It’s officially summer and the time of the year for some of the best white wines throughout the world to be released. So far, we have seen Sancerre, Chablis, a lovely little Spanish white wine but not enough representation from “the boot”. But today, I’m changing all of that with Italy’s own answer to Chablis– Soave and one of the best ones you’ll ever touch at anywhere near this price.
In fact, for decades, Soave was known as Petit Chablis in Italy– as the wine’s popularity spread all over the world. The best Soave can be eerily similar to Chablis in terms of minerality and spicy cut.
But in my mind, each region has something the other desperately wants. Chablis has the tradition of Burgundy and the respect of the entire wine world. But Italy’s wine white jewel, Gargenega is magical – way more diverse and interesting than Chardonnay for my money – and has the ability to get floral and boast juicy stone fruits.
But as Soave slowly gained popularity – production grew exponentially. Things were great. Until they weren’t. Wineries began getting complacent. Too many folks moved in and exploited Soave’s good name which sent the region spiraling in what the locals refer to as the “dark ages”.
In the last decade, the original great producers in the region like Gini, Pieropan and Pra have stepped up even more dramatically. Not only by not bowing to pressure to over crop and overly expand production, by continuing throughout this period to produce extremely high quality wines that just get better year after year. Today’s wine is the undeniable proof.
93 Points, James Suckling
Nicely balanced and very tasty white with aromas and flavors of lemon, pineapple and peach. Creamy mineral notes and a tinge of herb, too. Medium-bodied with a fresh, relaxed feel and a pleasant, lemon-cream and pineapple finish. Very refined feel. Drink now.