Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano

We had this 2003 Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano this evening with dinner (maple/madras mustard glazed pork chops, risotto-style orzo and spinach with lemon). We bought it at the Lakeview/Ivanhoe Binny's for less than $10. In fact, I think it might have been on sale for less than $6.

We love Vernaccia in the summer, and I like to have wines like this on hand as an "everyday" wine. We stayed just outside of San Gimignano on our honeymoon, so this style of wine will always be a sentimental favorite. San Gimignano is an unbelievably cute Tuscan hill town close to Chianti (and Sienna/Florence). It's known for their towers that jut out of the Tuscan landscape unlike any other town. It can be incredibly crowded with the tourist hoards during the day, but the tour buses leave by evening to leave a peaceful, quaint respite. There are several good restaurants in town and they all serve Vernaccia. It's hard to find a shop that doesn't sell their famous export. Vernaccia has become easier to find in recent years, thankfully, so you can always find a little slice of Tuscan summer bottled up for you. Although Italy is not necessarily known for their whites, this, along with Orvieto Classico and a few others, proves that is not always the case.

Taste Alone
The wine is surprisingly complex for such a cheap bottle. It had clean scents of lemon, crisp pear along with some minerality. The tartness of the citrus was still present on the finish, almost to the point of being overly tart.

Paired with Food
Very drinkable with the meal. The citrus softened, but paired well with the lemon in the spinach and sweetness of the maple. Spice notes came through, accentuated by the curry.

Indicative of classic Vernaccia, this wine is a great bargain under $10 and a great everyday wine. It offers interesting complexity but is food-friendly. 84 points

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I love your blog. It's interesting about Vernaccia since I spent an incredible afternoon and night at a restaurant perched on the hill. I began at 2 p.m. with a friend. We had just wanted to have a glass of wine and some antipasti, but ended up staying the day and closed the place down drinking bottle after wonderful bottle of Vernaccia, the house wine.

Thanks for bringing back those memories. It's amazing how a wine can do that. You remember where you were and who you were with as you drank the wine.