Many parts of Europe experienced less than ideal weather conditions in 2013 for the production of the continent’s full-bodied red wines. However, the vintage’s white wines fared far better. This is especially true in northern Italy where the wines are delicate, fresh and so easy to drink. Tamellini’s 2013 Soave DOC offers Garganega’s eye appealing glint of sunshine in its robe along with a soft, delicate aroma of wildflowers and spring in full bloom. Upon the first sip, the wine tickles the tongue before developing a light creaminess, not unlike fine Pouilly-Fuissé. Flavors reminiscent of acacia flowers, orchard fruits, and freshly picked almonds emerge to gratify the grateful palate. And as Tamellini’s 2013 Soave makes its exit, it displays Garganega’s subtle minerality and an alpine freshness born of its proximity to Lake Garda. From start to finish the 2013 Tamellini Soave DOC personifies elegance, breed and plain good, old-fashioned drinking pleasure. To slake the thirst and capture the freshness of an alpine glacial stream, enjoy Tamellini’s delicious Soave moderately chilled (40º-45º F).
Year in and year out, Tamellini Soave provides the perfect opening act to parties and intimate gatherings. This month’s offering, the 2013 Tamellini Soave DOC, makes a truly extraordinary aperitif; it cleanses the palate, enlivens the senses and refreshes the soul. The 2013 Tamellini Soave also provides plenty of pleasure with food. It joyfully accompanies nearly all kinds of white fish, scallops, shrimp, hors d’oeuvres, caviar, and even smoked salmon and trout. It provides superb companionship to chicken, pork, pasta, and risotto, too. A simple mushroom and cheese risotto in the company of Tamellini Soave can truly make one’s day. The only caveat when pairing any estate-bottled Soave with food is that it is best to avoid heavy tomato sauces, raw garlic, and piquant spices as companions to such a light, elegant white wine, as those condiments tend to obscure the delicate charm, freshness, and personality of the complex Garganega varietal. Conversely, a platter of mild goat or cow’s milk cheeses, served with apples, pears, and freshly baked bread, may offer the ideal accompaniment to Tamellini’s 2013 Soave DOC. Enjoy!
The wines from Soave’s top producers continue to impress consumers and connoisseurs alike. Yet, in spite of Soave’s recent meteoric rise in quality and availability, less than two dozen growers produce estate-bottled Soave today, and even fewer fashion their Soave from 100% Garganega – the zone’s premier varietal. This state of affairs continues to perplex nearly everyone, especially when one considers that Soave is the largest white wine-producing DOC in Italy. Instead, 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. Until his first commercial bottling in 1998, Gaetano Tamellini was one of those nameless, faceless suppliers, whose superlative Garganega grapes were sold to the massive Soave Cooperative to be diluted with inferior Trebbiano and ground down into the lowest common denominator, despite the consistent, superlative quality of fruit from his prime hillside sites. Today, Tamellini stands as a beacon of quality and one of just a handful of Soave producers who make Soave purely from the elegant, complex Garganega grape.
With the assistance of Paolo Caciorgna, one of Italy’s most accomplished white wine makers, Gaetano and his brother Pio Francesco took a great leap of faith in 1998 and began estate-bottling their Soave, including exquisite single vineyard offerings. And recently, Tamellini released a delicious Spumante Metodo Classico, made with 100% Garganega grapes in the traditional (i.e. Champagne) method. Each of Tamellini’s delicious Soave wines expresses the blithe, elegant spirit of Soave. 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 several years ago, the Tamellini brothers fashioned at least three distinct Soave wines: Anguane, Le Bine, and the zone’s most pleasurable Soave DOC (this month’s feature). 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 this Soave into a class by itself. Tamellini’s Soave demonstrates such expressive flavors, purity and precision that it has affectionately been dubbed “the Pouilly-Fuissé of Soave.”
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