Inama Soave Classico 2003
Other White Wine from Veneto, Italy
Number 89 on Wine Spectator Top 100 Wines of 2004!
"Beautiful aromas of mineral, apple and light honey with just hints of lemon rind. Full-bodied, with lively fruit and a long, long finish. A beauty. Drink now."
A very ripe wine with lots of orange peel, pineapple and piecrust aromas. Full-bodied, round and rich. Goes on and on, on the palate. Sets the standard for this rich, tasty white wine from the Veneto region of Italy.
In the 1960s, Giuseppe Inama, the estate's founder, began using his savings to purchase small plots of vineyards in the heart of the Soave Classico region. At that time few understood the area's potential but Giuseppe believed that he could make a wine capable of restoring Soave's reputation by working with only top quality vineyards of old-vine Garganega (Soave's original grape). Today, Inama comprises 70 acres of vineyards in the heart of the Soave Classico and Giuseppe's son Stefano, who assumed control of te winemaking in 1992 and has wordly outlook, is considered a dynamic visionary of the region.
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Located in Northeast Italy, near the Austrian border, and one of the three regions making up the Tre-Venezie, Veneto is most famous for its city of love, Venice. In the wine world, Veneto is the top volume producer in the north of Italy. Production includes lovely spritzy Proseccos (also the grape name), as well as the easy-drinking white wine of Soave (made from the white grape, Garganega) and the red wine of Amarone.
The wine of Soave is most common white wine made here. Occasionally you can find an exceptional Soave, but for the most part the wine is easy-drinking and refreshingly pleasant. For the reds, the most popular are Amarone and Valpolicella – both made primarily from the good structured Corvina grape. While Amarone is always made in the recioto method (drying out the grapes to intensify the flavor), Valpolicella has a few different levels. Amarone is made from very ripe grapes, which are then dried and then pressed, producing an opulent, concentrated, full-bodied wine that has a distinctive and powerful taste that stays with you. Not for the lighter fare meal, this wine is almost port-like and delicious with cheese and/or dessert. Valpolicella can also be made in the recioto method, but it's more often
found in a dry style – the wine goes up in rank, from Valpolicella to Valpolicella Classico to Valpolicella Classico Superiore. And finally, the bubbly of Veneto – Prosecco. Made from the same-named grape, Prosecco is less fizzy than Champagne and occasionally has a slight sweetness. It's absolutely delicious as a value aperitif.
A little ditty about Italy...
This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass
of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
Alcohol By Volume Guide
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.