On the Road with the Grape Guy

Report from : Anteprima Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2022

26 Mar 2022

(March 2022) ... Vernaccia is the white grape of Tuscany and the first to receive DOCG status – when I first started coming to this portion of the Anteprima Toscana I wondered why anyone would care about this grape, because the wines were so terrible – now I lament that we don’t get any into Ontario (or very few).

The best versions of these wines have freshness in the form of minerality and acidity backed by citrus fruit and / or stone fruit. The best Riservas keep that lively freshness, while also adding weight and texture to the delicate wine without over-powering or over-oxygenating (oxidized) the wine.

More and more winemakers here are starting to understand that freshness, acidity and fruitiness wins out over oak and makes this grape not only unique, but a wonderful summer wine that brings pleasure to the consumer. Yes, they still insist on oak in the Riservas, but there seems to be a pulling back that allows for fruit (not oak) to shine trough. Plus, there is a push towards single vineyard offerings to showcase terroir.

As previously stated we don’t see a lot of Vernaccia wines in Ontario, I can’t speak for the rest of Canada, but the wines made around San Gimignano are a rarity on LCBO shelves, so instead of providing full tasting notes; I’ve used my Good / Better / Best approach. I would also like to point out another reason for using this grading system: this year’s paperwork did not specify whether the wines tried were finished or a tank / barrel sample – it is because of this I am also leery to give an official score to these wines … therefore I am treating every wine as a “sample”.

With that all said, I give my usual disclaimer for an Anteprima tasting:  I do not score unfinished wines, too much can go wrong between tank / barrel and bottle that can compromise or otherwise change the wine that I have I tried as a “sample”. So, I will be rating all of these wine using the above mentioned system.

The Vintage:
"2021 was a more than satisfactory year, both in terms of quality and quantity. Despite the difficulties due to frost in April and the dryness in July and August, with the lowering of temperatures from mid-August, the plants once again started their regular activity.

In general, in 2021, Vernaccia enjoyed and excellent maturation, slow and elongated in time that has led to fresh, ready, snappy wines, which suggest the unfolding of power and elegance over time”.

GOOD POTENTIAL

Cantine Guidi 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Casa Lucil 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Fattoria San Donato 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Guicciadini Strozzi 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Palagetto 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Poderi Arcangelo 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
San Benedetto 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Signano 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Tenuta La Vigna 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Tollena 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Alessandro Tofanari 2020 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Cesani 2020 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Montenidoli 2020 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Montenidoli 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Il Pagagione 2020 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva
Fornacelle 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva
San Benedetto 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva
Teruzzi 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva

 

BETTER POTENTIAL

Abbazia Monteoliveto 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Casale Falchini 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Fattoria di Fugnano 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Fattoria Poggio alloro 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Fornacelle 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Guicciadini Strozzi 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Il Palagione 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Panizzi 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Tenuta Le Calcinaie 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Teruzzi 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara 2020 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Panizzi 2020 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Vagnoni 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Il Palagione 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
Casa alle Vacche 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva
Fattoria San Donato 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva
Tenuta Le Calcinaie 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva
Casa Luci 2017 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva

 

BEST POTENTIAL (and why)

Casa alle Vacche 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG    
great hit of pineapple and melon here - really refreshing

Fattoria Poggio alloro 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG    
fresh, lively, nice acidity and pleasant array of white fruits, there's even has a little lemon rind to give it some presence on the finish

Poderi Arcangelo 2021 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG
refreshing and almost spritzy with good acidity and lively citrus fruit

Vagnoni 2018 Vernaccia di San Gimignano DOCG Riserva
notes of fresh pineapple and lemon drop, very appealing, plus good acidity

 

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