After months of popping bottles of natural wine at home, for my first trip outside London I decided to bring a bottle of natty with me. Trip to the bottle shop: check. Bottle of natty in my backpack: check. We're good to go! As a natural wine to share with family and friends, I opted for an Italian white wine from the Veneto region, by Angiolino Maule "La Biancara" - an absolute legend of the Italian natural wine revolution.
This is Angiolino Maule La Biancara "Sassaia" 2018, Italy. Blend of 85% Garganega and 15% Trebbiano from vines grown on volcanic, mineral-rich soils located in proximity to the Soave wine region. Low intervention winemaking (nothing added, nothing taken away) sees a short maceration on skins (no longer than 3 days) and spontaneous fermentation that takes place in oak barrels. No clarification or filtration before bottling, low levels of sulfur added.
If you are looking for a beautifully golden, savoury white wine, then this one makes a great candidate. As I pour it in my wine glass I see the golden juice flowing, a beautiful ochre colour, dense. I let it sit for a moment, swirl and aerate for another. I then get a sense of what this wine is trying to communicate to me on the nose. An aromatic note prevails, followed by a subtle citrus note (lemon). That aromatic leafiness doesn't let go, I get a hint of thyme. And then the earthy, lightly smoky character manifests itself, taking me back to the origins, back to the soil where it all begins. I bring myself to taste the wine. A majestic wave of salty minerality invades my mouth, that earthiness evolves into a rock and gives me salt. That feeling you get when eating an olive. A balanced acidity intervenes and makes my mouth water just enough. A second sip and I'm travelling to a different place - Italy. That's where I find myself with my mind and senses, swirling my glass, taking another sip, eating an olive.
Until next wine.