This is a break from our usual norms this time of year, breaking out a white wine for the Insider's Pick in Winter. But with so many warm days recently, who can really tell, so seasonality can go right out the window. Plus a really fascinating wine like this is never confined to any one season. This come to us from a slowly growing stable of wines from one of the few producers on the island of Ischia, just off the coast of Naples. This island is part of the same volcanic chain as Mount Vesuvius on the mainland, and while its eruptions were not as catastrophic as its neighbor, it does have reference in both Greek and Roman mythology and was active as recently as the 14th century. Nowadays it is more known as a tourist attraction for their beaches and thermal fed hot springs, but the island is also the surprising home to a number of wine grape varieties that rarely get planted elsewhere. The intense character the volcanic soils brings to these grapes make them stand out in ways that just can't be found on the more mixed soils of the mainland, and with less than 20 square miles to work with there just isn't room to plant anything else. Along with Forastera, Biancolella is the grape of most importance here, usually making up the lion's share of local blends or being featured solo like it is here, and one that does make an occasional important appearance on the mainland
For fans of Neapolitan or Campania region wines, you may first draw some comparisons of this to the Greco grape in that is has a tropical, almost floral nose with lots of juicy Mediterranean fruit and white citrus. The volcanic soils help to insert some pinpricks of minerality into the aromas, somewhat minty in the background that keep it lively and inviting. On the palate the texture is equally juicy and the flavors mirror the aromas, but the nervy minty minerality comes through even more, bringing out a very fresh and quenching mouthfeel where other wines can be more cloying, and finishes with a touch of fuzzy peach skin dryness. This is perfect to pair with fish or seafood dishes that have a lot of citrus and herb influence.
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!