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Palazzone Terre Vineate Orvieto 2013
Palazzone produces delicious white wines from Umbria’s indigenous varietals featuring tasty fruit, nerve and zip! The estate, which began bottling in 1982, has mastered the delicate art of adjusting the proportions of the five different grape varieties allowed in the blend by the Orvieto D.O.C.: Procanico, Verdello, Grechetto, Drupeggio and Malvasia Toscana, the very same used hundreds of years ago in this region with Ancient-Roman roots. From the Terre Vineate to the Campo del Guardiano, a single-vineyard blend intended for ageing, these whites are survivors of the golden-age of Orvieto Classico, when small producers hand harvested fruit and established an international reputation for greatness, coveted by kings and popes. Of course, Dubini is no stranger to great, voluptuous reds, made from both native and international varieties. Such regulation has the aim to encourage low environmental impact methods and to improve the preservation of natural resources in rural areas through agricultural and environmental measures.
Palazzone is practicing organic. No insecticides, fungiscides or systemic plant protection products are used. Low environmental impact products like sulfur and copper-based products are used. In vineyards prone to soil erosion, there are permanent cover crops between the rows of vines. The grass cover is mowed during the summer and depending on vineyard, the soil is either tilled or not. Low doses of SO2 are used in the wines for preservation.
One of the most iconic Italian regions for wine, scenery and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano coming in second.
Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.
Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright and juicy red fruit, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity and ageability. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.
With hundreds of white grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a soft and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is more fragrant and naturally high in acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.