Review: Summery Italian White Wines, Summer 2020 Releases
This collection of white wines from all over Italy may look like a bit of a hodgepodge, but they do have one thing in common: All are built for sipping ice cold, in hot weather. Here’s a quick look at this summery quintet.
2018 Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Bianco DOC – 90% carricante from Sicily, with 10% minnella. Bright and acidic, with notes of grapefruit, edged with melon. Substantial lemon notes give the wine an enduring body and a vibrant finish, though it’s never overwhelmingly complex. B+ / $25
2018 Umani Ronchi Villa Bianchi Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico DOC – That’s a mouthful for an inexpensive verdicchio from the eastern Marche, a wine that combines vanilla custard and lemon curd into a porch-friendly confection. Notes of pineapple and banana emerge as the wine warms up a bit, and while it’s never a complicated experience it does make a statement at this price level. B+ / $17
2018 Gradis’Ciutta Collio Ribolla Gialla – An unusual wine from the north in Collio, this is a perfumy offering with notes of apple fritters and vanilla cream. More of a stone fruit note, with hints of peaches and orange blossoms, builds toward the expressive finish, replete with an applesauce reprise. B+ / $22
2018 Gradis’Ciutta Collio Friulano – Herbal and floral but backed up with notes of green apples and white peaches, this friulano has a restrained and quite dry palate that leans ever so tropically as the finish builds. A gentle note of spun cotton and cut hay gives the conclusion a certain pastoral character. Versatile and more complex than you’d expect. A- / $22
2019 Umani Ronchi Vellodoro Pecorino Terre di Chieti IGT – Melons meet pineapples on the palate of this bright wine, which sees a significant saline note and a gentle floral character emerging in the glass. It’s altogether bright and acidic, with a finish that feels like you’re running through a meadow of wildflowers. A- / $17