Friday, October 11, 2013

Not Quite Exotic Peripheries

Does Pinot Blanc play Nancy Drew to Pinot Gris' Hardy Boys?
Or is it the other way around?

San Michele Appiano, Alto Adige, Südtirol, Weissburgunder, Schulthauser, 2012

Every now and then, Wine Route pitches a curve ball. The other day, as I was heading to browse through the Bordeaux and Burgundies in the basement, Marcello intercepted me to tell me they had started importing quote single vineyards from Alto Adige unquote. Dismissing the Geurztraminer and Muller-Thurgau from the same co-op producer, I headed for the Pinot Bianco (labelled Weissburgunder due to the cultural proximity to Germany).

The book on Pinot Blanc says "Chardonnay sibling", but to me this seems more in a Semillon vein, what with its cantaloup core framed by light notes of rainwater and mud. Schulthauser is indeed the name of the vineyard, which doesn't in any way intimate that it's anything along the lines of a Grand Cru - this is just an elegant, charming drink, lean, refreshing and and utterly drinkable and I would be interested to lay down a specimen or two for a couple of years. (Sept. 22, 3013)

This is priced at 120 NIS, meaning you're probably going to see excited sommeliers hawking it at 200 plus NIS. Because it would make a lovely house wine, and a Pinot Blanc from a region unknown to most Israelis makes for a story good enough to charge 200 plus NIS for.

Now, you figure out what this has in common with the next wine.

Cantina di Santadi, Sardinia, Carignano del Sulcis Riserva, Rocca Rubia, 2010

A friend of a friend brought this for me from Sardinia.I didn't ask for it specifically, just asked for a "luck of the draw" purchase, and this is an interesting example of blind luck, one of the few appellations anywhere to be dedicated solely to Carignan, perhaps the only one. This has solid, earthy black fruit, with decent acidity, just enough complexity to provide interest and personality. A simple, honest wine, it ain't a Vitkin or a Recanati, but a glass or two at a local restaurant would hit the spot, I believe. (Sept. 23, 2013)

About 20 Euro.


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