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As limpid and refreshing as a mountain stream and as satisfying as a creamy dessert, the 2004 Cavalchina Bianco di Custoza weds quench ability to host of distinctive, satisfying flavors. Bright, tangy, and brimming with subtlety as well bravado, the Cavalchina Bianco di Custoza is in a class by itself. This wine dazzled the panel with its scent and savor of lemon custard cream, lime sorbet, and eau de vie. Yet, everything about this dry white wine conveys a satisfied air of simple elegance and personal comfort, which add to its thirst quenching ability. We suggest serving the 2004 Cavalchina quite chilled (35°-40° F), at least initially, and then allowing it to slowly evolve in the glass as it warms. This is providing one doesn’t consume the bottle in short order. For the too rapid consumption of the 2004 Cavalchina Bianco di Custoza there remains only one solution – another bottle. Enjoy!
The 2004 Cavalchina Bianco di Custoza is the natural scion of the local cuisine, which in this part of the Veneto draws heavily from the abundance of Lake Garda and neighboring lakes and streams. The delicacy of trout and other fresh water fish highlights the elegance and distinction of the Cavalchina Bianco di Custoza. Hence, nearly all baked or grilled fish provide the ultimate complement to this wine. However, three and four cheese pizzas; vegetable pizzas, especially those with mushrooms, olives, or roasted red peppers; and even the classic pizza margherita provide excellent accompaniments. Thin sliced prosciutto wraps offer other tasty treats with this refreshing wine. Yet, we also enjoyed the 2004 Cavalchina Bianco di Custoza strictly as an aperitif, without food. Its fresh tangy flavors provide the perfect palate cleanser and set the stage for a most rewarding meal or a simple evening with family and friends.
The Calvachina winery is located along the southern shore of majestic Lake Garda. It has belonged to the present owners, the Piona family, since the beginning of the 1900s. As far back as 1848 Cavalchina was registered officially as having the finest vineyards in the region, and thankfully they still do. Presently, the Piona family harvests grapes from two distinct sites: 16 hectares at the original Cavalchina estate in the Veneto and at La Prendina, a nearby parcel just over the regional border of Lombardia. Grapes from both estates are vinified at Cavalchina, but each is fermented and bottled individually.
Cavalchina specializes in traditional regional wines, including the zone’s finest Bianco di Custoza (a blend of Garganega, Tocai, and Trebbiano grapes) and several excellent Bardolino in varying styles. Giulietto Piona, the reigning family patriarch, invented Bianco di Custoza at Cavalchina in 1962; he is now considered the founder of that thriving DOC. Presently, his talented son Luciano makes all of the wine at Cavalchina.
At Cavalchina and La Prendina, the estate wines are marvelously consistent and always delicious. Yet, every vintage brings a new and interesting surprise from this ingenious proprietor: one barrel of an innovative and scrumptious dessert wine, a Bardolino Novello, an older vintage of something squirreled away in the cellar, or a wonderful vino da tavola. Luciano Piona always keeps life fun and interesting, just like the marvelous array of wines he loves to produce. And even though Luciano Pioni routinely fashions increasingly superlative wines from one vintage to the next, the outstanding 2004 vintage may be Cavalchina’s greatest effort to date. Not surprisingly, Cavalchina’s wines are enormously popular in their native Veneto and can be found in nearly all of the area’s best trattorias.
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