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 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 190, December 2019   
Contrasts of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati SuperioreContrasts of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati Superiore Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 189, November 2019 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on Twitter 

Contrasts of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati

 SuperioreLiguria and Latium compared in the glasses of this month's tasting by contrast with two of their most representative white wines

 Two regions having in common, besides being in Italy, the initial letter of their name and in which are produced, in enological terms, very distant wines. Liguria and Latium are also distinguished by a decidedly different viticultural condition as the main and dominant varieties in the vineyards of these two regions are completely different. Also from the historical point of view, the two regions have had decidedly distant viticultural and enological events which led to the birth of different styles and cultures. However, Liguria and Latium share the predilection for white wines – although in both regions the production of reds is obviously interesting – and this style of wine is, not only the one mainly produced, but also the most representative and known. The difference of the grapes cultivated and, not least, the diversity of the territory, give life to wines with very different characteristics and personalities.

 In the comparison between Liguria and Latium, we are going to examine two territories – and therefore wines – among the most famous and significant in the respective regions: Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati Superiore. It is, as is well known, two white wines differing, among the others things, for the composition of the grapes. Frascati Superiore is the result of the union of many white grape varieties – mainly Malvasia Bianca di Candia and Malvasia Puntinata del Lazio – while Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato is produced with the homonymous grape. The wine from Latium, because of its composition, has enological similarities with the white wines of central Italy, which production is often the result of the union of different varieties. A characteristic that has its roots in the tradition of this part of Italy – although with important exceptions – in which there have always and historically been multi-varietal white wines and, in some cases, also made from over five different grapes.

 

Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato


 

 Pigato is, without a doubt, one of the best known and representative grapes of Liguria, a white grape variety mainly common in the western territory of the region, in the provinces of Imperia and Savona. In this territory are also cultivated other varieties, both white and red, of which the most famous and renowned one certainly is Pigato. It is believed the development of viticulture in these lands, and therefore in the entire territory of Liguria, was favored, during the Middle Ages, by sailors and traders, who – thanks to their travels – brought with them the grapes of other places. The same fate is believed to be true for Pigato, which is supposed to have been introduced into the region from Corsica, here imported from Spain. In any case, it is just a theory as there is no reliable information on the origin of this variety. Even its name – Pigato – does not help to understand its origin as it comes from the dialectal word pigau, that is “speckled”, due to the small speckles present in the skin of its berries.

 Researches conducted on this variety have shown similarities with Vermentino, to the extent that some support the idea that – in fact – it is the same grape. As a result of these researches, today Pigato is considered as a clonal variation of Vermentino, created over the time by a series of migrations and adaptations that had Liguria its final stage. Moreover, these differences can also be detected in the organoleptic analysis as the wines produced with Pigato and Vermentino reveal different sensorial qualities. Pigato is, in any case, one of the most important varieties of Denomination of Controlled Origin Riviera Ligure di Ponente, and it is the most cultivated grape in this area. This important DOC of Liguria – which belongs to the provinces of Imperia and Savona – also includes Albenganese, Finalese and Riviera dei Fiori sub-areas. Pigato, usually vinified in inert containers, makes wines with a straw yellow color and in which can be appreciated aromas of yellow and white pulp fruit, sometimes with hints of musk, and in the mouth it expresses a pleasing minerality and frequently a slightly bitter finish.

 

Frascati Superiore

 Talking about Frascati means, in many respects, talking about the enological history of Latium and, in particular, of the famous wines of Castelli Romani. In the common imagination, in fact, when talking about the wine of castles (vino dei castelli, in Italian), which joyfully accompany the tasty cuisine of the capital of Italy, the reference is mainly to Frascati. The wines of this famous and historic wine-growing area on the outskirts of Rome is not, of course, the only representative one of the considerable river of white wine produced in the Roman castles, but it is certainly the most famous and significant. In this regard it must in fact be noted that right here are found two of the three Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin areas of Latium: Frascati Superiore and Cannellino di Frascati. Moreover, it must be considered the entire territory of Frascati is recognized as a Denomination of Controlled Origin wine.

 Land of white wines since immemorial time, in Frascati dominate Malvasia Bianca di Candia, Malvasia Puntinata del Lazio and other varieties found in the territory since a long time and, among them, Bellone grape is one of the most important ones. For completeness, in Frascati wines are also used the following grapes: Trebbiano Toscano, Trebbiano Giallo, Greco Bianco and Bombino Bianco, as well as other grapes allowed in Latium region. However, the main part is represented by Malvasia grapes which must be at least 70% of the total. In this regard, it should be noted – especially in the last recent years – producers rightly tend to favor the use of Malvasia Puntinata del Lazio, a choice giving Frascati wines greater personality and finesse. Frascati wines have been known since the times of ancient Rome and many are, in this sense, the mentions of authors of the past. Apart from the events that have characterized the production of the last decades, with wines not exactly significant and making of the enormous produced quantity the main characteristic – besides some notable exceptions of enlightened and noteworthy producers – today Frascati seems at last to live a new and important period in the name of a renewed enological quality.

