Castello di Albola Chardonnay 1995
This Chardonnay combines perfectly with shellfish, oysters, risotto, freshwater fish, grilled fish dishes and seafood preparations served with sauces. The wine also makes a fine accompaniment for moderately aged cheeses. The wine is at its best served as an aperitif at a temperature of 46-48º F, or as an accompaniment to meals at 50-54º F.
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The medieval village of Castello di Albola stands on the magnificent Chianti hills, in an unique location known for the charm of its history, for the evocative power of art and for the unique landscape and agrarian context of unrivalled harmony.
Once belonging to some of the most noble Tuscan Families throughout the ages, from the Acciaioli and the Samminiati to the Pazzi and the Ginori Conti, the estate has been in the care and protection of the Zonin Family for over 40 years.
Zonin Family's first task was to ensure that the vineyards would produce high quality grapes, and then to restore the outbuildings and the beautiful villa that had been built in the 16th century but maintained in its two massive towers the traces of the original mediaeval castle. In addition to the recuperation and restoration of the main villa and of the hamlet, the rural outbuildings have also been refurbished and are now used as accommodation. A new winery has also been built, in perfect harmony with the landscape.
The Zonin Family has also enlarged both the vineyards and the estate, which today covers 900 hectares, of which 125 are under vine and where there are also over 4 thousand olive trees.
The source of some of Italy’s best and most distinctive white wines, Friuli-Venezia Giulia is where Italian, Germanic and Slavic cultures converge. The styles of wines produced in this region of Italy's far north-east reflect this merging of cultures. Often shortened to just “Friuli,” the area is divided into many distinct subzones, including Friuli Grave, Colli Orientali del Friuli, Collio Goriziano and Carso. The flat valley of Friuli Grave is responsible for a large proportion of the region’s wine production, particularly the approachable Pinot grigio and the popular Prosecco. The best vineyard locations are often on hillsides, as in Colli Orientali del Friuli or Collio. In general, Friuli boasts an ideal climate for viticulture, with warm sunny days and chilly nights, which allow grapes to ripen slowly and evenly.
In Colli Orientali, the specialty is crisp, flavorful white wine made from indigenous varieities like Friulano (formerly known as Tocai Friulano), Ribolla gialla and Malvasia Istriana.
Red wines, though far less common here, can be quite good, especially when made from the deeply colored, rustic Refosco variety. In Collio Goriziano, which abutts Slovenia, many of the same varieties are planted. International varieties like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc are also common, but they tend to be Loire-like in style with herbaceous character and mellow tannins. Carso’s star grape is the red Teranno, notable for being rich in iron content and historically consumed for health purposes. It has an earthy, meaty profile and is often confused with the distinct variety Refosco.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.