Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Virtual Visit to the Veneto

As I've written previously in a couple of posts, I've come to know some of the wines Monte del Frá at the last so many Vancouver International Wine Festivals. If you attend the Festival Tasting Room (and its hundreds of wineries and wines), you may very well catch me this winery table as I inevitably check in to catch up with the winery's local reps, Ricardo and Lucila, and the winery's gracious owner, Marica Bonomo.

1959.  2012 Monte del Frá - Cà del Magro (Custoza Superiore DOC - Italy)

The Cà del Magro has found particular favour with local palates in that, in some ways, the wine mirrors some of BC's white blends. A blend of eight grapes, to my palate, this is definitely a case where the sum of the blends is far more interesting than the individual varietal wines. There's a richness that might be enhanced by the fact that some of the base wine is aged sûr lie (on its spent yeast cells that often adds depth and creaminess); yet, there's a freshness and fruitiness that I often don't find with the more commercial Italian whites I see in our market.

Different region. Different grapes. Similar refreshing - but with substance and flavour - sip.

While eight different grapes go into the final blend, Garanega provides the backbone of the blend at 40%. The balance is made from Trebbiano Toscano, Tocai Friulano, Cortese, Chardonnay, Riesling Italico, Malvasia and Incrocio Manzoni. This last grape seems to have escaped my Wine Century Club tally thus far. So I get to add this rare-ish variety in my stretch drive run to hit 200 different grapes. Incrocio Manzoni is apparently grown only in the province of Treviso in the Veneto region of northern Italy. The grape is primarily used in blends and is generally found to add a slight herbaceous tint to the wine. It can also add an aroma that is reminiscent of red and black fruit as the Cab Sauv grape is one of its parents (the Prosecco grape is the other component to the cross). There may have only been 418 acres of the grape planted in Italy in the 2000 agricultural census (according to Jancis Robinson's Wine Grapes tome) but I'm glad to be able to add #195.

After this tasty sip, I'm thinking we'd best start working on a visit to the Veneto. Boo and I were lucky enough to spend an extended weekend in Venice some years back but we didn't get a chance to roam around the neighbouring areas and take in some of the wineries. That needs to be remedied.

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