Published on April 23rd, 2012 | by Greg0
Pieropan Wines: Suave Whites!
Estate grown and bottled. Slow Wine. These were some of the only associations we had for today's wines before trying them. Generally, our tastes in whites tend towards the sweeter varietals, unless the pairings are well-chosen, in which case our writers tend to split down the mineral/buttery divide with some passionately defending each. In the absence of food, a wine has to offer a bit more- it takes quite a lot of character to stand alone.
Pieropan, a fairly small Italian winery, sent us two Soave wines. Both are based on Garganega, a varietal that you might not be so familiar with, but that is fairly popular in Italy. In fact, we mentioned it recently, in our review of a few other wines from the region! We liked it then, and we like it now- these are classic wines, reasonably priced, and attractively bottled and labeled.
The Pieropan 2009 La Rocca wins out of the pair, if only because it isn't blended, and so the single varietal stands out a bit more. It's pretty distinctive, a nice change of pace for those used to and perhaps a little bored by the usual Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. It airs well, growing fuller, but starts fresh and a bit floral. On the tongue, it's got a great balance, a mellow minerality mixed with some tartness. Melon, peach, but not too sweet, this one offered a really lengthy finish. We nibbled on some nuts, and the saltiness paired well. It's not as easy to like as some crowd pleasers, but works much better for those who have tried a few and want something a bit bolder. Should age nicely for a few years as well. Around $25 a bottle.
Their more recent 2010 Soave adds in a bit of Trebbiano, which dilutes that boldness a bit, but adds to the aroma. It feels a bit more perfumed, and though the wine is a bit less intensely focused, it still has plenty to offer. Paired with greens, or a nice appetizer platter, it can float a bit in the background, without being overpowered, or being too intimidating. It's an orchard sort of wine, a bit green itself, and offers a lot for the price- under $20. We found it bright, lip-smacking, and a great introduction to Soave wines for those who aren't familiar.