All wine reviews, Italy, Umbria, White blends, White wines

Bellini Orvieto Classico 2011

On my mission to find a new, exciting, and – most importantly – affordable white wines, I browsed the isles of my favorite wine shop once again. Italian whites almost never disappointed me, so I was confident to grab a bottle of Bellini ORVIETO Classico 2011, although I never had it before.

Photo: Wikipedia

The zone of Orvieto Classico is located around Orvieto town itself, in Umbria, a very traditional and beautiful wine region in the central Italy.

The Orvieto Classico title is exclusively given to white wines from this region, which could be made in sweet or dry style, standard or higher-quality superiore versions.

As I wasn’t able to find any more detailed info about this particular producer, I have to assume that this delicious white wine was traditionally made from a blend of Procanico (Trebbiano Toscano) and Grechetto. By Italian law, both grapes must jointly account for at least 60% of the finished wine. If there is more Grechetto used in the blend,the wine will get more body and fruttines.
For the remaining 40% of the blend the winemaker is free to use any combination of other white grape varieties, found within the Viterbo province. It could be Malvasia Toscana, Drupeggio, Verdello and Canaiolo Bianco grapes.

Whatever the blend of Bellini Orvieto Classico was, I loved it. Clean, sunny yellow color and lovely lemony aroma was an inviting first impression. The wine was a light bodied, crisp and refreshing summer wine, a perfect company for my seafood dinner.

Although it showed a lot of fruit, it was still delicate with an acidity in perfect balance. Light, almost bubbly sensation on my tongue expressed the characteristic typical limestone and volcanic soils of Orvieto Classico region.

Very pleasant, pretty wine was such a steal for $ 8.99!  I will definitely buy it again. This is a lovely wine for hot summer, a great opportunity to try something new and exciting. My mouth is watering right now, when I am just writing about it.

Australia, White blends, White wines

Peter Lehmann Layers 2008

Winemaker: Ian Hongell
Grape: Gewurtztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris,Semillon, Chardonnay
Region: Barossa, Adelaide, Australia

See other wines from this producer:
Peter Lehmann Clancy’s
Peter Lehmann Chardonnay

Five grape varieties from different vineyards gave this wine an unbelievable complexity. As the Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris gives the blend crispiness and freshness, Muscat brings tropical fruits aromas and flavors while Semillon provides a great structure for pairing with food. Chardonnay adds a touch of clean, white peach flavors to this balanced, lovely composition.

Wine was cold fermented in stainless steel tanks and bottled soon after.

Tasting notes:
Attractive yellow and green colors is the first think you will see in your glass. Layers are full of tropical fruit aromas. Clean and crisp, with touches of white peaches and mango this wine is elegant and delicate. Symphony of flavors is developing all the way until a long finish. Layers will be a great compliment to many spicy, sweet or sour dishes. Enjoy it young.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 15.00

Ideal food pairing:
fusion dishes, Asian dishes, seared scallops with creamy corn, shrimp based dishes, seafood salad, fennel salads, Turkey sacks with tropical fruit and many more

Italy, Veneto, White blends, White wines

Maculan Pino and Toi 2008

Maculan Pino&ToiAWinemaker: Fausto Maculan
Grape: 60% Friulano (known as Tocai Friulano), 25% Pinot Bianco and 15% Pinot Grigio
Region: Veneto, Italy

Even though the Tocai variety is mostly known to wine collectors for its world class Hungarian sweet wines, in this case the Maculan family uses Tocai to add rich aroma, flavor profile and complexity into their white wine. No, this is not your regular Pinot Grigio.

Located in Breganze, a village in the hills north of Venice, the vineyards are surrounded by mountains, creating a natural barrier to cold winds. Fausto Maculan knows it is a perfect climate for the cultivation of vineyards. He is Breganze’s greatest wine producer and acknowledged as an exceptional winemaker.

The combination of ancient grapes of this region with popular current varietals let him create line of red and white wines of outstanding quality. In case of Pino & Toi the wine is fermented in stainless steel and ages minimally before bottling to preserve the freshness.

I remember when I first tasted Pino & