Summer 2021 CRUx6 Quarterly Whites
This might be one of my most favorite six-pack of Quarterly whites ever. Dialed up and ready for summer. Three new wines from Italy, a pair from France, and a re-visit of an old friend from Portugal make up the mix. There's not a one that you won't enjoy right away with spring and summer fare. Here they are:
Vadio Branco DO Bairrada 2019--This is not the place to come when you want to find Portugal's answer to Chardonnay or Syrah or Pinot Noir. Instead, Luis Patrao is making white wines with a local grapes like the formidable Bical and Cercial--varieties better known for the production of Madeira. He treats his vineyards like a nursery, guaranteeing that all his future vineyards will be planted using this massale selection, and keeping the heart and soul of his small grape growing valley alive.
ZF4 IGT Veneto Banche Bianche 2020--In addition to grapevins, around 1.000 olive trees, dating back hundreds of years, are cultivated together with approximately 30 head of selected dairy cattle. The farm also possesses four ancient farm houses, each one idyllicaly located and presently undergoing refurbishment. One of these has been turned into a bed & breakfast, where one may spend delightful holidays, in a surrounding of vineyards and olive groves. This pure, refreshing lively white is grown on a hillside facing sun-drenched lake Garda. Make it cold and slurp it down!
Poggio al Sole IGT Toscana Bianco Chiara 2020--Their fine hilltop property is surrounded on all sides by lands and vineyards of the famous Antinori, farmers who sell grapes our work directly with the famous name. It was expected that Johannes and Kathrin might do the same but instead they choose the independent route and by the mid-90's were issuing their own wines onto the marketplace. It's a great story of tenacity. This white wine, a unique blend of Chardonnay (85%) and directly-pressed Sangiovese (no skin contact) is a simply wondeful example of the creativity and genius of Giovanni. We immediately loved this wine (while sitting outside around the pool, in February) for its combination of richness and brightness. Its fair to call it the anti-Chardonnay Chardonnay!
Maison Géraldine Louise Bourgogne Chardonnay 2019--At their best, the reds and whites of the Côte d'Or can be ethereal, complex, and oh-so fine. Equally frustrating however is that the region is filled with winemakers that don't care enough, blessed with expensive and cherished land, yet unwilling to make great wine and simply do the minimum required to get a wine to market, and hitch their ride to a pricing machine that sees bottles easily north of a $100. But here, for a quarter of that price, you might get your white burgundy fix, a gorgeous wine made by the tiny, always smiling, Géraldine Lochet. A real treat.
Giovanna Tantini Bianco di Custoza 2020--This a white you'll not soon forget. Made from the local Garganega and splashed with salt and pepper varieties Chardonnay and Trebbianello, it is a lively, gorgeous white with that oh-so refreshing summery freshness that we just love. In fact, we tasted this over the winter directly from tank, and I there was just no way in hell I was spitting it in the trench drain. When Giovanna served up so nice fresh salami chunks, I was hooked. This tank-made wine is refreshing, pure, and lively. The Trebbianello gives a nice salty and savory element. Ready to quaff!
Maso Thaler IGT Dolomiti Sauvignon 2019--This 3.5 hectare farm, called Maso Thaler (Mah-zo Toller) is a wonder. The steep grade forces most work to be done by hand, plant by plant, cluster by cluster. It's hard work, but the results are unique and wonderful. Half of the vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir, the other to the following three white grapes, all wonderful and unique. From only 2500 bottles produced, this beauty features a light straw color with intense grapefruit and other citrus on the nose. Mouthwatering from the get-go. In the mouth, pure wonderful-ness. A rival to some of the finest Sancerre I've ever tasted. During the tasting I kept going back and back to this wine. I couldn't get enough! Among the best white wine I've ever offered from Italy!
Ready, set, go!