This is a gem from Sicily, only for once it doesn’t come from Etna but further north, overlooking the Straits of Messina. It was founded a decade ago by Andrea Barzagli, a former Italian international and Juventus footballer. Grillo, which is predominantly made from a Sicilian grape variety, has a refreshing crispness with lovely citric overtones that make it perfect either as an aperitif or with shellfish. This has ageing potential but it would be best to consume on release.
This wine hails from the slopes of an extinct volcano, but from the other end of Italy in the Veneto. It has a clean taste, as there is no oak used and has the liveliness and minerality which we have come to expect from a young Soave Classico. There are also apple and pear notes, which give it extra character and make it irresistible to drink by itself. Unlike some Soave producers, Gelmino and Cristina Dal Bosco produce their wines exclusively from the Garganega grape without blending either Trebbiano or Chardonnay.
I first wrote about this wine two years ago, as it impressed me with its depth of flavour and slightly restrained Sauvignon Blanc style. This is not an Antipodean “fruit salad on speed” experience, but a well behaved wine of character. From a slightly cooler Loire region than either Sancerre or Pouilly-Fumé, Lionel Gosseaume has managed to emphasize the delicacy of the grape without sacrificing its superb balance and length. This wine is for those who want a Sauvignon Blanc without the gooseberries or passion fruit.