Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
Home Page About Us:Write Us:Back Issues:Advertising:Index 
Events Polls Serving Wine EnoForum EnoGames Wine Places Aquavitae Wine Guide


 Editorial  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 179, December 2018   
Contrasts of Bombino Bianco and Petite ArvineContrasts of Bombino Bianco and Petite Arvine Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 178, November 2018 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

Contrasts of Bombino Bianco and Petite Arvine

One of the white berried varieties of central-southern Italy compared to the grape coming from the Canton Valais in Switzerland, also appreciated in Aosta Valley

 The sensorial evaluation of wines produced with grapes having distant organoleptic characteristics is always an interesting subject of study for the understanding of the respective differences. Of course, this does not mean the comparison between two wines produced with the same grapes is not equally interesting. On the contrary, they allow to understand the expression of the same variety according to a territory – including individual vineyards – as well as the personal interpretation of producers. In any case, these are methods of comparison with different purposes and, last but not the least, with different levels of difficulty. The more the differences are evident and distant, the more the tasting becomes – so to speak – simple, because of the ease with which the respective characteristics can be recognized in contrast to the other ones. In the case of comparison of wines produced in the same territory, same grapes, wine making and viticultural techniques, the difficulty increases significantly.

 This is not the case for the tasting by contrast of this month, as the wines produced with the two grapes chosen for comparison are characterized by decidedly distant sensorial aspects. The first of them – Bombino Bianco – is undeniably one of the most widespread white grape varieties of central-southern Italy, which has also been able to reach the vineyards of certain areas of the northern side. The second one – Petite Arvine – presumably has its origin in lands much further to the north, specifically, in Switzerland. Petite Arvine obviously did not benefit of the same spreading of Bombino Bianco, but it is certainly successful in Switzerland as well as in some areas of France and, last but not the least, in Aosta Valley, Italy. Two varieties producing wines very different from each other and not only for reasons related to the territory, from sight to taste, the differences between Bombino Bianco and Petite Arvine are easily recognizable to our senses.

 

Bombino Bianco


 

 Bombino Bianco is undeniably associated to Apulian viticulture and enology, in particular, to the wines of the territories near Bari and Foggia. Its spreading outside Puglia is considerable, especially in the central-southern regions of Italy. Bombino Bianco is in fact found, besides Puglia, in Molise, Abruzzo, Lazio and Marche. It is also found in Emilia Romagna, where it is called Pagadebit or Straccia Cambiale (literally, “promissory note ripper”), to unequivocally testify the proverbial ability of this grape to ensure abundant and generous harvests. The case of Bombino Bianco in Abruzzo is singular, where this variety is allowed for the production of the Trebbiano d'Abruzzo wine, even alone. Thanks to its characteristics – specifically, moderate production of alcohol and evident acidity – Bombino Bianco is also suited for the production of classic method sparkling wines, particularly in Apulia where, since many years now, there is a valuable and interesting production of wines belonging to this style, of excellent quality and organoleptic complexity.

 The origins of Bombino Bianco are not completely clear, however they all agree it is a white berried grape of ancient origins and present in Apulia for several centuries now. Some support the idea this variety was introduced from Spain, others believe it comes from the Middle East and imported to Apulia by the Knights Templar returning from the holy land. Even the origin of the name is not completely clear, however the most recurrent hypothesis wants Bombino coming from the image of a child (bambino in Italian) in swaddling with outstretched arms, an association derived from the shape of its cluster. In the land of Apulia, Bombino Bianco is strongly associated to the white wines of Castel del Monte, in the provinces of Barletta-Andria-Trani and Bari,San Severo and Cacc'e Mmitte di Lucera, in the province of Foggia.

 

Petite Arvine

 The origin of Petite Arvine has always been disputed between Switzerland, to be precise, the territory of the Canton Valais, and Aosta Valley, where excellent wines are produced from this grape. Of the two territories, the one which can give some proofs of being the original homeland of this interesting variety seems to be Switzerland, although there are no reliable and certain information confirming this hypothesis. Even the genetic research has not been able to understand the exact origin of Petite Arvine, including the supposition this grape is a descendant of the ancient Vitis Helvola mentioned by Pliny the Elder, likewise, it was not possible to link this grape to the ancient varieties of Aosta Valley. Today it is however mainly supported the hypothesis the origin of Petite Arvine is in the territory of Martigny – therefore in the Canton Valais, in Switzerland – and it is a known fact the interest in this variety in Aosta Valley had a substantial start in the 1980s.

