MCF Rare Wine
More Summer Delights from Southern Italy
It's (finally) a Summer day in NYC, so naturally, I have one thing on my mind...
...Southern Italian whites...
Yeah, yeah, I know, I just wrote a newsletter featuring Southern Italian whites, but the fact is remains that, in my opinion, of course, no category offers as much character, versatility and outright soul during the warm months as do the whites from the bottom of the boot.
Sorry, France...I love Sauvignon, I love Chenin, I love Chablis, etc...really, I do...as all of you know well...
...but, pound for pound and dollar for dollar, you just can't beat the embarrassment of riches that Southern Italy offers up this time of year.
Two more prime examples for your consideration - Romano Clelia's Fiano di Avellino 2017 and Benanti's Etna Bianco 2016.
For Fiano di Avellino, without venturing into the super-quirky bottlings on the market, the two benchmarks for me have always been Guido Marsella and Romano Clelia. The Clelia is always the more textured of the two, with the oily, savory fruit doing a bit more to cover up the inherent smokiness that proper Fiano always shows.
It's very fresh and has plenty of vigor, but the lovely, smoky, cheesiness it still strong with this one and that combo makes it a fabulous companion to such a range of foods, from fish/summer pastas all the way up the ladder to spicier, richer and even gamier flavors.
Then we head to the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily, a place that's been at the center of attention for some time now, but mostly for the reds. But today's Etna Bianco 2016 from Benanti is a great example of why you gotta be paying attention to the whites, too.
It's 100% Carricante and, like most proper Etna Bianco, it does a fine job balancing the fresh, zippy citric/flowery notes with the more nutty, weighty, briny flavors that Sicilian whites often display. So, you're dealing with another wine that will deal with just about anything you can throw at it this time of year, but does so in a softer, more elegant (and non-smoky) way.
Serious. (well, just the right amount)
Oh, and both of these wines will age nicely for a few years as well...
ROMANO CLELIA FIANO di AVELLINO 2017 $25
BENANTI ETNA BIANCO 2016 $25
THREE OF EACH $150
SIX OF EACH w/10% discount $270
Both wines available by the bottle or case, as well.