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 Soave. This comes as a shock to 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.
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 Tamellini Soaves are the kinds of white wines that originally made Soave famous years ago, when writers and cognoscenti alike sang the praises of the Veneto’s most enjoyable white wine.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 zone’s 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 expressive flavors, purity and precision that it has affectionately been dubbed “the Pouilly-Fuissé of Soave."