information and mentions about Albana. Among the most famous historical facts we have is the one about Galla Placidia - daughter of emperor Theodosius I - who had the chance to drink a wine made from this grape: she liked so much as to consider it worth to be drunk in golden cups only.

 Albana is mainly found in the provinces of Ravenna and Forlì, it is also found in other areas of Emilia Romagna, with a marginal presence outside this region. The most common clone is Albana Gentile di Bertinoro, characterized by a large cluster. Other clones include Albana della Bagarona, Albana della Compadrona, Albana della Gaiana and Albana della Serra or della Forcella, all having distinct morphological characteristics. Like already said, Albana is a variety having an interesting wine making versatility, as to be used for the creation of many styles, including sparkling and sweet wines made from dried grapes. Albana wines are characterized by pretty intense colors, in which are frequently seen golden yellow hues. Grape having a good content in sugar, wines produced with Albana are also characterized by a pretty high alcohol by volume and an appreciable body. Albana's versatility is also expressed by the use of diverse vinification tanks, giving good results also with the fermentation and aging in cask or barrique.

 

The Tasting


The color of
Romagna Albana
The color of Romagna Albana

 Our tasting by contrast will examine two wines respectively produced with the grapes subject of our study. We will make sure, in particular for Trebbiano Toscano, the wines are exclusively produced with 100% of these grapes. As for the choice of the wine produced with Trebbiano Toscano, we may have some difficulty because this variety is hardly vinified alone, frequently blended to other grapes. The choice of the wine produced with Albana is certainly simpler. In this case we will choose a wine belonging to Romagna Albana DOCG, which provides for a minimum of 95% of this grape, although it frequently is the only variety used in these wines. We will therefore make sure of the exclusive use of both grapes and, moreover, we will choose wines fermented and aged in steel tanks in order to have a clean organoleptic profile. Both wines, belonging to the last produced vintage, will be served in tasting glasses at the temperature of 10 °C.

 Let's pour Trebbiano Toscano and Albana in their respective glasses and start our tasting by contrast. The first wine we will examine is Trebbiano Toscano, by starting the evaluation of its appearance. After having tilted the glass over a white surface, let's observe the color of the wine at the base. We will see a brilliant greenish yellow color with a very high transparency and nuances, observed at the edge of the glass, towards the opening, confirm the same hue. Let's now pass to the evaluation of Romagna Albana, also in this case, by tilting the glass over a white surface. The color of this wine is evidently more intense and darker than Trebbiano Toscano, showing an intense straw yellow color, sometimes showing a golden yellow hue as well. Nuances of Albana, observed at the edge of the glass, where the wine is thinner, is characterized by the same color. Let's now put the glasses side by side: differences in color are very evident.

 Trebbiano Toscano and Albana make wines with very different organoleptic qualities, differences which are clearly perceivable also during the analysis of their respective olfactory profiles. Wines produced with Trebbiano Toscano are not particularly interesting for their organoleptic qualities, with pretty neutral aromas and having a small character. In Trebbiano Toscano is frequently perceived apple, pear, plum as well as hawthorn, sometimes broom. A non particularly intense olfactory profile, frequently defined as “neutral”. Albana is evidently more expressive giving the nose aromas of higher interest and intensity. The grape from Romagna can develop, in certain cases, a profile of good richness, in which are perceived apple, pear, peach, apricot and citrus fruits, hawthorn and broom as for floral characters. It frequently develops more complex and rounder aromas, in which are perceived honey as well as sensations recalling almond.

 Let's now proceed with our tasting by contrast by evaluating the aromas of both wines, starting from Trebbiano Toscano. By holding the glass in vertical position and without swirling, let's do the first smelling in order to evaluate the opening of wine. The intensity of aromas if pretty modest, with a character not particularly distinguished for its complexity and from the glass are perceived aromas of apple, plum and hawthorn. After having swirled the glass, the profile of the wine does not seem to develop other aromas than those above, however it could be we can perceive pear and broom. Let's now pass to the glass of Romagna Albana and evaluate the opening of the wine. From the glass is perceived a stronger intensity in which are recognized apple, pear and peach, frequently apricot as well. After having swirled the glass, in order to favor the development of other aromas, the profile of the wine is completed by hawthorn, plum and citrus fruits as well as honey and almond. Let's now smell the glass of Trebbiano Toscano again, then Albana: differences are remarkable and evident in every regard, from intensity to quality.

 Let's now pass to the evaluation of gustatory profiles in both wines, also in this case by starting from Trebbiano Toscano. Take a sip of this wine and evaluate the attack, that is the initial sensation perceived in the mouth. Trebbiano Toscano is characterized by an evident acidity and a good body, as well as a perceptible warm sensation given by alcohol. We have the confirmation of what was substantially perceived to the nose: a pretty neutral wine even in its flavors, in which are mainly perceived apple and plum. Let's now evaluate the attack of Romagna Albana and take a sip of this wine. We will perceive, also in this case, a good sensation of crispness given by acidity, however lower than Trebbiano Toscano, with a good structure and the perceptible sensation of alcohol. In the mouth are perceived, apple, plum and pear, as well as apricot and a touch of honey.

