Gini Classico Superiore Soave 2004
Both tradition and the modern are reflected at Gini. The hand-harvested Soave Classicos are 100% Garganega, though many in the zone blend in other varietals to compensate for shortcomings of less-than perfect grapes. Both the Soave Classico and the single-vineyard “La Frosca” (which received 90 pts from Tanzer for the 2006 vintage, and three glasses in the 2008 Gambero Rosso guide) are vinified in stainless steel. The rich, concentrated “Salvarenza”, from a tiny plot of 80-year-old vines within the La Frosca vineyard, is matured in barriques (92 pts Tanzer for the 2005 vintage.) The Re Nobilis is a rare representative of a botrytized style Recioto, northern Italy’s version of a German TBA, while the Recioto Col Foscarin is a delightful desert wine, also great with cheese.
At the estate, “natural agriculture” is carried out - Gini is practicing organic. The vines maintain a low production and adhere to biodynamic standards (pruning occurs in accordance with the moon's phases). Integrated insect and disease control is followed. Insecticides are not used. Copper and sulfur-based products control fungus and manure fertilizes the soil. Spontaneous cover crops (grass cover) are left between the rows of vines, the grass cover is mowed and the turf is left in place (the soil is not tilled). Very low doses of SO2 are added to the wine only after fermentation and before bottling in order to preserve the product.
Among Italy’s classic whites capable of great potential, Soave is named after the medieval village and surrounding hillsides from whence it comes. The original, historical Soave zone, delimited back in 1927, covers the eastern, volcanic hillsides of today's general Soave zone and is called Soave Classico.
Garganega, the indigenous grape responsible for great Soave, produces medium bodied white wines with fine acidity. Typical in the best Soaves are lively flowery and fresh herbal aromas and flavors such as orange zest, peach, melon and marjoram. The best can take some age and in so doing, develop notes of chamomile, marmalade and honey.
By the 1960s and 70s, Soave was enjoying such a glorious global reputation, that its demand forced growers to push beyond the zone's original borders. Expansion led west out of the hills and onto the alluvial plain of the Adige River. This, coupled with an increase in yields and allowance of additional varieties such as Trebbiano, Chardonnay and Pinot blanc, met demand but created a softer, fruit-forward, everyday Soave. Today the broader region can be the source of charming and value driven whites. But those labeled as Soave Classico or in rare cases, as Soave Colli Scaligeri (nearby hillside vineyards abutting the Classico zone), will be the best quality and age-worthy Soaves. These are often 100% Garganega.
Flourishing in the rolling vineyards surrounding the medieval village of Soave in the Veneto region, Garganega is one of Italy’s classic white varieties. By law it makes up 70 to 100% of the white wine of the area, aptly and simply known as, Soave, with the remainder traditionally finished off by Trebbiano di Soave for its crispness. More recently international varieties like Chardonnay are being used to create softer and fruitier Soave.
The best Soave wines, measurably elegant and vibrant, come from the Soave Classico zone, in the center of Soave, where the hills are made of decomposed volcanic and granitic soils. The remainder of the zone tends to give rounder and fuller versions of Garganega.
Garganega’s best white wines are steely and delicate with yellow peach, melon, almond, Herbs de Provence and lime zest flavors and aromas. Its simpler versions can offer great values and make wonderful quaffers. If you like Sauvignon blanc or Pinot gris, try Graganega for something a little different.