Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2011

If you consider only the mass market Pinot Grigio that fill most store shelves, Italy produces some of the most mundane wine out there. However, if you look past Pinot Grigio and are willing to wander into the weirdly named, hard to pronounce varieties – you will find some of the best values in all of white wine. This month’s white falls into the latter category. Vernaccia is a grape that grows all over central Italy, but this particular wine is from San Gimignano of Tuscany. It’s a famous region that has been producing highly regarded wines since the 13th century. So historical is this hill town that it was one of the first to be awarded a DOC, and then later upgraded to DOCG status.

Young Vernaccia typically tastes very crisp and light, with a lingering sense of bitterness. Now, bitterness may not sound like a good thing but trust me, it’s necessary. Without it, you would end up with cloying sweetness and no character (see Pinot Grigio). What’s extra special about this wine is that it has 5 years in the bottle to develop character. It’s not super old, but it’s starting to reveal more character and richness mid-palate. It’s a delicious wine that is both complex and easy drinking.

Quick Tasting Notes: ​Aged on lees in stainless steel tanks, and then allowed to rest in bottle for at least one month prior to release. This intensely aromatic white displays notes of apple and rose petal, while the crisp, dry palate boasts bright flavors of almond, wild flowers, and grapefruit. True to type, the finish is subtly bitter.