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Fontaleoni 1996 Vernaccia di San Gimignano ($8.99)
Clear straw color, with slightly musky melon and brazil-nut aromas and a crisp, bright, tartly acidic flavor, white fruit and lemon-squirt acidity. Pleasant light bitterness comes on in a long finish. Well balanced and surprisingly complex for a low-end Italian white. Fine value! U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Cincinnati; a Marc de Grazia Selection. (Oct. 15, 1999)
FOOD MATCH: Just about perfect with lightly sauteed John Dory fillets with butter and lemon.
Beni di Batasiolo 1996 Gavi ($9.99)
Gavi, a Piemontese white from a region better known for its reds, is made from the Cortese grape. They don't always hit the mark, but this one scores as a rich, complex white with a less-than-fatal flaw. Very pale straw color, with citric aromas and a distinct scent of damp wool, very much like a sweater that's been put away wet. Good citric flavors of lemon-lime and tangerine are appealing, but a whiff of that odd lanolin aroma intrudes in a distracting way. Fair wine, but it leaves me with decidedly mixed emotions. U.S. importer: Marie-Brizard USA, Bardstown, Ky. (Oct. 14, 1999)
FOOD MATCH: Good match with saltimbocca, veal scallopine sauteed with prosciutto and sage.
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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.|
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