Palazzone Orvieto Classico Campo del Guardiano 2015
Intense straw color with a sharp grassy note. This wine has a notably prolonged nose that is both deep and refined. In the mouth the wine is silky but with sufficient body to hold and extend a full, vibrant and persistent sensation.
With dishes that are not only strongly flavored but are of the style and perfection of our traditional Umbrian recipes for white meat and chicken.
Giovanni began bottling his own Orvieto only in 1982, and even now, nearly forty years later, he still does everything he can to keep the dream of Orvieto alive. Year in and year out, he makes honest, classic wines with only fruit from his own vineyards. No shortcuts in his vineyards, no tricks in the cellar, just pure, historic Orvieto terroir in every bottle. Lest you think Orvieto is at best a simple wine, a recent tasting of mind-bending older vintages of his flagship Terre Vineate stretched back to the early 1990s, and the wines were strikingly beautiful, alive and incredibly fresh.
Giovanni says this is only possible because of terroir. The soil of Orvieto is complex: 3 million years ago, this land was under the sea, so there is a lot of sedimentary clay and limestone with very little organic matter. About 250,000 years ago, volcanic eruptions from Monte Vulsini (now Lake Bolsena) covered this area with volcanic rock, ash and pumice, but most of those layers have since eroded away, with an important exception: Rocca Ripesena, a vestigial outcropping of that volcanic tuff, still protects Palazzone from extreme weather. This elevated protection paired with Giovanni’s slightly north-facing vineyards help to keep his fruit cool during scorching Umbrian summers.
“What keeps an appellation producing wine for 2500 years?” Giovanni asks playfully. “If Piero Antinori, one of the richest and most famous winemakers in Tuscany, decided to make his great white wine in Umbria – it’s for a reason. If Luca Signorelli [renaissance artist extraordinaire], had in his contract both gold and Orvieto wine to paint the fresco of the Last Judgement in the cathedral of Orvieto in the 1500s, it should tell you something. If the wine wasn’t good or didn’t have potential, surely it would have been relegated to history. But we haven’t stopped. There is a huge potential here.” And we won’t stop, either. In fact, we are just beginning.