09 December 2011

Terroir of Soave

I got to participate in an online tasting with Giovanni Ponchia, the head œnologist of the Soave Consortium. This is one of the most creative approaches I've ever seen with a tasting: four wines representing different soil types in the Soave region of northeast Italy. It's amazing how much the type of agriculture in an area depends on what happened millions of years ago. This part used to be under the ocean, this part was lifted up by a volcano, glaciers scraped this region down to bedrock, etc. Here in Memphis I sit atop a bunch of clastics (siltstone and shales) that have developed from the late Mesozoic (70 million years ago) to the present.

Soave is a great, food friendly wine that's pretty affordable and easy to find. It pairs well with lots of things and I've served it in the past at Thanksgiving and Christmas to people with all levels of wine experience who have enjoyed it. Here are four tasty examples, with some notes on the soil.

2010 Vicentini Terrelunghe Soave DOC
80% Garganega, 20% Trebbiano di Soave
$8, 12.5% abv.
Calcareous: containing calcium carbonate, chalky
Light acidity and a round mouthfeel with, yes, a chalky mineral finish.

2009 Cantina di Monteforte Vigneto di Montegrande Soave Superiore DOCG Classico
100% Garganega
$14, 13% abv.
Basaltic: volcanic
Floral nose with high acidity and a crisp, tart finish. Apricot flavors.

2010 Cantina di Soave Rocca Sveva Soave DOC Classico
100% Garganega
$15, 12.5% abv.
Calcareous & Basaltic
Fruity nose of banana and pineapple, mild acidity and a mineral finish.

2010 Fattori Danieli Soave DOC
100% Garganega
$14, 12.5% abv.
Basaltic & Tufaceous: the latter term refers to a type of limestone
Tropical fruit, balanced acidity and a long, soft finish.

Note: These wines were received as samples.

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