On the Road with the Grape Guy

On the Road with the Grape Guy is a on-going feature that follows me from event to event ... I post my thoughts, feelings and reviews of what happened and what I tasted ... basically it is here that I review the events I attend and the things that thrilled me.

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

 

British Columbia Wine Roundup - Winter 2022

14 Feb 2022

 

I like to wait till I get enough British Columbia wines so I can release them as their own “report” – here I have 46 BC wines from 23 wineries that really are worth picking up (many I tasted during my judging at the All Canadian WIne Championships back in July).  Also included is a lone Alberta wine, I really had nowhere else to put it so here it sits ... here's hoping I get to taste more wines from that province, then they'll get their own report.  Enjoy.

--- click on wine name for the full review ---

 BC Wine Studio 2017 Siren’s Call Harmonious
Black Market Wine Company 2019 Secret Society Red
Country Vines Winery 2017 Beso Dulce Red

Deep Roots 2020 Gamay Noir Dirty Laundry
Dirty Laundry 2018 Chardonnay, Unoaked
Dirty Laundry 2019 Pinot Noir
Dirty Laundry 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon

Gold Hill 2016 Cabernet Franc
Gold Hill 2016 Grand Vin Family Reserve
Gold Hill, 2020 Sauvignon Blanc
Gold Hill 2016 Syrah

Harper's Trail 2019 Gamay Noir
Hillside WineryHillside Winery 2015 Mosaic
Hillside Winery 2016 Merlot, Dickinson Vineyard
Hillside Winery 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon, Howe Vineyard
Hillside Winery 2018 Syrah, Heritage Series
Hillside Winery 2020 Gewurztraminer
Hillside Winery 2020 Pinot Gris, Unoaked

Kalala Organic 2015 Aspire
Kalala Organic 2019 Harmony Red
La Frenz Winery NV Tawny Port La Frenz
La Frenz Winery NV Liqueur Muscat
La Frenz Winery 2017 Vivant Reserve
La Frenz Winery 2019 Pinot Noir Reserve
Liquidity 2019 Chardonnay
Lunessence Winery 2019 Pinot Noir

Mission Hill 2020 Pinot Gris Reserve
Mission HillMission Hill 2020 Sauvignon Blanc Reserve
Mission Hill 2016 Compendium
Moon Curser 2019 Malbec
Moon Curser 2019 Dead of Night
Moon Curser 2020 Arneis
Moon Curser 2020 Dolcetto
Moraine 2019 Chardonnay
Moraine 2019 Pinot Noir

O'Rourke's Peak Cellars 2019 Pinot Noir
Orofino Winery 2019 Gamay Noir
Road 13 Vineyards 2016 Chenin Blanc Sparkling Road 13
Road 13 Vineyards 2019 Chardonnay, Jackpot Vineyard
Road 13 Vineyards 2019 Seventy-Four K
Sandhill Estate 2018 Sangiovese, Single Vineyard
SunRock 2016 Red Meritage
Three Sisters Three Sisters Winery 2019 Gamay Noir
Van Westen Vineyards 2018 Violeta
Wild Goose Vineyard 2019 Gamay Noir


Alberta …

Shady Orchard & Winery 2020 Choke Cherry

 

 

 

 

Get Our Newsletter

* indicates required

Follow Us on Social Media

Facebook Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Google+ tumblr