What to drink this week
Soave, if you started your wine drinking as I did, in the late 1970s, was not a name to conjure with. This was the white partner to red Valpolicella, two much-abused denominations in the north-east of Italy, where far too many vines had been planted on flat sites to produce millions of gallons of bland plonk. Character, for the most part, was notable by its absence: Soave was white, soft and dry(ish).
Dedicated producers are proving Soave can be suave, says Harry Eyres
Why you should be drinking it
There were always one or two exceptions, with dedicated producers such as Pieropan sticking to the best hillside sites and keeping yields low. Now, Soave is experiencing a revival, with a number of young growers determined to prove this can be one of Italy’s finest whites. Made from the fairly neutral Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave grapes, this is never going to be the most aromatic of whites, but it can show fascinating mineral nuances.
What to drink
Pieropan, now run by the fifth generation of the family, makes a range of individual vineyard wines, but the fairly simple and almondy Soave 2015 ( below, £7.95 per half-bottle; www.thewinesociety.com) is a perfect introduction to the denomination. Two single vineyard wines from Gini show even more character: the Soave Classico, La Frosca 2014 (£15.50; www.justerinis. com), from 80-year-old vines grown on volcanic soil, has a golden colour, honeyed, floral aromas and rich texture on the palate. Tighter, more concentrated and focused is Gini’s Soave Classico Salvarenza 2013 (£ 22.50; www.justerinis. com)—this superb wine, according to Claudio Gini, will age 15 years.