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Although a touch lighter and drier than the estate’s Orvieto Classico, the 2008 Palazzone Dubini Bianco offers the same terrific aromatic profile as its traditional sibling. Soft scents of acacia, apricot, and dried honey emanate from this golden-hued wine. Soft and seductive, it carries the intoxicating scents of spring in its breath. Furthermore, the wine’s delicious olfactory as well as what is most refreshing and satisfying about contemporary Orvieto follow through on the palate, so that each sip of the 2008 Palazzone Dubini Bianco recalls the awakening land and amber-hued hills that surround Orvieto. The 2008 Palazzone Dubini Bianco combines the best attributes of Orvieto with the modern penchant for truly dry white wine. In the 2008 vintage, the Dubini family has fashioned a dry, succulent Orvieto in everything but name. Dubini Bianco emanates grace, elegance, and flavor that speak directly to the senses. It purveys a truly aesthetic quality, worthy of the city for which Orvieto is named. Moreover, the 2008 Palazzone Dubini Bianco offers a refreshing respite from the dull, oak laden white wines of many New World producers. The 2008 Palazzone Dubini Bianco can be enjoyed moderately chilled (about 40° F) or at a more ambient temperature. Our preference is to drink Dubini Bianco and all fine Orvieto cool (50º - 55º F), but not overly cold. With less chill we find the wine more complex, flavorful and seductive, but as always . . . as you like it!
In Orvieto, the town’s illustrious white wines are most often served as an aperitif or with a delicate first course. The 2008 Palazzone Dubini Bianco provides that wonderful aperitif and much more. The 2008 Dubini Bianco offers superb accompaniment to fish, pork, lightly smoked meats, and cheeses. A simple grilled fish, served with a creamy cheese infused polenta, provides one of our favorite companions to any of Palazzone’s wines. For those seeking heartier fare, pea and lentil soups supply superb pairings as does a thick bread and cabbage soup with a cheese crust, the kind that is served in homes or local trattorias throughout northern and central Italy. Sautéed scallops in a cream sauce, served with homemade pasta, lentils and peas, provide another near perfect pairing. In addition, Dubini Bianco pairs beautifully with sushi, sashimi, and California rolls. And remember, one also has the delightful option of serving the 2008 Dubini Bianco with just a bit of soft or semi-hard cheese and some freshly baked bread. Enjoy!
Palazzone is a stunning estate that sits atop a hill. It overlooks the venerable hill town of Orvieto. A more appropriate testimony to the illustrious name of Orvieto would be hard to find, as the estate and the wines of Palazzone do justice to the accolades and the unabashed praise that millennia of joyful Etruscans, Romans, and assorted moderns have heaped upon Orvieto and its seductive white wine.
Orvieto is certainly the most representative wine of Umbria; it can also be one of Italy’s most consistently delightful white wines. Unique among Italy’s white wines for its complex blend of five varietals, Orvieto is rarely an easy wine to make because of differing ripening timetables for each of its five varietals and the requisite difficulty of proportionate blending. Palazzone incorporates in artful fashion all five of the traditional varietals into its Orvieto: Procanico, Verdello, Grechetto, Malvasia and Drupeggio.
For centuries, Orvieto was a semi-sweet wine, not unlike France’s Vouvray, but today nearly all Orvieto is vinified dry. Some producers still turn out small quantities of amabile or abboccato, the designations given to sweet Orvieto, but the very finest producers like Palazzone seem to impart a wonderfully rich, silky body and an intensely fruity bouquet to their wine, without the residual sugar that most contemporary wine drinkers eschew. In addition to fashioning traditional Orvieto Classico, Palazzone produces limited quantities of Dubini Bianco, a dry white Orvieto in everything but name.
Thanks to the Dubini family, the present guardians of Palazzone, their estate is now the zone’s benchmark for quality. The Dubinis bought the estate in 1970. In just a few short years, they had resurrected and restructured the neglected property and fashioned it into what has become the model estate in Orvieto. The semi-abandoned country house was restored and 40 acres of vineyards were planted on soils of volcanic origin with ideal southeastern exposure. Molto bene!
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