Wine: Vesevo Greco di Tufo DOCG
Grape: Greco Bianco (85 percent), Coda di Volpe (15 percent)
Region: Campania, Southern Italy
Price: $4.99 per bottle.
Availability: Lee’s Discount Liquors
In the glass: This Greco di Tufo wine is a firm golden citrine-yellow color with a slight greenish tinge, star-bright core going out into a glass-clear rim definition and light to medium viscosity.
On the nose: There is immediate and pungent pear sparkler, honeydew melon, lovely floral white fruits, cut Braeburn apples, apricot skins, almond paste and pungent chalky minerals underlying with absolutely no hints of wood or oak.
On the palate: It is a bone-dry mouthful of juicy white wine with very different characteristics than say Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc. You first get the apple-laced white fruit with superb acidity and excellent structure underneath, then there’s white currants, white cranberry juice, pomelo-like citrus notes, then steely minerality going through the mid-palate and just remarkable length on this white wine, which ends in a soft, but very dry note. Highly recommended white wine.
Odds and ends: This is sort of the last call for the crisp dry whites of the season and what better way to end it than with a phenomenally interesting small-production Italian white wine. The highly specialized and now rather rare appellation of Greco di Tufo DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Guarantita) in Campania, which is located roughly on the shin of the country, if you imagine Italy as a boot, given the very shape of the country. In other words, we are way south of Rome and near the small city of Avellino, where this most aromatic and highly sought-after grape variety is grown. Greco means “Greek” in Italian and it is believed this particular variety is a transplant from Greece, where it was brought over more than 2,500 years ago. If you are familiar with Viognier from France or Albarino from Spain, you know what to expect from this delicious and utterly drinkable wine. Vesevo Greco di Tufo is marketed as a small artisanal brand but it is owned by the giant Farnese Vini group, who produce a number of “hits” from Italy. While the production of this wine is not great, you could imagine that such a delicious bottle should cost well over $25 per bottle, yet here we have it at just under $5 and that makes it a champion of value wines, especially for the more esoteric whites. If you like Pinot Grigio — which many people do — you’ll absolutely love this wine, now with a nice amount of bottle age on it, but it is one of those white wines that like a little age in the bottle, so this is primed for your seafood or fish course, for which it’ll make a fantastic pairing. Drink now through 2020 believe it or not!
Gil Lempert-Schwarz’s wine column appears Wednesdays. Write him at P.O. Box 50749, Henderson, NV 89106-0749, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.