Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Dozen White Wines, Part II

Il Falchetto Arneis

Arneis means "little rascal" and the grape earns its moniker due to its agricultural difficulties in the vineyard.  The wine flavor profile is peaches, pears, and apricots, with almonds and hazelnuts.  It is a crisp and floral, perfumy medium-bodied dry white wine.  Arneis hails from the Piedmont, the finest wine production region of Italy, lying in the northeastern corner of the country.  Since Nebbiolo is the crown jewel of the region, Arneis has historically been forced into a supporting role there.  At times it has been blended into the great wine to lighten that massive red and at other times it has been planted in those vineyards just for the purpose of attracting birds to the larger Arneis grapes and away from the Nebbiolo.

Castelo di Papa Godello

Sourced from Galicia in northwestern Spain, the Godello grape is a versatile and neutrally flavored grape like others on the list but in this case more comparable to Chardonnay, making oak aging an appropriate option.  Godello is fresh clean and minerally with apricot and other ripe and savoury stonefruit flavors.  It has a soft inviting texture in the mouth.  Godello is the same grape as Verdelho and is very popular at this time under either name.  Our "Papa" version saw no time in oak making it yet another exemplary seafood accompaniment.

Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad

This sparkling cava is 67% Macabeo and 33% Parellada sourced from Penedes outside of Barcelona.  The sparkling wine giant, Frexienet now owns Segura Viudas and Heredad is the "tete de cuvee" from this 11th century estate.  The wine is a gold-tinged color with aromas of light smoke and toasty biscuit. Flavors include honey, apple, citrus, dried fruit,and flower petals.  Minerality and yeast permeate the heavy (for a cava) body of the wine.  The wine finishes with noticeable pepper.

Heredad is a full-flavored fruit bomb that complements creamy pasta and roast chicken.

Riondo Soave
Ventisquero Queulat Sauvignon Blanc
Le Lapin and Deep Sea California Chardonnay

We have written about Prosecco, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay so many times here already, I think we can move on.

Gougenheim Torrontes

Torrontes is a neat story even if its Argentine pedigree has now been disproven.  Once thought to be indigenous, through DNA spadework we now know it has descended from the Mission variety crossed with Muscat of Alexandria.  Torrontes is becoming increasingly popular worldwide but is still, by default, Argentina's own since it is planted nowhere else.

Torrontes is as perfumy as any wine on the market and is most reminicent of Muscat and Gewurztraminer. In the nose the floral character of the wine abounds with roses, jasmine, and geraniums.  The color is light yellow with green and golden hues.  On the palate the wine is an unabashed honeyed fruit salad with, once again, peaches and apricots predominating.  It's good acidity and smooth texture make it a natural for Asian cuisine.

There are three varieties of Torrontes in Argentina with Torrontes Riojana being the preferred type.  Gougenheim gets theirs from high altitude vineyards in Mendoza.

Il Falchetto Tenuta Del Fant Moscato d'Asti 

Moscato, the oldest wine grape of Piedmont, is sourced from a thirty mile area in Montferrat in the province of Asti in the cool northwestern part of Piedmont.  The grape gets its name from the earthy "musky" aromas which accompany its floral and fruity bouquet.  Its flavor profile is peaches and apricots (yet again) along with the fresh grape juice flavors that come with a 5.5% alcohol wine.  While Moscato may be made in a dry style, historically the current sweet style has always been popular.  The pronounced bubbly "frizzante" style has been popular since the nineteenth century and is accomplished today using pressurized steel fermentation tanks.  Incredibly, Moscato sales continue to grow by 10-15% annually and the wine is both served with dessert and as a sweet cocktail.

Please join us for a tasting of three differently styled Torrontes on Thursday evening at the 7pm class and then join us on Friday after 5pm for the Falanghina and Greco experience.

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