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Paolo e Noemia d'Amico Falesia Chardonnay del Lazio 2011
D’Amico wines are heavily influenced by the ancient volcanic landscape of Viano, from the soil to the cellars, which are made out of the local volcanic Tufo stone. D’Amico wines have received accolades from VinItaly, James Suckling, Robert Parker, and in Bebienda Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Gosto, and more.
Known as the ancient homeland of the Latins, the Lazio region is actually home to a robust wine industry beyond the city limits of bustling Rome. The Cesanese grape, full of red berry, spice and rose, is responsible for Lazio’s only true local reds. Lazio’s most famous white wine, called Frascati, is based on the local Malvasia del Lazio and Trebbiano Toscana. A sweet version, called Cannellino di Frascati, is also made.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.
In the Glass
When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.
Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.
Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.