A Passoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano

By | June 26, 2006

Italy made it to the quarter finals today, so a chance for a glass of Italian wine. I cycled through Italy last year along the Via Francigena taking in the mediaeval hill town of San Gimignano. Yes, Tuscany is a hilly place to cycle through.

San Gimignano is famous for its Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Italy’s first DOC wine, now a DOCG, and unusual in Tuscany as a white wine. I spotted A Passoni’s 2005 in Majestic and had to give it a try.

It’s clean and bright, a medium pale lemon with hints of gold. There’s just a touch of petillance with good legs. It has a clean fresh aroma with plenty of full on fruit. There’s nuts too, which is interesting, almonds and maybe hazelnuts.

It’s dry with a well balanced acidity. There’s just a touch of tannin either from plenty of skin and stalk contact, or from oak, but it’s not new. It has a good, mouthfilling body and plenty of fruit character. There’s apples and more nuts, with the almond flavour coming through so strongly it’s almost like cherries, which feels really odd in a white wine.

It’s 13% but doesn’t feel it as it is so well balanced and deliciously more-ish. The almond flavour hangs around for ages. This is really great stuff, and I accept that I’m a little biased as I cycled past these very grapes, which adds a romance to them, but it’s such an unusual and powerful wine that I’m sure I’d enjoy it anyway.

If you’re a committed red wine drinker this could be a great first step into white wine for you, and it could also be used as a handy stepping stone from white to red.

It’s well worth the £6.99 RRP but if you buy 2, or, more sensibly 6 or 12, it’s just £5.49 at the moment so log on to Majestic and stock up now.