VULCANIA SOAVE 2012 and more (8)
* Please read all the previous and next articles about VULCANIA SOAVE 2012, about the SOAVE and the COLLI EUGANEI regions *
The best way to discover the Colli Euganei wine region is to follow the STRADA DEL VINO COLLI EUGANEI (the road of the DOC wines of the Euganean Hills). It will bring you along many farms and wineries, along inviting ‘agriturismo’ places where you can have a very tasty meal for a friendly price and of course local wines and other gourmet products. Stop at the small picturesque cities and villages; take the time to visit some of the many historic monuments, from small house to palace… Have a look at the local crafts, like artistic pottery and more. This is the place where an incredible amount of poets and philosophers for a while, an inspirational retreat or even for a whole life. Many of those names are very famous, just to mention a few of them: Petrarca, Goethe, Lord Byron, Shelley, Montaigne… This paradise on earth, this Mediterranean source of inspiration, the passion of the wine growers… you will find it back in the wines!
Colli Euganei… not only red wines! – © Consorzio
The DOC COLLI EUGANEI is a complex family of white (minority) and red wines, monovarietal or blends, fizzy (frizzante), fully sparkling (spumante) or non-sparkling, from dry to sweet… produced from grapes grown on volcanic and or calcareous soils. The appellation of protected origin (DOP/DOC) covers the whole territory but offers many different wines, thanks to the big variety of grapes planted in the area. The ones people ‘communicate’ the most about are the ‘trendy’ cabernet sauvignon, merlot, cabernet franc and carmenère for the reds, chardonnay, pinot bianco and sauvignon blanc for the white wines. If you are lucky and perseverant in your research, you may find as well some pinello, garganega, serprina, friulano, riesling italico, moscato bianco, moscato giallo… barbera, raboso Veronese, friularo*, gatta*, pattaresca*, turchetta*, recantina*… (* all from Salvan Urbano winery, see below).
Even if I still prefer Italian wines made from Italian native grapes, I absolutely appreciated most of the red Colli Euganei wines, simply because they are no easy copy but really different wines than many other ‘Bordeaux blends’ or Bordeaux grapes monovarietal wines. They all have their own character, their own story, their own little piece of volcano… Honestly speaking, a few wines were a bit too ‘overdone’ concerning the use of oak. Too much oak reduces the minerality of the wine, which is exactly what should never happen. Minerality is indeed what makes the huge difference between globalization/standardization and … singularization! Colli Euganei wines have a unique character, they should keep it fully!
Among the whites, many very good blends, but also very good monovarietal wines. I was delighted by two types of wines, the so-called Serprino (actually an old synonym of Prosecco, now not allowed anymore) and the surprisingly delicious Fior d’Arancio DOCG Secco moscato giallo! This Fior d’Arancio exists also as very refreshing spumante DOCG and splendid passito DOCG (sweet).
Fior d’Arancia… a great surprise… © Consorzio
As I had to leave earlier than the rest of the group because of my flight, I couldn’t make the great tastings on Sunday at the BORIN winery and at the BALLOTTA restaurant. Doubly sad because I cannot make a complete report of some fantastic wines tasted on Sunday, a whole range of Colli Euganei Moscato Secco DOC, Fior d’Arancio Secco DOCG, Fior d’Arancio Spumante DOCG and Fior d’Arancio Passito DOCG…
Therefore I will only recommend some of my favorite wines among the 20 wines I tasted (out of 30). This is a general recommendation for some wineries, with a few favourite wines highlighted:
|BORIN||CE Fior d’Arancio Secco DOCG ‘Fiore di Gaia’ 2010 ***|
|CA’LUSTRA||CE Moscato Secco DOC ‘A’Cengia’ 2009 **(*), CE Rosso DOC ‘Vittoria Aganoor’ 2008 **(*)|
|CA’OROLOGIO||CE Rosso DOC ‘Calaone’ 2009 **|
|CANTINA COLLI EUGANEI||CE Fior d’Arancio secco DOCG 2011 **, CE Fior d’Arancio Spumante DOCG 2011 **|
|COLLE MATTARA||CE Rosso DOC 2010 **|
|IL FILÒ DELLE VIGNE||(CE Rosso DOC ‘Borgo Casette’ !)|
|LA MONTECCHIA||CE Rosso DOC ‘Villa Capodilista’ 2007 ***|
|MONTEGRANDE||CE Fior d’Arancio Passito DOCG 2008 **(*)|
|IL MOTTOLO||CE Rosso DOC ‘Serro’ 2008 ***|
|SAN BASILIO||CE Bianco DOC 2008 **, CE Rosso DOC ‘Fenice’ 2008 **(*)|
|SAN NAZARIO||CE Serprino DOC 2011 **|
|TERRE GAIE||(Organic certified Fior d’Arancio !)|
|VIGNA RÒDA||CE Serprino DOC 2011 **(*), CE Rosso DOC ‘Taurilio’ 2009 ***|
|VIGNALTA||CE Rosso DOC ‘Gemola’ 2004 ***, CE Rosso DOC ‘Arquà’ 2004 **(*), CE Rosso Cabernet DOC 1990 **(*)|