Inama Vin Soave Classico 2015

Soave has long been considered the white wine equivalent of Chianti, and for a brief time in mid 1900s Soave sales surpassed those of Chianti in the US.  Indeed, there are several shared elements: Soave is made primarily from one grape, Garganega (Sangiovese in Chianti), but small amounts of other grapes are allowed to be blended in.  Wines from the Classico zone have higher restrictions on production methods and must be grown in the delimited, historic plots.

In recent decades, the Soave wines have undergone a subtle shift.  Many producers are straying away from the luscious, crude whites mass produced in the 70s in favor of a more steely, light and refreshing wine.  The Inama Soave Classico undergoes all steps of vinification in stainless steel, though a partial malolactic fermentation is employed to give the wine a more round character.  There is a lovely, freshly cut floral note in the aroma: elderflower and herbal tea.  The palate has a bright, zipping acidity promoting citrus followed by a sweet, almond finish.

Fantini Farnese Sangiovese 2015

Our second wine comes from farther south along the eastern seaboard in a region called Abruzzo.  Montepulciano d’Abruzzo has been quite popular ever since the 16th century, but many producers also grow Sangiovese, as is the case with Fantini. 

Even though the history of viticulture is ancient in this area, Fantini Viticoltori utilizes modern winemaking methods.  After harvest, the grapes are cold macerated to help achieve a vibrant color and promote a beautifully fresh, fruit-forward flavor.  The juice continues extracting color and phenolic compounds from the grape skins while undergoing fermentation.  This is done at a higher temperature to ensure a quick, healthy fermentation.  Next, the wine ages in a combination of oak and stainless steel to achieve a perfect balance of fruit, texture, and aromatics. 

The wine has a beautiful garnet hue fading to ruby.  Candied strawberries and maraschino cherries burst from the glass, followed subtly with notes of cedar and tobacco and hint of crushed stone.  The texture has a quick bite of acidity but soon mellows and turns toward a clean, dry finish.  A light trace of tannin suggests aged cheeses or salami would compliment the wine greatly.