Vernaccia di San Gimignano is considered one of the most important and noble white wines in Italian history (which is saying A LOT!), known by name for over a thousand years and one of the first to be exported across Europe. It was the first region to adopt the new Italian D.O.C. structure in 1966, and is one of the very few white wines to be elevated to the highest D.O.C.G. status. It's a sturdy, complex. and distinctive wine when made from 100% of the Vernaccia varietal, but the tendency has been for the more mass market producers to tart them up with a small allowable (but still sneaky) portion of more aromatic grapes. Blending grapes isn't in and of itself a bad thing of course, as it is the backbone of the majority of great wines from across the world, and the innovation can lead to new expressions of terroir. But this varietal, like Pinot Noir in Burgundy, has such a reputation for standing on its own that tinkering with it for marketability is a bit of dirty pool, especially when it is the drier more savory notes in the wine that make it so special.
Fortunately, this new arrival from one of our favorite Italian importers Diego DeCorte is all about the tradition, and brings a lot of texture and tension out for the price point. A big nose of baked apple, rindy melon and savory aromatic herbs that are very cuisine driven; unless you cook a lot, it's the types of herbs most of us only use in a special dish once a year, but when you pass by the smell you kick yourself for not using them more. You will catch a lot of those types of herbs here every time you swirl the glass. The palate is equally impressive, round and fleshy without any sign of tropical fruit, filling the mouth with a long lingering green apple and crispy skin finish that completely takes over the salivary reflexes. Great with a wide variety of seafood (eel and Vernaccia were said to be a particular hit during the renaissance), and definitely one of the best food oriented wines in the store.
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The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!