 Petite Arvine, in fact, has benefited a remarkable revival in this Italian region thanks to the Institut Agricole Régional of Aosta Valley, in particular thanks to Joseph Vaudan who has properly revalued it by importing this grape from the nearby Canton Valais. If the origins of Petite Arvine are not clear, it is however absolutely certain this variety is capable of producing wines of extraordinary finesse and enological value, both in Aosta Valley and in the territory of Canton Valais. One of the interesting characteristics of Petite Arvine is the aromatic profile it gives its wines, helping to contribute to the well known finesse typical of this variety. The wines produced with Petite Arvine are not characterized by a mighty structure, however they give the palate an elegance expressed by a pleasing crispness and a certain salty character, making its wines definitely minerals. Moreover, Petite Arvine is also well suited to the production of the so-called late harvest wines, including sweet ones produced with dried grapes, sometimes enriched by the effects of Botrytis Cinerea, also known as noble rot.

 

The Tasting


The color
of Petite Arvine
The color of Petite Arvine

 Before pouring into the glasses the wines of this month's tasting by contrast, let's proceed with their choice. If for Bombino Bianco this task may seem relatively simple – thanks to the vast production of wines from this grape and available in many Italian regions – as for Petite Arvine the choice is decidedly more limited. As already said, Apulia is the main land for Bombino Bianco, therefore the first wine of our tasting by contrast belongs to the copious enological production of this region. In particular, we will choose a Bombino Bianco belonging to the Denominazione d'Origine Controllata (Denomination of Controlled Origin) Castel del Monte and making sure it is produced with this variety alone and vinified in inert containers. As for Petite Arvine, our choice will be in favor of the valuable production of Aosta Valley, also in this case making sure the wine is produced with this variety alone and vinified in inert containers. Both wines belong to the most recent vintage, served in two tasting glasses at a temperature of 10 °C. (50 °F)

 Let's pour the wines into their respective glasses and start our tasting by contrast. The first wine of which we will examine the appearance is Valle d'Aosta Petite Arvine. By tilting the glass over a white surface – a sheet of paper is enough – let's observe the wine at the base, where the thickness is greater. Petite Arvine shows to our eyes an intense greenish yellow color, sometimes a pale straw yellow color, with a very high transparency: an object placed in contrast between the glass and the white surface is perfectly visible. Let's now observe the wine at the end of the glass, towards the opening, in order to evaluate the nuance: also in this case the greenish yellow hue is evident. Let's now pass to the evaluation of Castel del Monte Bombino Bianco. The color of the Apulian wine is decidedly darker than the one from Aosta Valley, showing a strong intense and brilliant straw yellow hue, also in this case with a very high transparency. The nuance of Bombino Bianco, observed at the end of the glass, confirms the same color.

 Bombino Bianco and Petite Arvine, besides differing in appearance, have very different olfactory profiles, both in terms of aromas' quality and intensity. Wines produced with Bombino Bianco are often characterized by aromas of medium intensity, in which are mainly perceived white and yellow pulp fruits – among these, apple, pear, plum and citrus fruits – as well as sensations which are classified in the family of flowers. Sometimes its wines express a touch of almond. The olfactory profile of Petite Arvine is very different, decidedly more intense and exuberant. In this variety are recognized aromas recalling both white and yellow pulped fruits, including tropical ones, such as pineapple and passion fruit. Wines made from this grape express aromas of apple, pear, peach, citrus fruits, in particular grapefruit. Even the world of flowers is found in Petite Arvine, with evident perceptions of wisteria, hawthorn, broom and jasmine. An interesting aroma often found in wines produced with Petite Arvine is rhubarb.

 Let's proceed with our tasting by contrast and by evaluating the olfactory profiles of the two wines and, as opposed to the appearance examination, the first wine we are going to evaluate is Castel del Monte Bombino Bianco. By keeping the glass in vertical position and, without swirling, let's proceed with the first smell in order to appreciate the opening of the Apulian wine. From the glass we perceive aromas of moderate intensity directly recalling apple, pear and a floral note of hawthorn. After having swirled the glass, an operation favoring the development of the other aromas, we proceed with the second smell. The profile of Castel del Monte Bombino Bianco is completed with plum, citrus fruits, broom and almond, sometimes with a hint recalling peach. Let's now pass to Valle d'Aosta Petite Arvine and, by keeping the glass in vertical position and without swirling it, we evaluate its opening. Very different from Bombino Bianco, in this wine you can perceive intense aromas of apple, peach and pineapple followed by wisteria. After having swirled the glass, the profile of Petite Arvine is completed with grapefruit, pear, medlar, jasmine and plum, often followed by rhubarb.

