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Randy Buckner

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WTN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Randy Buckner » Thu Mar 30, 2006 2:56 am

I felt Oliver looking over my shoulder as I tasted these wines. Never a big fan of Italian wines (I know, I know), I tasted the wines with an open mind. They were all very drinkable, but none rocked my world. The acidity seemed a little soft for my liking. Recommendations for better wines along this ilk are welcomed.

2004 Alois Lageder, Pinot Bianco, Weissburgunder, Alto Adige, Italy, $14. Winemaking has been a part of the Lageder family’s history for over 150 years. The winery’s vineyards benefit from both Alpine and Mediterranean influences. This wine is straw colored, with a green tinge to it. Melons and floral notes prevail on the nose. It is light bodied, viscous, with soft acidity – serve with creamy cheeses. 85/87.

2004 Alois Lageder, Pinot Grigio, Benefizium Porer, Alto Adige, Italy, $20. Aromas of musk melons, citrus peel and caramels radiate from this straw-colored wine. Light and lively in the mouth, the wine delivers a nice sense of fruitiness and length; 86/86.

2003 Inama, Soave Classico, Vin Soave, Veneto, Italy, $13. Stefano Inama states, “Most people in the world want predictable wines. I want to make wines that are different, and wines that taste different from year to year.” This is a serious Soave. The delicate aromas reveal citrus blossoms and tangerines, which follow through on the palate as well, augmented by a hint of almonds. Full, crisp, and delicately sweet, this will pair well with mild cheeses and white fish; 87/90.

2003 Marco Felluga, Bianco, Molamatta, DOC Collio, Italy, $16. The origins of the Felluga winegrowing dynasty can be traced back to 1890 in the Istria region. The family moved to the seaside town of Grado, Italy in 1920. This full-bodied wine shows delightful balance. Aromas and flavors speak of honeydew melons, tropical fruit, and a touch of cotton candy; 88/90.

2004 Russiz Superiore (Felluga), Pinot Grigio, DOC Collio, Italy, $20. You’ll appreciate floral notes upfront, with a tad of musk and citrus zest. The wine is soft, with a lingering finish, and should pair well with a risotto; 86/86.
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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by JeanF » Thu Mar 30, 2006 3:45 am

Many thanks for the notes - I always felt that Alois Lageder's real strength is his capacity to produce good wines in huge quantities. When he tries to do something special (liek the benefizium porer, the Cor or the Löwengang), it tastes a little bit artifical - as if someone tried too hard.

But you will always see me with a smile on my face if there is a simple Pinot Bianco or Pinot Grigio on a wine list from Alois Lageder. They are just ideal easy-going food wines.

BTW - I can confirm your suspicion: the Villa Russiz DOES go well with a Risotto :wink:
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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Jenise » Fri Mar 31, 2006 1:46 pm

I've got the 2001 Inama in my cellar. Serious Soave is right, but so is the Pieropan and the two wines bear no resemblance to each other at all. With just those two for reference points, I really don't know what Soave should look or taste like.....
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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Oliver McCrum » Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:28 pm

Randy,

Let me know next time you're going to be down here and we'll drink some Italian whites together.

Of the wines listed above, I would just say that almost all the '03s have that 'warm-vintage' character that detracts from the freshness and liveliness that makes most Italian wines interesting. Don't judge a winery by their '03s, in other words.
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James Dietz

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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by James Dietz » Fri Mar 31, 2006 5:47 pm

We have drunk a lot of Italian white wines over the last 6 months. I like them for their leanness (is that a word?), good acidity, and how well they pair with food. It's also how I feel about Spanish white wines.. and some white Bordeaux....

From Italy, we recently have enjoyed Pra, Viarte and Rocca Bernarda.
Cheers, Jim
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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Florida Jim » Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:43 pm

Randy Buckner wrote:2003 Inama, Soave Classico, Vin Soave, Veneto, Italy, $13. Stefano Inama states, “Most people in the world want predictable wines. I want to make wines that are different, and wines that taste different from year to year.” This is a serious Soave. The delicate aromas reveal citrus blossoms and tangerines, which follow through on the palate as well, augmented by a hint of almonds. Full, crisp, and delicately sweet, this will pair well with mild cheeses and white fish; 87/90.


Randy,
You start getting into Soave, you're going to get surprised. Some of the single vineyard stuff from Pieropan, Anselmi, Tramellini and others, will be a revelation.
I have a portion of the cellar devoted to them.
Beautiful wines.
Best, Jim
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Randy Buckner

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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Randy Buckner » Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:49 pm

Don't judge a winery by their '03s, in other words.


Understood. Holds true in the Rhone for sure.
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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Randy Buckner » Fri Mar 31, 2006 6:54 pm

You start getting into Soave, you're going to get surprised. Some of the single vineyard stuff from Pieropan, Anselmi, Tramellini and others, will be a revelation.


Thanks, Jim. I'll nose around on wine-searcher and try to pick up a mixed case to sample.
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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Thomas » Sat Apr 01, 2006 12:24 pm

Jim,

Look into Monte Tondo Soave too. At minimum, equal to Tamellini.
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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Florida Jim » Sat Apr 01, 2006 2:09 pm

Thomas wrote:Jim,

Look into Monte Tondo Soave too. At minimum, equal to Tamellini.


Never heard of them and never seen the wine. Any info. you can provide? Several cuvees/vineyards or just one? etc.?
Best, Jim
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Marc D

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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Marc D » Sat Apr 01, 2006 2:55 pm

I would like to add the name of Coffele Soave to the list. The basic 03 bottle was very good and under was under $10. I haven't tried their Ca Visco bottling yet.
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Thomas

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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Thomas » Sat Apr 01, 2006 6:51 pm

Florida Jim wrote:
Thomas wrote:Jim,

Look into Monte Tondo Soave too. At minimum, equal to Tamellini.


Never heard of them and never seen the wine. Any info. you can provide? Several cuvees/vineyards or just one? etc.?
Best, Jim


Jim,

Look here: http://www.montetondo.it/soave_mont_eng.php
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Joe D in AZ

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Fiano

by Joe D in AZ » Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:38 pm

The Italian whites that got our attention recently are Fiano di Avellino and Falenghina. The Fiano "Colle di Lapio" from Clelia Romano 2002 and 2004 are quite good.
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Re: TN: Five Italian Whites (gasp)

by Oliver McCrum » Mon Apr 03, 2006 2:24 am

the interesting thing about Italian whites these days is the burgeoning number of indigenous varieties available; Falanghina, Carricante, Greco, Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla, Arneis, Vermentino, et cetera, in addition to excellent examples of Pinot Bianco, Sylvaner, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon.
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