Gini Soave La Frosca 2004 Tasting Notes
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Gini Soave La Frosca 2004 Tasting Notes

When wine is sold cheaply in large jugs or containers, it tends to taint the name rather badly among American consumers. We know this from the sad tale of American “Chablis,” an unfortunate appropriation of a great French appellation (and one of the finest expressions of the Chardonnay grape) to refer to generic “cheap white wine” of nearly any grape. The damage to Soave's reputation may be even worse, since it has been the Italians who have been bottling the stuff in bulk; unlike the Chablis that really isn't, the Soave in jugs is real Soave, only of poor quality. As any savvy bargain hunter knows, however, when the name of a wine is not in favor, you can often acquire true quality for a lot less money. You can be sure that if the name “Chablis” hadn't been so thoroughly compromised, the wines would cost much more. After all, Chablis is an elegant name, and very easy to pronounce. So, for that matter, is the Veneto's Soave.

It is also an east wine to drink. Gini produces its $16 wine from 100% Garganega grapes (avoiding the commonly used Chardonnay and Trebbiano di Soave) from its hillside vineyards known as “La Frosca.” This wine gives you an apple tart with a caramelized sugar topping on the nose combined with a little fresh minerality. Where the wine really shines is in the mouth feel; the pastry shop continues to sell its wares but only the smooth-as-silk fresh-baked confections. The wine may have a dollop of sweet on the palate, but this may be indeed the resonance of sweetness rather than true residual sugar, largely due to the honeyed elegance in the mouth. Well-balanced, the wine has both a frothy creaminess and a refreshing bitter edge that carries over into the finish. At the end you are left with apple, pear and apricot stone.


Verdict: More Soave like this, please
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I am always on the lookout for white wine alternatives to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Grigio. They are out there, and they are often values.

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award
James Beard Award Nominee Elliot Essman

food writer Elliot Essman James Beard Foundation Journalism Award

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