deVine Thoughts

January 1, 2021

Discovering Some New Whites

Filed under: deVine's Daily Blog Article — Dirk @ 11:49 am

Author: Dirk Chan

Happy New Year everyone! Bring in the New Year by discovering some white wine varietals you’ve probably not had before.

Catarratto is one of the classic traditional white grape varieties of Sicily, and is considered to be one of the most antique. Medium structure, a mild acidity and a moderate alcohol level. Their aromatic profile is typically associated with citrus fruit and flowers (lemon zest, wild oranges and citrus blossoms), tropical fruit such as grapefruit and passionflower with a touch of fine herbs and sweet spices.

The Roter Veltliner from Austria is not related to the more popular Gruner Veltliner. Believed to be a very primitive variety the actual parentage of Roter Veltliner has not yet been correctly found out. It was previously believed that Roter Veltliner could be a grandparent to GrĂ¼ner Veltliner, but that hypothesis seems to have lost credibility with later studies. Fruity and citrusy multi-faceted aromas of peaches, pears, apricots, green apple, with a tad bit of mango mingled with the fresh and crisp overtones of herbs. An excellent food wine.

The Robola grape from Greece grown mainly on the island of Cephalonia, with some smaller plantings on Corfu, and a couple other of the Ionian Islands. It was long thought to be the same grape called Ribolla Gialla from Northern Italy, but modern DNA analysis has proved them to be two quite distinct varieties. Wines from Robola are usually un-oaked and almost always single varietal. Does particularly well paired with food and they are considered ideal next to seafood and grilled or baked fish. Their high acidity can keep up easily with lemon dishes. Can age a bit too.

Finally, the Roussette grape (also known by the Altesse name) is known in the Savoie wine region (have long been simply known as ski chalet wines as it is found in the alpine ski routes in Eastern France but, today, the situation is changing). These dry white wines typically have a nose of violets and mountain herbs with flavors of minerals, bergamot, peach, honey and hazelnuts. The palate offers slight salinity and minerals with a slightly bitter edge. Their high acidity grape gives this wine great potential to improve with age.

Expand your palate and give these four whites a try!

Pictured above from left to right:

2016 Saltram Baglio Normanno Catarratto (Sicily, Italy) – $20.99

2018 Weingut Josef Fritz Roter Veltliner Wagramterrassen (Wagram, Austria) – $27.99

2019 Gentilini Robola of Cephalonia (Ionian Islands, Greece) – $31.99

2018 Les Cortis Teraxe (Savoie, France) – $35.99

Enjoy this exploration!

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