If you have a porch or a patio, now is the time to get a chilled bottle of white wine and celebrate the demise of a long winter.
This week, we have 10 Old World whites, all but one from Italy, that have a very interesting array of origins and indigenous grapes. Next week, we try a like number of New World whites.
2012 Marco Felluga “Mongris” Collio pinot grigio ($18). A nicely nuanced wine with mellow apple and creamy citrus flavors – the chardonnay side of pinot grigio.
2011 Marco Felluga “Molomatto” Collio bianco ($23). This blend of pinot bianco, tocai friulano and ribolla gialla produces a very nice food wine that is fruity and spicy – pineapple and grapefruit with some black pepper around the edges.
2012 Marco Felluga Russiz Superiore Collio sauvignon ($26). Lots of pineapples and apples with nice skin notes, great structure and light tannins – an excellent sauvignon.
2012 Paul Mas Coteaux Languedoc picpoul de pinet ($12). My Pick of the Litter.Picpoul is one of those obscure grapes that has a following the way a cute puppy would – and would good reason. Its apple aromas, skin flavors and minerality remind me of a white burgundy, perhaps a pouilly fuissé. Very nice fruit with some sprinkles of tingly white pepper and a finish of white peach.
2012 Masseria Li Veli Valle d’Itria IGT verdecca ($18). Very good wine that has lots of apple flavors, spices and some overtones of grappa without the alcohol.
2012 Li Veli Puglia fiano ($12). The wine is interesting without being totally charming. Its floral and gamey notes somewhat fight each other, and a food analogy would be of pairing a pear with a tangy cheese.
2011 Garofoli “Podium” verdicchio dei castelli di jesi classico superiore ($25). Great texture is combined with pepperiness, melons and tropical fruits to create a wine that is big on the palate yet well-balanced – great with meaty ocean fishes or poultry with cream sauces.
2012 Garofoli “Macrina” verdicchio dei castelli di jesi classico superiore ($14). More in the traditional style with minty flavors of green fruits and a lean structure – good for lighter fare or wine by the glass.
2013 Piccini delle Venezie pinot grigio ($10). A serviceable wine, somewhat light with pleasant mellow-apple flavors.
NV Piccini “Memoro” Bianco ($10). I usually don’t expect much from a non-vintage wine whose grapes come from all over Italy – Sicily to Trentino to Maremma – but this one is quite interesting with an unctuousness one normally sees in riesling and some chalky creaminess. Not a great wine, but certainly one with some personality.