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In the last ten years, Soave and its multitude of growers have taken a great leap forward, but still no one makes better Soave than Gaetano Tamellini. Furthermore, the 2005 Tamellini Soave DOC is the finest wine we have ever drunk from this estate. This wine is every thing good Soave ought to be, and more. From its light golden robe to its long, lingering satisfying finish, the 2005 Tamellini Soave fulfills its creator's quest. The mere sight of it reminds us of sunshine in a glass and the first draught of this elegant, immensely flavorful wine offers ample testimony to why it has been likened to Pouilly-Fuissé. The wine's bouquet is a striking combination of ripe creamy fruit, lemon zest, clove, and the freshest almonds. Add pinpoint minerality, textured fruit, and a most satisfying lip smacking flavor and this aristocratic offering from Tamellini is darn near impossible to put down…the glass that is, the wine goes down ever so easily as the gullet fervently prays for more. In fact, this 2005 Tamellini is so refreshing and beguiling that the tasting panel nearly came to blows over who would get to savor the last few drops that we squeezed from the bottles, and this is not the first time we have had to guard the "empty bottles" of a Tamellini Soave. And without the heavy layer of oak that normally obscures the flavor and the very soul of many New World white wines, this Soave stands out for its elegance and purity. We suggest serving the Tamellini Soave only moderately chilled (40º-45º F).
Our first inclination is to serve the 2005 Tamellini Soave DOC as the opening act to a party or intimate gathering. Our next suggestion is to continue serving it throughout the evening or with a light meal, but only to people you truly like. This beguiling white wine provides plenty of pleasure with and without food. As an aperitif it cleanses the palate and prepares the senses for the next great gustatory delight. At the same time, the Tamellini Soave has the uncanny ability to enliven light, well-prepared morsels. White fish, shrimp, light hors d'oeuvres, smoked salmon or trout, and even caviar provide excellent venues with which to enjoy this superlative white wine. Try to avoid heavy spices or raw garlic as it would be a shame to obscure even some of the charm, freshness, and personality of this medium-bodied wine by pairing it with obtrusive fare. A platter of mild goat and cow's cheeses, served with apples, pears, and freshly baked bread, offers a terrific simple accompaniment, too, that is sure to please. Enjoy!
In spite of Soave's recent meteoric rise in quality and availability, Tamellini remains one of only two-dozen, estate-bottled growers and producers of authentic Soave. Shocking, but true, especially when one considers that Soave is the largest white wine-producing DOC in Italy. Most Soave growers still provide grapes or bulk juice to be blended into any number of the pleasant but innocuous brands of Soave that a few large commercial ventures, whose only current claim to fame is that they have become household names, churn out by the truckload. For many years Gaetano Tamellini was one of those nameless, faceless suppliers, whose superlative Garganega and Trebbiano grapes were sold to the massive Soave Cooperative to be ground down into the lowest common denominator, despite the consistent, superlative quality of his fruit from prime hillside sites.
However, when Soave is born on meticulously tended hillside vineyards that are not ridiculously overcropped; when the passions of the wine grower are noble and aspire to excellence; and when the wine is produced from the Soave's noble Garganega grape alone or with, perhaps, just a touch of the delicate and ethereal Trebbiano di Soave that locals refer to as Verdicchio then Soave is truly an outstanding wine, magical and irresistible, too. Welcome to the world of Gaetano Tamellini and his exciting and delicious Soave. Each of Tamellini's classic Soaves provides pure drinking pleasure and proof that Soave can be much more than just a pleasant quaff.
With the assistance of Paolo Caciorgna, one of Italy's most accomplished white wine makers, Gaetano and his brother Pio Francesco took a leap of faith in 1998 and began estate bottling their Soave, including two exquisite single vineyard offerings, Anguane and Le Bine. Each of these ancient vineyard sites expresses the blithe, elegant spirit of true Soave in its own unique way. Tamellini Soaves are the kinds of white wines that originally made Soave famous years ago, when writers and cognoscenti alike would sing the praises of the Veneto's most enjoyable white wine. Until recently, the Tamellini brothers would fashion at least three distinct Soave wines: Anguane, Le Bine, and the zones most pleasurable Soave DOC. However, Anguane is a very old vineyard that now requires replanting, so with the exception of a miniscule amount of Le Bine all of the estate's finest grapes presently go into Tamellini's Soave DOC, putting it into a class by itself. Tamellini's Soave DOC demonstrates such rich fruit and great strength of flavor that it has been dubbed "the Pouilly-Fuissé of Soave" – no mean feat. In an ideal world, one has a case in the cellar and a bottle or two in the cooler; Tamellini's Soave is truly enticing and nothing short of amazing which makes us wonder why more dedicated Soave growers don't take the hint and start putting out the real deal – authentic, sensual, fulfilling Soave that is one of the world's most enjoyable white wines.
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