Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

Hi-yo, Silver! It’s the lone Vernaccia!

with 3 comments

Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2011, Rocca delle Macìe ($14.30, 00731570)
100% Vernaccia. The winemaker’s tech sheet (PDF file) appears to have been written by the marketing department and so provides no useful technical information. Likely fermented with commercial yeasts and matured in neutral containers. 13% ABV.
Engaging nose: lemon fruity and surprisingly floral. Light and fresh on the palate. What fruit there is – besides the obligatory citrus – is of the pear/quince variety. Lively acidity. Little depth and a rainwatery finish with only the faintest hint of bitter almond (often a marker for the variety). Yes, it’s industrial and, yes, you can find Vernaccias with more personality and follow-through*. Then again, it’s $14. Best as an aperitif or with light, vegetable-based first courses like fried zucchini flowers stuffed with fresh ricotta. (Buy again? If in search of an inexpensive, innocuous, dry Italian white, sure.)

*Not at the SAQ these days, though. For the time being, the Rocca delle Macìe is it. Yet Vernaccia is one of Italy’s oldest and most storied white wines. “Old-style Vernaccia was made as powerful as possible, fermented on its (golden) skins and aged in barrels for gently oxidized flavours to emerge. This was the wine Michelangelo loved. It can still be found like this, or in a modernized, pale version,” writes Hugh Johnson. Leave it to the beloved monopoly to stock only the modernized, pale version. It’s yet another reason to turn to the private import channel. This, for example, looks like it could be interesting.

Written by carswell

April 13, 2013 at 15:10

3 Responses

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  1. You can count on me for multiple private Solos, if there’s a case.
    Sad that SAQ’s delivering the same single Gimignano for like a decade. Sad mostly because it’s made me forget about Gimignano till reading this. I used to bring in as many non-Rocca della Macies as I could. Dozens offered in LCBO releases over the years.

    weingolb (@weingolb)

    April 13, 2013 at 16:12

    • Noted, weingolb. Will revert once I’ve contacted the agency.

      The SAQ used to stock more characterful Vernacchias – it’s how I got to know the grape and style – but hasn’t for quite a while. Pity.


      April 14, 2013 at 17:11

  2. […] on a quest for, but lovely in its own right and light years better than the insipid-by-comparison Rocca delle Macìe. (Buy again? […]

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