In a recent wine-panel tasting of 20 bottles, Eric Asimov and Florence Fabricant of the New York Times were joined by Jeff Kellogg, the wine director at Maialino, and Hristo Zisovski, the beverage director for the Altamarea Group, which includes Marea, Ai Fiori and numerous other restaurants.
This tasting proved that there is much diversity within Soave, as these wines can be “crisp and straightforward with a fresh, fruity liveliness,” while others are stylistically “denser and richer” due to aging on oak barrels, which “adds to the texture, depth and complexity of the wine,” with a range of wines falling between these two styles.
Asimov attributes the key element to Soave’s excellence to “energy,” stating that those who hold this quality “seemed clearer and more precise, with focused flavors that include an almondlike nuttiness, minerals, citrus and occasionally a touch of tropical fruit.” Most of their favorite wines were 100% Garganega.
Noteworthy favorites in the tasting include the 2012 I Stefanini Soave Superiore Classico Monte di Fice, 2012 Gini Soave Classico La Frosca, 2012 Balestri Valda Soave Classico, and 2013 Cantina del Castello Soave Classico Pressoni.
To read the entire article, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/23/dining/tasting-italian-soaves.html. For Florence Fabricant’s article about food pairing with Soave, visit http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/18/dining/what-to-eat-with-italian-soave.html.