 

The Tasting


The
color of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato
The color of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato

 Before pouring the wines into our glasses, we proceed with the choice of bottles to be evaluated in the tasting by contrast of this month. In both cases, we will make sure the wines are produced with the same wine making technique, specifically, fermented and aged in inert containers, possibly in a steel tank. The choice of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato is obviously simpler, as it is a wine in which this variety represents almost the only grape used. It should however be noted the production disciplinary of this wine allows the use of up to 5% of other varieties, therefore we will make sure it is exclusively produced with Pigato. The choice of Frascati Superiore is more difficult, because of the number of grapes allowed in its production. In the wine we will choose, we will pay attention Malvasia Puntinata del Lazio is dominant on the Malvasia Bianca di Candia – while considering both represent, alone or together, 70% of the composition – and, as for the remaining quota, it can be used Bellone, Bombino Bianco and Trebbiano Giallo. Both wines belong to the most recent vintage and are poured into tasting glasses at a temperature of 10 °C (50 °F).

 After having poured the Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati Superiore into their respective glasses, let's begin the tasting by contrast, taking into consideration the color and transparency of the Ligurian wine. We hold the glass over a white surface – like, for example, a sheet of paper – and evaluate the color and transparency of the wine by observing the base of the glass. At the sight, Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato shows a brilliant and intense straw yellow color as well as a high transparency, characteristic – the latter – common in most of white wines. Let's now observe the edge of the wine, towards the opening of the glass, where the wine becomes thinner, and evaluate the nuance. The Ligurian wine confirms the straw yellow color and in which can sometimes be seen a greenish yellow hue. Let's move on to the evaluation of Frascati Superiore, by evaluating its color and transparency. Even in the wine from Latium it is observed a straw yellow color, intense and bright, in some cases tending to greenish yellow. The nuance, observed at the edge of the glass, reveals a straw yellow color with evident greenish yellow hues.

 The olfactory profiles of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati Superiore give distant and distinct sensations to the nose. The two wines may have common elements in the expressions of flowers and white and yellow flesh fruits, however we must consider the aromatic nature of Pigato, as for the Ligurian wine, and of the Malvasia, as for the wine from Latium, the latter capable of expressing, under certain conditions, aromas sometimes recalling the gentle touch of grape juice. Wines produced with Pigato express to the nose aromas of fruits, in particular apple, pear and peach, sometimes apricot, as well as flower aromas, including hawthorn and broom, often accompanied by sensations reminiscent of musk and honey. The olfactory profile of Frascati Superiore is strongly influenced by Malvasia grapes making it, as – at a sensorial level, and not only olfactory – Malvasia Bianca di Candia and Puntinata del Lazio make very different wines. In both, however, we can perceive aromas of apple, peach and pear, combined with flowers, such as hawthorn and broom, in addition to the characteristic scent reminiscent of almonds and a vague hint of grape juice.

 Let's continue the sensorial analysis of the two wines, therefore evaluating the respective olfactory profiles, starting – just like the previous phase – from Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato. Hold the glass in vertical position and, without swirling, proceed with the preliminary smell, which will allow us to appreciate the opening of the wine, that is the aromas emerging from the glass at the preliminary evaluation, sometimes called primary nose. From the glass we perceive clear and intense aromas of apple, pear and peach, accompanied by the pleasant scent of broom. Let's now swirl the glass – operation allowing the development of the other aromas – and proceed with the second smell. The profile of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato is completed with apricot, musk, honey as well as hints of exotic fruit and in which we recognize pineapple. Let's now examine Frascati Superiore and do the first smell in order to evaluate its opening. From the glass we perceive intense and clean aromas of apple, peach and pear, as well as hawthorn and hints of almond. After having swirled the glass, the scent of Frascati Superiore is completed with plum, citrus fruits and medlar, as well as hints of exotic fruit in which we recognize pineapple, accompanied by the characteristic almond aroma.

 After having evaluated the aromas of the two wines, let's proceed with the gustatory analysis, starting – like in the previous phases – from the Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato. Let's take a sip of this wine in order to evaluate its attack, that is the first gustatory sensations perceived in the mouth. In Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato is appreciated the pleasing crispness of acidity as well as the effect of alcohol, a quality contributing to the balance of the wine. In the mouth is perceived a good structure in which can be appreciated the flavors of apple, pear and peach, with hints of apricot. Let's now pass to the evaluation of the attack of Frascati Superiore and therefore take a sip of this wine. The wine from Latium is characterized by a pleasing crispness and it is balanced, also in this case, by the effect of alcohol. The structure of Frascati Superiore does not differ much from Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato, however in the mouth we perceive decidedly different flavors and in which we can recognize apple, plum, medlar and the characteristic bitter hint recalling almond.

