Soave. Easy enough to say compared to some other Italian wines, but it kind of sounds funny doesn't it? Just saying the word makes me think of that awful Gerardo hit from the early 90's - "Rico Suave." Up until now, Soave also hasn't conjure up the greatest wine memories for me. When I think of Soave, I think back to its original heyday when my parents served it out of jugs and it was so bad that as an underage drinker, I had no desire to steal it out of their fridge. Its safe to say that these thoughts of Soave don't exactly take me to my wine happy place, but that all changed for me a couple nights ago when my new friend Melissa at 67 Wine on Manhattan's Upper West Side recommended a great Soave for me to try.
Before I get to the wine, lets talk a little about Soave in general. Soave is a wine that has suffered abuse at the hands of some larger producers as well as governing bodies, but recently a core of producers are working to produce better quality wines and increase the reputation of this region in the Veneto. There are DOC and DOCG zones in the region and both require the use of at least 70% of the Garganega grape, with many other white varietals allowed to complete the blend. The additional varietals are dependent on whether its a DOC or DOCG. There is also a "Classico" designation for wines made from grapes that are grown in the oldest parts of Soave in the hillsides.
The 2009 I Campi Campo Vulcano Soave Classico is a light straw color that moves towards clear at the edge. The nose is somewhat closed, but there are some nice citrus elements of lemon and grapefruit. On the palate you get more of the same citrus with pineapple and some other tropical fruits but without any sweetness. There is also some very interesting minerality. For me, the most enjoyable part of this wonderful Soave was the crazy cool finish. I got a really unique, refreshing, and mineral drying sensation on the top of my tongue with long lasting waves of mouthwatering acidity on the sides of my tongue on the very back of my palate. It was fascinating and like nothing else I have ever tasted. I tried this wine amongst many others in a quest to find some new white varietals that my wife and I can both enjoy. Mission accomplished with the I Campi Campo Vulcano Soave!
Pair this with a glass and some sunshine. At a price of just under $20, I'll be buying much more of this to enjoy by the pool this summer with cheese and crackers or other pre-dinner fare. It could also pair nicely with lighter chicken and fish dishes. No more thoughts of jug wine and bad 90's songs for me anymore. Thoughts of Soave can now take me to some very good places.