 Our tasting by contrast ends with the evaluation of the final sensations wines leave in the mouth after having been swallowed. The finish of Trebbiano Toscano does not generally have an appreciable persistence, evidently moderate, leaving in the mouth flavors of plum and apple, frequently followed by a slightly bitter sensation. Acidity is one of the characteristics in Trebbiano Toscano to be mostly appreciated after having swallowed it. The finish of Romagna Albana has an evidently longer persistence, in the mouth are perceived the sensation of the alcohol and a good structure, as well as flavors of apple, plum and pear, sometimes apricot as well. Albana is also characterized by its finish recalling almond which is added to a pleasing sensation of roundness. Let's finally compare both wines, by evaluating the overall sensansions of their tastes, Trebbiano Toscano first, then Albana: differences are evident in particular in terms of acidity and structure.

 



 Editorial  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 167, November 2017   
Contrasts of Trebbiano Toscano and AlbanaContrasts of Trebbiano Toscano and Albana Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 166, October 2017 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

Wines of the Month


 

Romagna Sangiovese Superiore Maestri di Vigna del Molino 2016, Fattoria Paradiso (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Romagna Sangiovese Superiore Maestri di Vigna del Molino 2016
Fattoria Paradiso (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Sangiovese
Price: € 12.00 Score:

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, vanilla, face powder, mace and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry.
3 months in barrique, 6 months in bottle.
Stuffed pasta with mushrooms, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat, Cheese



Barbarossa Il Dosso 2011, Fattoria Paradiso (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Barbarossa Il Dosso 2011
Fattoria Paradiso (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Barbarossa
Price: € 20.00 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, raspberry and plum followed by aromas of violet, blueberry, rose, strawberry, tobacco, vanilla, chocolate, hay and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, raspberry and plum.
12 months in cement tanks and barrique, 12 months in bottle.
Roasted meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, stewed meat with mushrooms



Chardonnay 2014, Monteverro (Tuscany, Italy)
Chardonnay 2014
Monteverro (Tuscany, Italy)
Chardonnay
Price: € 90.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant straw yellow and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of banana, citron and apple followed by aromas of acacia, croissant, pear, vanilla, mango, butter, ripe peach, white chocolate, honey, praline and mineral.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of banana, cedar and praline.
14 months in barrique and cement tanks.
Stuffed pasta, Roasted white meat, Roasted fish



Monteverro 2013, Monteverro (Tuscany, Italy)
Monteverro 2013
Monteverro (Tuscany, Italy)
Cabernet Franc (40%), Cabernet Sauvignon (35%), Merlot (20%), Petit Verdot (5%)
Price: € 140.00 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black currant, black cherry and violet followed by aromas of plum, blueberry, vanilla, tobacco, chocolate, iris, face powder, mace, licorice and eucalyptus.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Very persistent finish with very long flavors of black cherry, black currant and blueberry.
24 months in barrique.
Game, Roasted meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva Don Bosco 2012, Bosco Nestore (Abruzzo, Italy)
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva Don Bosco 2012
Bosco Nestore (Abruzzo, Italy)
Montepulciano
Price: € 18.30 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of plum, black cherry and dried violet followed by aromas of blueberry, blackberry, chocolate, tobacco, vanilla, mace, leather and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, black cherry and blackberry.
24 months in cask, 24 months in bottle.
Roasted meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Hard cheese



Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva Pan 2012, Bosco Nestore (Abruzzo, Italy)
Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Riserva Pan 2012
Bosco Nestore (Abruzzo, Italy)
Montepulciano
Price: € 22.00 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 plum, dried violet and black cherry followed by aromas of blackberry, vanilla, tobacco, licorice, mace, chocolate, leather and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, black cherry and blackberry.
18 months in barrique, 24 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese



Lambrusco di Sorbara Radice 2016, Paltrinieri (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco di Sorbara Radice 2016
Paltrinieri (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco di Sorbara
Price: € 8.50 Score:   Good value wine

Brilliant pale pink and nuances of pale pink, transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of cherry, raspberry and strawberry followed by aromas of cyclamen, peach, rose, apple, pink grapefruit and plum.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry.
Refermented in bottle.
Aperitifs, Risotto with vegetables and fish, Fried fish, Cold cuts, Dairy products



Lambrusco di Sorbara Spumante Brut Lariserva 2015, Paltrinieri (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco di Sorbara Spumante Brut Lariserva 2015
Paltrinieri (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Lambrusco di Sorbara
Price: € 15.00 Score:

Brilliant onion skin pink and nuances of pale pink, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of cherry, raspberry and bread crust followed by aromas of strawberry, pink grapefruit, plum, blueberry, rose and cyclamen.
Crisp and effervescent attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, raspberry and strawberry.
Produced with Martinotti method, 12 months of aging on its lees.
Aperitifs, Cold cuts, Fish appetizers, Sauteed fish, Pasta with crustaceans






 Editorial  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 167, November 2017   
Contrasts of Trebbiano Toscano and AlbanaContrasts of Trebbiano Toscano and Albana Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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