Thursday, March 22, 2007

Trebbiano di Abruzzo DOC – White Wine from Central Eastern Italy

As the Euro strengthens and sadly the dollars drops like a falling knife, I have been hearing more and more comments indicating that Italian wines “are not as good as they used to be.” Without getting into the reasons why a weaker dollar makes European wine inversely more expensive and that if other European wines are maintaining prices they are producing a cheaper wine, this is a great opportunity to learn about and try mid level Italian wines. Although many think that Italian wine means Chianti, this is not the case. There are hundreds of thousands of different wines produced in Italy. Additionally this type of economic scenario favors the small farms, the grower producer, the generational wine growers. They have lower cost structures and can keep 95% of their costs in the quality of production.

Trebbiano di Abruzzo DOC is a white wine produced in Acquilla, Teramo, Chieti and Pescara. The vineyards are located on the hillsides or the high plains in a medium mix of limestone and clay. The grape is not Trebbiano it is Bombino Bianco and may have a mix of as much as 15% of grapes grown in the region. It has an ever so slight exotic character with a surprisingly complex and mineral rich finish that lingers clean on the palate. The exotic fruit flavor is the expression of ripeness and depth of these grapes.

The “experts” have said that this is a mediocre wine, a bit bland, and that only a few producers have been able to create an exceptional wine employing their magical arts and passion. Let me put this into context. Italian sommeliers, comparing with wines like Gaja Rey, Terre Alte, Schiopetto Collio Tocai Friulano and Blange, have decided that the 2005 Trebbiano is good across the board and that there are a few exceptional wines.

Trebbiano di Abruzzo is the perfect balance for many of the local Abruzzese dishes. It is a great match for Fish Antipasti, first plates with beans or Minestrone, grilled vegetables, most fish entrées and Frittate or omelets. Trebbiano di Abruzzo tastes of candied pineapple, honeysuckle, and ripe grapefruit with a strong mineral note and beautiful freshness.

Now you may not find Trebbiano di Abruzzo in every wine store. I have found that most stores, at least here in Dallas, go directly from the mass market Cavit to Tignanello, bypassing just about everything in the middle. This does not mean that they cannot source this great little wine. Perhaps your local retailer just needs to know that there is a market for quality. So ask your retailer for Trebbiano di Abruzzo.

While we are on the topic of Abruzzese, IWG and Terry at Mondosapore recently wrote about a former Trebbiano di Abruzzo, now Controguerra Bianco DOC. These wines are definitely worth looking at.

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Blogger Tracie P. said...

i am always willing to make a sacrifice for diversity ;)

8:24 AM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

Tracie b. Yes, we must suffer, tasting regional wines with centuries of tradition. It is a tough job...

8:30 AM


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