This month at #ItalianFWT, we turn our focus to Lazio, a region well known for its culture, famous landmarks, and Italy’s capital city: Rome. Frascati also dwells in Lazio with the grapes of Malvasia del Lazio (Puntinata) and Malvasia di Candia, along with Trebbiano, that take centre stage.
Bellone, however, is native grape of outstanding quality. It is an ancient grape dating back to Roman times and is capable of producing both dry and sweet wines (it likes noble rot). What I’ve tasted reminds me of Chardonnay in some form, so working in a retail environment, it’s a correlation that people can understand: If you like Chardonnay, I’ll bet you will like Bellone! Sadly, many of the vines of Bellone got ripped up and producers who have the opportunity to make some great Cannellino Frascati DOCG, don’t use Bellone, but rather inferior grape varieties.
If you DO happen to come across Bellone, it’s a fabulous wine, and one of my favourite whites to drink! Casale del Giglio was founded in 1967 by Dino Santarelli. The vineyards are located 50km south of Rome where the Mediterranean oceanic climate with persistent sea breezes and warm, mild days with cool nights give the grapes the much needed diurnal swing to keep the acidity high, while allowing a fast ripening process. Indigenous yeasts are used, adding to the complexity of the wine. No oak here, just four months in stainless steel to keep the wine fresh and the acidity high.
What a beautiful colour this wine was! Yellow with a green tinge; an expressive nose of citrus and melon, along with hints of papaya and pineapple. On the palate, the citrus and melon continued with medium body, high saline acidity and a bitter almond finish! It went down pretty easy…
When choosing this wine, I wasn’t exactly sure what I would pair with it at the time, but decided something with umamu might fit the bill! It was Taco Tuesday so it worked out perfectly! The saltiness of the meat, along with the added creaminess of the cheese and the acidic bite of the tomatoes worked very well with the wine! It was so good that I had to have two tacos (and another glass of Bellone…)
If you’d like to know more about the wines of Lazio, please check out what the other #ItalianFWT bloggers are writing about!
Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Lazio in California: The Quintessential Roman Pasta + 2017 Big Sur Vineyards Pinot Noir Reserve
Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm: Alberico Appia Antica 400 Rosso 2016 paired with Stracci di Antrodoco
Terri at Our Good Life: Pietro Est! Est!! Est!!! with Crab Dip Crostinis
Susannah at Avvinare: Cesanese del Piglio, Classic Wines From Lazio
Gwendolyn at Wine Predator: “If You See Kay” — Lazio in Paso Robles? #ItalianFWT
Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles: Lazio – Exploring low intervention wines inspired by tradition and nature #Italian FWT
Katarina at Grapevine Adventures: How Wine in Lazio is Reimagining its Past Greatness
Enjoy everyone! Salute and Buona Pasqua !
Great article about the Bellone grape and the wine. I haven’t had any wine from this producer but I have tasted Bellone wines from other producers.
Thank you! Such a great wine!
Pingback: Lazio to Paso Robles: “if you see kay” #ItalianFWT | wine predator
Pingback: How Wine in Lazio is Reimagining its Past Greatness - Grapevine Adventures
I haven’t yet had the pleasure of Bellone. The good thing about living over here is (perhaps) I have access to more wine. The challenge is getting them shipped at a reasonable price. Off to read more about it in the D’Agata Wine Grapes book!
I have never tried Bellone and now it is on my list! Thank you for the comparison to Chardonnay. It seems to have more of the tropical notes from a warm climate Chardonnay. I love learning about new varieties! Thank you for sharing this!
Pingback: Lazio – Exploring low intervention wines inspired by tradition and nature #Italian FWT | Crushed Grape Chronicles