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 [ 1 post ] 
 "...A Southern Italian Falanghina" 
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Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2010 1:47 pm
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Post "...A Southern Italian Falanghina"
A Wine Lover's Nearly Weekly Review Of $15 Wine - A Southern Italian Falanghina
by: Levi Reiss





One of my first Italian wine reviews was a Falanghina white that really impressed me from the region of Molise in central Italy. Now a few years later I'll be tasting the same grape from the neighboring region of Campania in southern Italy. The producer has been in the wine business for just under 100 years. The grapes were grown on the slopes of the Taburno mountains. So we have two good signs but of course can't be sure until we taste the actual wine. The producer's website has an English language version that gives lots of information about their wines.

The appellation is Taburno Falanghina DOC and since Falanghina is a white grape you might think that we are necessarily talking about a white wine. Life, or at least some Italian wine classifications are not that simple. First of all, the appellation's name is Aglianico del Taburno/ Taburno Falanghina DOC. Since Aglianico is a red grape many of the wines carrying this title will be red. Aglianico and Falanghina are both fine grapes. But this white wine appellation may be made with a maximum of 50% Trebbiano Toscano grapes which are nothing to write home about, even they carry the name Toscano and we all know how great Tuscany is. In fact, it may contain a maximum of 30% unspecified local white grapes. This appellation also includes spumante (sparkling) white wines. This particular wine was made from 100% Falanghina grapes. So we are home free. Or are we?

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Torre Varano Taburno Falanghina DOC 2007 14% alcohol about $14

Let's start by quoting the marketing materials. "Tasting Note : The Falanghina grape is native to the Campania region of southern Italy. It makes full-bodied, well-structured whites like this one. Pretty aromas of quince, green apple and citrus greet the nose. Dry and full-bodied with medium acidity, the aromas replay nicely on the palate along with notes of Bartlett pears and white almonds. Enjoy with fried calamari, or chicken braised with fresh herbs and butter served over pasta. (VINTAGES panel, June 2008)" And now for my review.

At the first sips the wine was very long, powerful, and yet subtle. The initial meal centered on a soy-barbecued chicken breast. The Falanghina was elegant, somewhat oily, and tasted of pears. The meal included an old favorite of mine, potatoes roasted in chicken fat. The wine cut the grease and presented a lot of lemon and green, but not unripe, apples. With a white corn and black bean salsa the wine was somewhat muted but remained elegant and long. The fruit juice candy dessert cut across the wine's flavors but it still was long. The word elegant still applied; the keynote flavor was pears.

The next meal involved a packaged eggplant rolatini with tomatoes, ricotta and mozzarella cheese that I slathered with grated Parmesan Cheese. This wine delivered soft lemon and lime flavors and was rather unctuous. It wasn't overly acidic and was mouth-cleansing. Dessert was a high-quality, French lemon pie with a buttery crust. I had the feeling that the Falanghina was fighting back with a mild lemon taste. The wine and the pie didn't mesh.

My final meal involved an omelet perked up with garlic powder and crushed chillies. The wine was oily and seemed to bounce off the chillies. It wasn't powerful but it was quite present. With a side of moderately spicy guacamole it was fairly lengthy and there was citrus in the background.

Prior to the traditional two cheeses I enjoyed some Matjes herring. The wine was oily, so was the herring, and it was fleeting but in the positive sense. The first cheese was a local Provolone. There was a lot of lemon but really nothing special. With a nutty Swiss, this wine provided the subtle sensation of lemon but it was short.

Final verdict. Yes, I do plan to buy this wine again. This is one fine Italian wine and the price is right. As I said above, make sure that there are no Trebbiano grapes in the bottle. And don't waste it on cheese, even a fairly decent Swiss. It's not really a dessert wine. But what it does well it does really well.

About The Author
In his younger days Levi Reiss wrote or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but he prefers drinking fine German or other wine with the right foods and the right people. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his global wine website http://www.theworldwidewine.com with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about (theory) and tasting (practice) organic and kosher wines.
The author invites you to visit:
http://www.theworldwidewine.com



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Sun Nov 28, 2010 10:50 am
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