The Pinnacle of Soave

The Pinnacle of Soave

Posted on Aug, 31. 2010 by

Categories: Wine

Many of our offerings at the Guild are wines that we’ve recently been exposed to, ones that we discover as a result of tasting through dozens of wines from distributors or from sorting through mountains of published reviews and comments from a variety of sources. Other times, however, we actively seek out wines that we have intimate knowledge of and experience with, wines that we are personally invested in and connected to. Today’s offer is in the latter category — a wine that has become a favorite of mine that I sought out and am thrilled to share with everyone.

Over the summer we have offered a broad range of white wines, from easy-sipping inexpensive Sauvignon Blancs and Reislings to awesome closeouts on White Burgundy to solid value California Chardonnay and beyond. Despite all that, we haven’t covered the entire waterfront — today’s wine is of a different category altogether. Soave is a wine that I’m sure many of you are familiar with, a generally inexpensive white wine made in the Veneto region of northeast Italy from the varietal Garganega. Typically Soaves are light, crisp, floral, and minerally — lovely wines to serve with seafood or to sip on the back porch in the summer heat. The two most broadly distributed and reputable producers of Soave are Inama and Pra, both of which make solid value entry-level wines year-in and year-out that you have probably seen on the lists of many of the finer restaurants in town and perhaps enjoyed yourselves.

Soave is a highly under-appreciated varietal, in my estimation, and over the years I have become a big fan because of the consistent flavor profile and relative value of these wines. As I dug deeper in Soave, however, I learned that a couple of producers were making higher-end Soaves using vineyard-designated fruit and more involved vinification techniques (e.g. some oak treatment) to deliver a richer, more expansive expression of the grape. I purchased a few bottles of two of these “luxury cuvees” a couple of years ago, and have been absolutely blown away by them over that time. Just recently I consumed my last bottle of 2006 Pra Soave Monte Grande, and was so moved by the experience that I was determined to track down and investigate the latest vintage to see if it was worth sharing with the Guild membership.

Sure enough, when we were finally able to source a sample of this hard to find wine, the 2007 Pra Soave Monte Grande turned out to be stellar — golden color, a palate of stone fruits, some floral notes and lovely minerality, with just a hint of oak yielding a rich, full-bodied mouthfeel. Antonio Galloni, Robert Parker’s Italian wine reviewer, scored the 2007 Pra Monte Grande the highest of all the Soaves he reviewed back in 2009, when he published the following tasting note:

The 2007 Soave Montegrande (80% Garganega, 20% Trebbiano) was fermented and aged on its lees in 30-hectoliter casks. This richly-textured, generous white expresses the essence of Soave in its fruit, flowers and mint. TheE an expansive style of Soave that achieves notable ripeness and volume without sacrificing the personality of this terroir and its indigenous varieties. This is a beautiful effort from Pra. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2012. Pra is an excellent source for Soave.

If you are familiar with traditional inexpensive Soave at all, this is a much bigger, richer, fuller wine — I’d compare the difference to how a high-end $30 Chardonnay tastes strikingly different from an entry-level $10 bottle. I am totally enamored of the combination of fruit, flowers and minerals in the flavor profile, and thrilled with the wine’s ability to age a few years and grow in complexity even further. And even better, we are getting a healthy volume-pricing discount on this wine from the same distributor as the last couple of offers, meaning that we can bring it to you at a price significantly lower than you can find anywhere in the US:

2007 Pra Soave Classico Monte Grande, Veneto, Italy
Member Price: [private_member] Grand Cru: $18.99 • Premier Cru: $19.86 [/private_member]
Retail Price: $30.00
Buy Now!

This wine is a highly recommended, a personal favorite, and one I’ll be loading up on myself — I encourage you to join me and see what the fuss is all about…

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