Four white varietals I bet you’ve never tried.
With over 10,000 wine grape types out there it is fair to wager that one cannot try them all in a lifetime, although, I will not give up the challenge. So where do we start? Traditionally it is light before dark, thus I chose whites first. You have probably heard of the famous five: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Moscato, but now is the time to break out of your comfort zone.
For our Chardonnay lovers I would recommend venturing out and taking a trip to Italy for some Soave. Garganega is the grape type, and hails from the northeastern part of Italy in the Veneto region. Garganega is nothing like your overly extracted, butterball, California Chardonnays, however it does have a luscious mouthfeel with delicate richness. At ABC our La Cappuccina Soave is 100% Garganega (also 100% organic if that’s your thing) and envelops one in a subtle floral quality with lemon nuances and a round nutty finish.
Next up would have to be for our Pinot Grigio lovers, and for you we have Cortese. Cortese is the main grape in all of our Gavi di Gavi wines and is primarily cultivated in the southeastern region of Piedmont. With approachable acidity, zippy, clean and refreshing features, this is an ideal substitute for the Grigio lover. Our Ottosoldi Gavi di Gavi DOCG exudes perfumed white flowers and limestone on the bright nose. On the palate wet cement comes off as the primary mineral tone, medium bodied with an opulent finish.
While we are in Italy I have to mention Malvasia–very similar to Moscato in flavor yet unlike a Moscato d’Asti as it is often a still wine. One of our beloved winemakers, Nadia Galati, makes an exquisite Malvasia for ABC, which is frizzante. The Giorgi Nadia Malvasia is plump and round on the mouth and gives off delicate notes of apricot, honey and nectarine.
Last but certainty not least we have Grüner Veltliner. While traditionally grown in Austria we also have one made in New Zealand by another favorite winemaker here at ABC, Jules Taylor. One of my favorite things to do is a side by side tasting of the same varietal grown in different terroir. Our Höpler from Austria and the Jules Taylor from New Zealand are two very different Grüners. The Höpler is dry, crisp and zesty with grassy and hay notes on the nose and light tropical fruit on the palate. This would be a great venture for a Sauvignon Blanc lover. The Jules Taylor is a bit fatter on the palate and emanates a subtle sweetness from the floral notes (think Vouvray not Moscato) with suggestions of cement and a slight nutty finish.
So get to shopping! Break free of the famous five and find four fresh favorites.
Rose Gonzalez, Wine & Spirits Consultant – Gainesville