The wines of Soave have never been better. However, in spite of Soave’s recent meteoric rise in quality and availability, only a few dozen growers estate-bottle authentic Soave. This comes as a shock to most consumers and critics alike, 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 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 fruit from his prime hillside sites. Today, Tamellini can claim to be one of Soave’s premier estates as its wines constitute the DOC’s finest production.
When Soave is born on meticulously tended hillside vineyards that are not ridiculously over cropped; 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 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 Tamellini Soaves are the kinds of white wines that originally made Soave famous years ago, when writers and cognoscenti alike would sing the praises of the Veneto’s most enjoyable white wine.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 of Tamellini Soave 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. And unlike the vast majority of Soaves, Tamellini’s wines age beautifully for up to four or five years in bottle, so no need to rush through the pleasure.