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Blind tasting, in flights, long flights!

This is the scenary of the italian events called “Anteprime”, loved and hated by wine producers and critics whose discussions focus on both the importance of those occasions to get the impression of the last vintage available and the limit of evaluating a wine without knowing anything about that label as a result of choices, difficulties, experiments and familiar stories.

Personally I find priceless the the value of a tour in the wineries themselves to grasp the more or less visible traces that each soil, wind blow, vine leave and passionate hand transform in wine drops.

It is still true, however, that such a “cold” exercise can be turned into an effective and immediate source of information so, this is what I am about to do with the Italian white Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG that I faced on the last Anteprima event in February with notes that I finally put in order. Thus this is the list of the wines I have preferred without considering historical importance, size, names and whatever turns around the magic world of wine production.

A short introduction to this wine:  Vernaccia di San Gimignano is the tuscan white which survives to the renowned reds of the region. It has been the first Italian DOC (now DOCG), produced on yellow sands and a sandy-clay soil whitin the “town of the towers” build on a tuff hill: San Gimignano, province of Siena. It is possible to use 85% of Vernaccia and 15% of other white grapes included Sauvignon and Riesling. So, 2 main styles are available:

  • The pure one (100% Vernaccia) to enhance aromas of citrus fruits and floral notes which leave spaces to dried fruit and mineral notes with the ageing
  • A richer and more intense style thanks to the blend with Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Riesling

Anyway we should expect structure as well as savory wine. The best grapes are generally destined for the Riserva  version with 1 year in wood.

And here is my list:

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2016 by Casa alle Vacche

not only citrus fruits and broom but also fennel that invite to drink: it is fresh but going towards the perfect balance

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano “I Macchioni” 2016 by Casa alle Vacche

compact bouquet with a tropical touch; full, elegant and intriguing

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva “Crocus” 2014 by Casa alle Vacche

characterized by a thin complexity, the fruit is more mature and a slight reductive note enriches the bouquet. Straight and with a long finish, the alcool supports the body, smoky on the final

  • Vernaccia San Gimignano “Ab Vinea Doni” 2015 by Casale Falchini

Pleasant with notes of lime and mimosa over a balsamic background. Juicy and balanced

  • Vernaccia San Gimignano Riserva “Vigna a Solatio” 2014 by Casale Falchini

it does not show a big complexity or a very long finish but it is very harmonious, sexy and with a good potential for ageing

  • Castello di Montauto – Famiglia Cecchi 2016

it smells of grapefruit, pineapple and thyme, it is lively and recalls the candied cedar

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2015 by Castello di Montauto – Famiglia Cecchi 

unusual with honey notes and a smoky touch, only in the background I can find some fruit traces like peach. Coherent and tasty

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2016 by Fattoria di Pancole

The banana balance the rosemary before leaving the space to a fresh but full sip that shows a potential for ageing

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva “Benedetta” 2014 by Fattoria San Donato

the longer maturation of the reserve version expresses a better integration and notes of ripe fruits a very interesting sea blow, savory

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2016 by Fattorie Melini

spicy, lively, savory, you want it againg and again

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2014 by Fontaleoni

deep with layers of floral notes and a smoky character. Full, still very young, toasty on the final

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Campo della Pieve” 2015 by Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara

exuberant with notes of green apple, lemon skin and herbs. Simple but lively and tasty

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Hydra” 2016 by Il Palagione

delicate with notes of candied lemon and white flowers, coherent with a strong acidity perfect with fat food

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano “Ventanni” 2015 by Palagetto

the tropical touch combines with flint as well as sweet spices especially vanilla. A wine to be discovered slowly

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2015 by San Benedetto

an oxidative note complicates the frame made of dried apple and tosted nuts. Intense sip that recalls the apple juice even on the final together with an etheral touch

  • Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2016 by Torre Prima

white flowers and herbs come out before the white peach but the most interesting characteriistic is the texture. Wait for it a little longer to be fully satisfied by this sip