Believe me when I tell you that Antica Corte make beautiful, terroir driven wines that you'd be lucky to find on the shelves of your favourite bottle shop and to be served by the glass by your favourite wine bar.
Today I have the pleasure of tasting their Soave DOC "Pressi" Calcare Rosa (2017), Soave being the white-wine-hero of the region. And let's keep in mind that Elia described this as a Soave that doesn't taste like the others. It's made with a blend of 75% Garganega and 25% Trebbiano (percentages allowed in Soave are at least 70% of Garganega and no more than 30% Trebbiano). Grapes are hand picked and destemmed prior to pressing. The juice then ferments on natural yeasts in concrete tanks, with no temperature control. Maturation occurs in stainless steel tanks for six months before bottling.
The first thing I notice is the intense straw-yellow colour of the wine in the clear bottle, which is simply fascinating. It's a clear juice, elegant, no cloudiness. The magic continues when I open the bottle and pour the yellow juice in my glass. It's chilled from the fridge, but not overly chilled. I let it breathe.
The first whiff is an intense smokiness, very earthy and not woody, as no oak is used. It comes from the soil.
The influence of the neighbouring volcanic area and that pink limestone are playing a huge part. There are also a relevant floral component, citrus fruitiness and a certain herbaceousness, but what prevails for me is that beautiful smoke. I let the wine sit for a few minutes in my glass and as I smell it again I get this tasting note in my head that I have never found before. Picture this: sourdough pizza base, slightly burnt edges and dusted in flour. The one that is crunchy outside and soft and smells like yeast on the inside, while still tasting like smoke from the wood-fired oven. This is what that smokiness in contact with air reveals to me.
And while it may not be the most elegant of analogies, I find it truly beautiful that a wine can evoke such precise memories and feelings, just by being its natural self.
On the palate that terroir-driven minerality and saltiness reveal to me almost immediately, together with a pleasant acidity, citrus fruitiness, intense floral and light hint of herbs.
It's a young, refreshing and uplifting wine, true expression of the land, easy drinking and very much alive.
I think Elia and his uncle have done a beautiful job with this one. If you like wines that can express a pronounced mineral aroma but still feel balanced and easy-drinking then this is definitely one for you.