 Our tasting by contrast ends with the evaluation of the sensations the wines leave in the mouth after swallowing, in particular, the taste-olfactory persistence, which length and finesse represent one of the fundamental criteria of quality. The finish of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato is characterized by a good persistence, in which we continue to perceive the crispness and structure, in particular, flavors of apple, pear, peach and apricot, as well as a hint of bitterness, a quality often perceptible in wines produced with Pigato. The finish of Frascati Superiore is equally persistent and in the mouth can be perceived its pleasing crispness, a sensation of structure that seems to be similar to that of Pigato, leaving in the mouth flavors of apple, medlar and pear, often a hint of exotic fruit – pineapple, in particular – and the characteristic bitter taste reminiscent of almonds. Before concluding the tasting by contrast of this month, let's evaluate again the aromas of the two wines, proceeding with the smell of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and then Frascati Superiore. Differences and nuances of the aromas, after the tasting, are even clearer and, at the same time, distant.

 



 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 190, December 2019   
Contrasts of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati SuperioreContrasts of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati Superiore Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 189, November 2019 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




Bidis 2016, Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Bidis 2016
Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Chardonnay
Price: € 18.50 Score:

Brilliant golden yellow and nuances of golden yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of apple, banana and plum followed by aromas of acacia, hawthorn, orange, hazelnut, pear, butter, honey and vanilla.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, plum and banana.
12 months in barrique, 6 months in bottle.
Roasted fish, Stuffed pasta with mushrooms, Roasted white meat, Mushroom soups



Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2017, Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2017
Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Nero d'Avola (60%), Frappato (40%)
Price: € 16.00 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and blackberry followed by aromas of violet, raspberry, blueberry, geranium, strawberry, carob and vanilla.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and blackberry.
12 months in cask, 9 months in cask.
Stuffed pasta with meat, Roasted meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat with mushrooms



Rosso di Montalcino 2017, Tenute Silvio Nardi (Tuscany, Italy)
Rosso di Montalcino 2017
Tenute Silvio Nardi (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese
Price: € 16.00 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 raspberry, rose, blueberry, carob, tobacco, chocolate and vanilla.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry.
30 months in cask, 12 months in bottle.
Broiled meat and barbecue, Roasted meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms, Hard cheese



Brunello di Montalcino 2015, Tenute Silvio Nardi (Tuscany, Italy)
Brunello di Montalcino 2015
Tenute Silvio Nardi (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese
Price: € 38.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

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, rose, blueberry, anise, cinnamon, chocolate, tobacco, mace, vanilla and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and raspberry.
12 months in barrique, 12 months in cask, 6 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Vallocaia 2015, Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva Vallocaia 2015
Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese (90%), Colorino del Valdarno (10%)
Price: € 32.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense 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, raspberry, rose, blackberry, cinnamon, chocolate, tobacco, vanilla and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black cherry, plum and blueberry.
2 years in cask, 1 year in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Vino Nobile di Montepulciano I Quadri 2016, Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano I Quadri 2016
Bindella (Tuscany, Italy)
Sangiovese
Price: € 27.00 Score:

Intense 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, raspberry, blackberry, rose, peony, cocoa, tobacco, cinnamon, mace, pink pepper, vanilla and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, agreeable.
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



Moscato di Sardegna Passito Nuali 2016, Siddura (Sardinia, Italy)
Moscato di Sardegna Passito Nuali 2016
Siddura (Sardinia, Italy)
Moscato Bianco
Price: € 20.50 - 375ml Score:

Brilliant amber yellow and nuances of amber yellow, transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of raisin, dried apricot and peach jam followed by aromas of lychee, lavender, passion fruit, date, citrus fruit peel, dried fig, candied fruits, quince, honey, thyme and nail polish.
Sweet and round attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of raisin, dried apricot and lychee.
Aged in steel tanks.
Dried fruit and jam tarts, Confectionery, Piquant cheese



Aglianico del Vulture La Firma 2014, Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Aglianico del Vulture La Firma 2014
Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Aglianico
Price: € 31.20 Score: Wine that excels in its category

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



Aglianico del Vulture Il Sigillo 2013, Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Aglianico del Vulture Il Sigillo 2013
Cantine del Notaio (Basilicata, Italy)
Aglianico
Price: € 34.90 Score:

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, black currant, cocoa, tobacco, carob, licorice, pink pepper, leather, mace, vanilla and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry.
24 months in cask, 24 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Braised and stewed meat, Hard cheese






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 190, December 2019   
Contrasts of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati SuperioreContrasts of Riviera Ligure di Ponente Pigato and Frascati Superiore Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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