 After having evaluated the aromas of Bombino Bianco and Petite Arvine, it is finally the time to examine their gustatory profiles, starting – just like the previous phase – from the Apulian wine. Let's take a sip of Castel del Monte Bombino Bianco and evaluate its attack, that is, the primary taste sensations perceived in the mouth. The pleasant crispness of the wine – given by acidity – is clearly perceived with an alcoholic impact of medium intensity, two characteristics making this grape interesting for the production of sparkling wines. The structure of the wine is moderate and in the mouth we perceive the flavors of apple, pear and plum, confirming the good correspondence to the nose. Let's now take a sip of Valle d'Aosta Petite Arvine and evaluate its opening. The main sensations perceived in the mouth are clearly dominated by the pleasant acidity, with a proper effect of alcohol making the wine balanced. In the mouth can be perceived flavors of pineapple, peach, pear and grapefruit, also in this case confirming the good correspondence to the nose. Finally, in Petite Arvine wines, can often be appreciated a pleasant salty sensation making the wine both sapid and mineral.

 It is now the time to move on to the final phase of our tasting by contrast, that is, to the evaluation of the sensations the two wines leave in the mouth after swallowing, in particular the taste-olfactory persistence. The finish of Castel del Monte Bombino Bianco is of good persistence, leaving in the mouth its pleasant and typical acidity, in which are well recognized the flavors of apple, pear and plum, sometimes followed by a slight bitterish taste reminiscent of almond. Let's now pass to the evaluation of Valle d'Aosta Petite Arvine's finish. The taste-olfactory persistence of this wine is decidedly good, leaving in the mouth a pleasant crispness given by the acidity, in which can be perceived flavors of pineapple, peach and grapefruit, as well as the characteristic salty touch. Let's now put the two glasses side by side and proceed with the last olfactory evaluation, first Bombino Bianco and then Petite Arvine: the differences, after the gustatory examination, are decidedly substantial and distant.

 



 Editorial  Share this article   Share on Google+   Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 179, December 2018   
Contrasts of Bombino Bianco and Petite ArvineContrasts of Bombino Bianco and Petite Arvine Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 178, November 2018 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




Brunello di Montalcino Vecchie Vigne 2013, Siro Pacenti (Tuscany, Italy)
Brunello di Montalcino Vecchie Vigne 2013
Siro Pacenti (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese
Price: € 85.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of raspberry, blueberry, cigar box, chocolate, tobacco, pink pepper, cinnamon, mace, licorice, vanilla and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry.
24 months in barrique.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Brunello di Montalcino Riserva PS 2012, Siro Pacenti (Tuscany, Italy)
Brunello di Montalcino Riserva PS 2012
Siro Pacenti (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese
Price: € 150.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and raspberry followed by aromas of dried violet, blueberry, blackberry, dried rose, chocolate, pink pepper, tobacco, leather, licorice, mace, cigar box, thyme, vanilla, graphite and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry.
24 months in barrique.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Salomone 2015, Fattoria di Monticello (Umbria, Italy)
Salomone 2015
Fattoria di Monticello (Umbria, Italy)
Cabernet Sauvignon
Price: € 15.00 Score:

Deep ruby red and nuances of ruby red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black currant, black cherry and plum followed by aromas of violet, blueberry, peony, cocoa, tobacco, mace, vanilla and eucalyptus.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black currant, black cherry and plum.
12 months in barrique.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Ponetro 2016, Fattoria di Monticello (Umbria, Italy)
Ponetro 2016
Fattoria di Monticello (Umbria, Italy)
Pinot Nero
Price: € 14.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of cherry, plum and strawberry followed by aromas of raspberry, cyclamen, blueberry, cocoa, tobacco, vanilla and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of cherry, plum and strawberry.
3 months in barrique.
Stuffed pasta with mushrooms, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Roasted meat



Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015, Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015
Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese (85%), Colorino del Valdarno, Canaiolo Nero, Mammolo (15%)
Price: € 18.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and violet followed by aromas of blueberry, raspberry, rose, chocolate, tobacco, vanilla and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry.
22 months in cask, 6 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Vino Nobile di Montepulciano I Quadri 2015, Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano I Quadri 2015
Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese
Price: € 27.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and raspberry followed by aromas of violet, geranium, blackberry, peony, chocolate, tobacco, cinnamon, pink pepper, mace, vanilla and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry.
20 months in cask, 12 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Muft 2016, Fattoria Ca' Rossa (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Mufìt 2016
Fattoria Ca' Rossa (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Malvasia Bianca
Price: € 12.00 Score:

Brilliant golden yellow and nuances of straw yellow, transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of grape, apricot and broom followed by aromas of banana, peach, white rose, grapefruit, apple, pear and sage.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of grape, apricot and pear.
Produced with grapes affected by botrytis cinerea (noble rot). Aged in steel tanks.
Broiled crustaceans, Pasta and risotto with fish, Mushroom soups



Ripagrande 2015, Fattoria Ca' Rossa (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Ripagrande 2015
Fattoria Ca' Rossa (Emilia Romagna, Italy)
Sangiovese
Price: € 16.00 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of ruby red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and blackberry followed by aromas of dried violet, raspberry, blueberry, tamarind, chocolate, tobacco and vanilla.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry.
14 months in barrique, 12 months in bottle.
Stuffed pasta with meat, Roasted meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat with mushrooms



Champagne Brut R.014, Lallier (Champagne, France)
Champagne Brut R.014
Lallier (Champagne, France)
Pinot Nero (56%), Chardonnay (44%)
Price: € 39.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant golden yellow and nuances of golden yellow, fine and persistent perlage, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of apple, bread crust and honey followed by aromas of banana, grapefruit, butter, marzipan, honeysuckle, plum, tangerine, croissant and hazelnut.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, grapefruit and honey.
Refermented in bottle and aged on its lees for some years.
Pasta and risotto with crustaceans, Stewed fish, Roasted white meat, Roasted fish



Frascati Superiore Eremo Tuscolano 2017, Valle Vermiglia (Latium, Italy)
Frascati Superiore Eremo Tuscolano 2017
Valle Vermiglia (Latium, Italy)
Malvasia del Lazio (60%), Malvasia di Candia (10%), Trebbiano Toscano (10%), Trebbiano Giallo (10%), Bombino Bianco (10%)
Price: € 18.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant straw yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of apple, pear and peach followed by aromas of hawthorn, citrus fruits, peach, pineapple, jasmine, broom, almond, thyme and mineral.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, peach and pineapple.
8 months in steel tanks.
Fried fish, Pasta with fish, Risotto with crustaceans, Sauteed crustaceans, Sauteed white meat, Dairy products



Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2016, Giovanni Ederle (Veneto, Italy)
Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2016
Giovanni Ederle (Veneto, Italy)
Corvina (50%), Corvinone (30%), Rondinella (20%)
Price: € 28.50 Score:

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



Amarone della Valpolicella 2013, Giovanni Ederle (Veneto, Italy)
Amarone della Valpolicella 2013
Giovanni Ederle (Veneto, Italy)
Corvina (50%), Corvinone (25%), Rondinella (20%), Croatina (5%)
Price: € 40.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of plum, blackberry and black cherry followed by aromas of dried violet, blueberry, chocolate, tobacco, leather, rosemary, vanilla and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry.
18 months in cask, 18 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 179, December 2018   
Contrasts of Bombino Bianco and Petite ArvineContrasts of Bombino Bianco and Petite Arvine Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
DiWineTaste Polls
In what moment of the day do you usually drink wine?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   Share on Google+ 
What is the most pleasing aspect in wine tasting?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   Share on Google+ 
What kind of wine do you like having in December?


Result   Other Polls

 Share this poll   Share on Google+ 


Events Polls Serving Wine EnoForum EnoGames Wine Places Aquavitae Wine Guide
Home Page About Us:Write Us:Back Issues:Advertising:Index 

Privacy Policy

Download your free DiWineTaste Card  :  Test your Blood Alcohol Content  :  Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter

Download DiWineTaste
Copyright © 2002-2018 Antonello Biancalana, DiWineTaste - All rights reserved
All rights reserved under international copyright conventions. No part of this publication and of this WEB site may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without permission in writing from DiWineTaste.