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Soave revisited As I pack for a trip to Italy's Veneto region, I get in the mood with a mouth-watering dry Soave from a respected producer.
As I pack for tonight's long trip over to Verona in Italy's Veneto region (see box at the right), it seems only appropriate to talk briefly about Veneto wine.
As I've discussed before, there's a special pleasure in re-discovering Veneto, the broad Northeastern region that runs from the Alps and scenic Lake Garda down toward Venice. Like many other wine regions where climate and soil make viticulture possible on an agri-business scale, the region produces a lot of mass-market wine, not least a river of everyday Pinot Grigio.
But in its most favored zones - particularly on hillside vineyard land - its respectfully grown vines and carefully produced wines can be memorable. And it's been good news, in recent years, to see two familiar regional names - red Valpolicella and white Soave - regaining their reputation after a time when industrial-type wines largely dominated the market.
But quality producers fought to bring back the reputations of both regions, particularly the favored hillside regions whose vineyards make wines entitled to bear the designation "Classico." They've beaten back proposals to allow heavier vineyard yields, and won the right to experiment with non-traditional blends in addition to the traditional (and excellent) Corvina of Valpolicella and Garganega of Soave.
So it is with today's wine from Gini, a respected producer. This basic bottling is 100 percent Garganega made from 40-year-old vines, and it never sees oak or malolactic fermentation, fostering a pure manifestation of fruit.
I've got to get packed, so let's move right on to my tasting report, which is below. As noted above, I'll try to get out another 30 Second Wine Advisor on a travel schedule next Monday, returing to regular publication on April 2.
The $31 bribe you've been waiting for!
From The California Wine Club 1-800-777-4443
If you've been waiting for "just the right time" to order during The California Wine Club's March Wine Sale, here it is! For every 11-bottle Wine Sale order, you will receive a bottle of the Kunde Estate 2001 Claret ... on us! Previously found only in the Kunde Tasting Room, this wine is smooth and rich with cherry pie, tobacco and cedar flavors. Normal retail is $31, only 1,166 cases produced.
To take advantage of this $31 Bribe, please call 1-800-777-4443 (phone orders only for this offer).
During this month's Wine Sale at The California Wine Club ordering and saving is the easiest it has ever been! Simply take an extra 20% off our already discounted reorder price and you'll save up to 70% off retail prices! Choose from more than 100 wine selections, each wine hand-selected from small, family-owned California wineries. Every wine is 100% guaranteed!
To view the full list of wines on sale visit
And remember, to receive your bonus bottle of Kunde Claret, you must phone in your order: 1-800-777-4443.
March is simply the best time to save at The California Wine Club! Sale ends March 31, 2007. All prices FOB, Camarillo, CA. Kunde bonus bottle offer valid on new purchases only.
Gini 2005 Soave Classico ($13.99)
Made 100 percent from the indigenous Garganega grape and made entirely in stainless steel, Gini's Soave Classico offers pure expression of fruit. A transparent straw color, it breathes rich aromas of honey and almonds, figs and dates, with more delicate floral overtones. Medium body is shaped by zippy acidity; white-fruit and floral flavors mirror the nose and persist in a long finish. U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Mason, Ohio, and other regional importers. (March 16, 2007)
FOOD MATCH: An excellent pairing with fish and seafood, including my choice, sauteed red snapper fillets with lemon.
VALUE: The lower middle teens seems more than fair, but be warned, there's a lot of profit-taking on this item: Wine-Searcher.com shows U.S. prices ranging all the way from $11 to $20. Shop wisely, and if your merchant is seeking a price near the upper end of this range, you might want to ask why.
WHEN TO DRINK: Its aromatics might gain a little richness with a year or two of aging under good cellar conditions, but consider it iffy for cellaring. It's really meant to be enjoyed reasonably soon after the vintage.
Gini = "Jee-nee"
Soave = "So-AH-vay"
Gini's Website is available in Italian, German and English. Click the text link of your choice from the Flash home page,
FIND THIS WINE ONLINE:
Today's wine is widely distributed. Find vendors and check prices on Wine-Searcher.com:
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Last Week's Wine Advisor Index
The Wine Advisor's daily edition is usually distributed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays (and, for those who subscribe, the FoodLetter on Thursdays). Here's the index to last week's columns:
Return of a favorite (Mar. 16, 2006)
Prosecco for spring (Mar. 14, 2006)
Short stuff (Mar. 12, 2006)
Complete 30 Second Wine Advisor archive:
Wine Advisor FoodLetter: Pimento cheese grits (Mar. 15, 2006)
Wine Advisor Foodletter archive: