WTN: Two Italians Walk Into a Bar..(short/boring)

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WTN: Two Italians Walk Into a Bar..(short/boring)

Postby TomHill » Tue Oct 30, 2012 12:19 pm

Take one look at the price on the Gaja, then head over to TomHill's to try:
1. Zenato DOC: Lugana SanBenedetto (13%; http://www.Zenato.It) Peschiera/Verona 2011: Med.light yellow color; quite attractive/fragrant floral/melony/apple-peach blossom slight spicy/nutmeg/stony/chalky/mineral quite aromatic/high-toned nose; rather soft/lush some chalky/mineral rather floral/apple-peach blossom bright/high-toned flavor; med.long slight chalky/mineral lush/floral/peach-pear blossom/cotton candy finish; a very perfumed/pretty/light-on-its-feet bianco w/ an underlying minerality; fairly priced at $23.00 (AV)
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2. AltaLuna Phases Rosso IGT: Vigneti della Dolomiti (40% Teroldego/30% Lagrein/30% Merlot; http://www.CavitCollection.com; 13%) Trento 2009: Very dark color; strong plummy/Merlot rather earthy/loamy/Lagrein light smokey/oak/floral rather basso profundo/Pavarotti slight fragrant/insecticide complex nose; soft rather earthy/loamy/Lagrein some plummy/grapey/Merlot light smokey/oak flavor w/ modest tannins; med.long soft ripe/plummy/Merlot some earthy/Lagrein light smokey finish w/ a bit of a tannic/bitey aftertaste; lacks the high-toned notes of Teroldego and speaks mostly of earthy/Lagrein; quite an attractive example of a rustic Dolomite red. $19.00 (LCSWS)
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And a wee BloodyPulpit:
1. Lugana: This wine comes from the vineyards on the San Benedetto estate, to the south of Lake Garda. It is made from the Trebbiano do Lugana grape. Trebbiano typically makes dreadfully dull wines. This is not such a wine. Because Trebbiano di Lugana is not a member of the Trebbiano family, but another variety known as Turbiana:
Fringe/Turbiana

I was quite taken by this wine.
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2. Cavit: I generally find the Cavit wines as rather unthrilling. This AltaLuna (High Moon) appears to be a higher end wine from Cavit. I was rather surprised how good it was. The Teroldego comes from the Campo Rotaliano area of Trentino; home of the great Foradori Teroldegos. The Merlot and, particularly, the Lagrein seem to overwhelm the more high-toned/perfumey character that makes Teroldego such a great grape. But it was a pretty tasty wine in a rustic sort of way.
Tom
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Re: WTN: Two Italians Walk Into a Bar..(short/boring)

Postby Andrew Bair » Tue Oct 30, 2012 10:24 pm

Hi Tom -

Thank you for the notes. It's been a long time since I've had anything from Zenato - never tried their Lugana.

Nice to see the positive note on the Phases. Cavit PG is pretty boring, but it sounds like this might be worth buying given that I've seen it for under $15 around here. Given that Alto Adige has several good quality co-ops, it's encouraging to see that Cavit can elevate its game to compete with them as far as a smaller-production wine.
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Re: WTN: Two Italians Walk Into a Bar..(short/boring)

Postby Oliver McCrum » Wed Oct 31, 2012 4:54 pm

Tom,

I think many of these Italian grape 'families' are in fact groups of unrelated varieties that confusingly have similar names, Trebbiano being a great example. Everyone naturally assumes that 'Trebbiano' means Trebbiano Toscano, aka Ugni Blanc, whose highest and best use is distillation, in my view. As you point out, Trebbiano di Lugana is entirely different, and is in fact either the same as or very similar to Verdicchio, which can make very good wine.

Malvasia and Grechetto are two other examples of such 'families.' There are rumors of a new book on Italian indigenous varieties that might come out soon that would clarify all this; I have Jancis's new magnum opus on order, can't wait to see what she's up to.
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MeToo...

Postby TomHill » Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:47 am

Oliver McCrum wrote:Tom,

I think many of these Italian grape 'families' are in fact groups of unrelated varieties that confusingly have similar names, Trebbiano being a great example. Everyone naturally assumes that 'Trebbiano' means Trebbiano Toscano, aka Ugni Blanc, whose highest and best use is distillation, in my view. As you point out, Trebbiano di Lugana is entirely different, and is in fact either the same as or very similar to Verdicchio, which can make very good wine.
Malvasia and Grechetto are two other examples of such 'families.' There are rumors of a new book on Italian indigenous varieties that might come out soon that would clarify all this; I have Jancis's new magnum opus on order, can't wait to see what she's up to.


Yeah....those friggin' Italians are pretty casual in what they call their grapes. Drives me nuts. Carole was talking to me the other day about
many of the Italian DNA studies are flawed because the "reference" DNA they use are just wrong.
MeToo...I'd heard about a book on Italian indigenous varieties. I'll be talking to Darrell next week & see what he knows. JimManning
is working on a book about Italian varieties in Calif and just got back from Piedmonte...so I'll see what he's heard.
And...yeah..UgniBlanc's highestt calling is distillation....or hog feed.
Tom
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Re: WTN: Two Italians Walk Into a Bar..(short/boring)

Postby Oliver McCrum » Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:40 pm

UC Press will be publishing a book on this topic, very thorough. Not sure of the date.
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Hmmmm..

Postby TomHill » Thu Nov 01, 2012 2:00 pm

Oliver McCrum wrote:UC Press will be publishing a book on this topic, very thorough. Not sure of the date.


Is this UC book the one you'd heard rumors of, Oliver?? Or is there one coming out of Italy??
I'm visiting w/ LucaCorrado/Vietti this afternoon & have a lot of questions for him. I'll ask him
if he's heard of such a book.
Tom
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Re: WTN: Two Italians Walk Into a Bar..(short/boring)

Postby Oliver McCrum » Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:41 pm

It's definitely going to be published, but I don't know when. It's extremely thorough. Jancis's new work may cover some of the same ground, though.
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