Wed 9 Feb 2011
It was a quick working-day lunch. I had some farfalle left over from some night, so I spread it on a plate and threw it in the microwave. While it was slowly revolving and heating, I finely chopped a little sage and thyme and grated some zest from a lemon. When the pasta was ready — two minutes? — I scooped it into a bowl I had kept under the warming lamp, sprinkled on some salt and grated a lot of pepper on it, brushed on the herbs and lemon zest, grated a heap of Parmesan and pecorino cheeses and finally drizzled on a greenish-gold stream of good olive oil. A squeeze of lemon. Toss everything with a couple of forks. Prego! A terrific lunch. Just for the hell of it, I opened three bottles of different Italian white wines, all labeled with the I.G.T. designation: Indicazione geografica tipica, a category created in 1992 to account for regional wines that could not qualify for vino da tavola — which under EU regulations cannot be a wine of a specified place or vintage — and that often used grapes actually not typical of the region. IGTs, therefore, can be simple, inexpensive wines or quite expensive wines crafted from grapes that don’t fit the traditional regimes or somewhere in between.
These wines were samples for review.
The Bollini Pinot Grigio 2009 is an IGT from Trentino, or, more properly, Trentino-Alto Adige, a region, also referred to as South Tyrol, that nestles between Lombardy and the Veneto just under Austria. Made in stainless steel, the Bollini Pinot Grigio 2009 is fresh and crisp and invigorating, with pleasing notes of almond and almond blossom, delicate scents of lemon and pear and undertones of peach and dried thyme. It’s quite dry and crisp, but with a charming, slightly soft texture, wrapped around smoky citrus flavors and a finish that draws out several layers of limestone and shale. 13 percent alcohol. Drink through the end of 2011; this would make an appealing summer outdoor wine, as aperitif or with light dishes like shrimp bruschetta or chicken salad. Very Good+. About $15.
Imported by Kobrand Corp., Purchase, N.Y.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The Sartori Ferdi 2009 carries the designation Bianco Veronese IGT, meaning that it’s a white wine from vineyards in the area near or around the city of Verona. The grape is garganega, the principal grape in the wines of Soave, and if your reaction to Soave is that it tends to be bland, insipid and flat, it’s not the fault of the grape but the fault of growers who insist on planting garganega in the Veronese flatlands where the abundantly fertile soil causes the vines to flourish immoderately. Grown in the right places, however, with greater elevation and tended so that its flair for vigor is subdued, garganega can produce wines that are not only attractive but compelling. Sartori Ferdi 2009 offers a bright medium gold color and bold spiciness to match. The wine is made partly in stainless steel and partly in oak barrels, resting on the lees — the spent yeast cells (poor babies, so exhausted after fomenting fermentation) — for six or seven months. The result is a blossoming of bee’s wax, camellia and honeysuckle, roasted lemon and baked pear, with hints of apple and newly-mown hay and grass, all enfolded with delicacy and nuance after that first burst of spice. The texture is deftly balanced between good but not acute acidity (typical of the grape) and moderate lushness that envelopes lemony citrus flavors with back-notes of greengage and grapefruit. The finish could be more decisive, or a bit more lingering, but otherwise this is a very satisfying and drinkable white wine that was well matched with my pasta dish. 13.5 percent alcohol. Drink through 2012. Very Good+. About $14 .
VB Imports, a division of Banfi Imports, Old Brookville, N.Y.
The Counts of Capponi have lived at Calcinaia, in the heart of the Chianti Classico region, since 1524. The estate produces Chianti Classico and Chianti Classico Riserva, but our concern here is the Villa Calcinaia Comitale 2009, Bianco dei Colli della Toscana Centrale IGT. This designation (first time I’ve seen it) means “white wine from the hills of Central Tuscany.” A blend of 90 percent grechetto grapes and 10 percent vernaccia, made in stainless steel, the wine is notably clean and fresh, while exuding a profound sense of earthiness and chalk-infused limestone. Pert aromas of green grapes, yellows plums, roasted lemon, lemon balm and thyme are attractive and intriguing; pert, too, is the bright acidity that animates the wine’s lemon and spiced pear flavors made savory by touches of wild herbs and leafy-curranty nuances, all this ending in a wash of penetrating lime/limestone/grapefruit citric minerality. A wine of unique individuality; very satisfying with my thyme-sage-lemon pasta. 12 percent alcohol. Drink through 2012. Very Good+. About $15.
Scoperta Importing Co., Cleveland Heights, Ohio.