What to drink this week

Soave

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

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.

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