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MWG March 20th tasting (2/7): Flat whites?

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Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2012, Panizzi ($20.90, 12102821)
100% Vernaccia. Sees only stainless steel until bottling. Gently crushed, no maceration. Fermented in temperature-controlled (18°C) tanks. Transferred to other tanks for five months’ maturation. 13% ABV.
Straw, chalk and quartz, eventually offering up faint stone fruit and lemon. Clean and intense. Starts dry but sweetens as it goes along. Possessed of a certain richness – largely extract – that’s balanced by acidity. Long, minerally finish with a telltale bitter almond note. A second bottle showed better at table. The best Vernaccia sold at the SAQ in a coon’s age, though less accomplished than the private import Barzaghi tasted last year. (Buy again? Sure.)

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2010, Il Coroncino, Fattoria Coroncino ($23.55, 11952138)
100% Verdicchio from vines in the Coroncino and Cerrete vineyards. Farming is organic, though uncertified, and no fertilizers are used. Manually harvested, gently pressed. Fermented with indigenous yeasts in temperature-controlled (20°C) stainless steel tanks. Whether the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation is left to nature. Matured in stainless steel tanks. Minimal sulphur is added at bottling. 13.5% ABV.
Oxidized butter, flowers, yellow apple, dried lemon, ash. Rich, smooth, concentrated but not heavy. Fruit is present but Heisenbergian: when you look for it, it evanesces. Layered, with substrata of tangy acid and dusty chalk. Long, bitter-edged, moreish. A bottle consumed a couple of weeks after the tasting proved even more compelling and made a surprisingly good match for asparagus gratinéed with Parmesan cheese and topped with a fried egg. (Buy again? Yes.)

IGT Civitella d’Agliano 2012, Poggio della Costa, Sergio Mottura ($21.75, 10782309)
100% Grechetto from organically farmed vines grown in the Poggio della Costa vineyard. Soft-pressed, cold-settled, fermented in temperature-controlled (18-20°C) tanks for 15 to 25 days. Matured on the lees in tanks for five or six months. Sees only stainless steel until bottling. Screwcapped. 13.5% ABV.
Inexpressive nose of lemon and quartz dust. Bland and inexpressive in the mouth. Clean, medium-bodied, with lowish acidity, a saline finish and no personality. I quite enjoyed Mottura’s Orvietto last year but this was simply forgettable. Closed and in need of time? Let’s hope that’s the explanation. (Buy again? Only to give it a second chance.)

I had high hopes for this flight: three monovarietals from three iconic Italian white grapes made by three highly regarded producers. But all three wines fell flat at the tasting, generating little interest, with no one inquiring about availability. Did the cavas neutralize our palates? Were the planets improperly aligned? Are these wines that, like many central Italian reds, need food to show their mettle? That the two revisited after the tasting were capable of providing pleasure (especially the Coroncino) has me leaning toward the food hypothesis. Then again, I thought both made a fine aperitif on their own before I sat down to eat.

Written by carswell

April 14, 2014 at 21:45

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