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Palazzone’s Terre Vineate Orvieto Classico Superiore is consistently outstanding year after year, so it comes as no surprise that Giovanni and Lodovico Dubini have fashioned another great Orvieto in the 2011 Palazzone Terre Vineate. For starters the 2011 Terre Vineate offers a wealth of savory scents in the form of stone fruits, minerals, and wildflowers. Soft and seductive, this wine carries the intoxicating scents of spring in every draught of its delightful bouquet. Moreover, all of this Terre Vineate’s intoxicating aroma follows through on the palate, so that each and every sip of the 2011 Terre Vineate recalls spring and the vernal awakening amidst the budding green and amber-hued hills that surround Orvieto. Palazzone’s Orvieto Classico, like the vaulted town of Orvieto itself, appears timeless – a cross between the ancient and the eternal. Few wines can transport us to Italy quite the way Palazzone’s Orvieto does. In the 2011 Terre Vineate, the Dubini family has once again captured a dry, captivating wine of grace, elegance, and distinction that speaks directly to the senses. It purveys a truly aesthetic quality, worthy of the hill town for which this distinctive wine is named. Some will prefer drinking Palazzone’s Terre Vineate Orvieto moderately chilled (40° F or below), but our preference is to sip this classic white wine cool, rather than cold, but as you like it.
In Orvieto, the wine that bears the name of Italy’s most illustrious hill town is best known as an aperitif or starter wine with a delicate first course. The 2011 Palazzone Terre Vineate certainly fills the bill as an exemplary starter and extraordinary aperitif, but that’s not all. Displaying more body and flavor than most Orvieto, Palazzone’s Terre Vineate offers splendid accompaniment to fish, pork, lightly smoked meats, and cheeses. Grilled fish, served with a creamy cheese polenta, provides one of our favorite companions to Palazzone’s Orvieto. Sautéed scallops in a cream sauce, served with homemade pasta, lentils and peas, provide another superb pairing. For those seeking heartier fare, pea and lentil soups pair beautifully with this wine, too, as does a thick bread and cabbage soup with a cheese crust – the kind that is served in homes and local trattorias throughout northern and central Italy. And remember, with Palazzone’s Terre Vineate one always has the welcome option of serving only fresh fruit, a bit of cheese, and freshly baked bread. Enjoy!
Palazzone is a stunning estate that sits atop a hill that 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 wine at 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 Classico 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.
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. Within two 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 fixed up and 40 acres of vineyards were planted on soils of volcanic origin with ideal southeastern exposure. Molto bene!
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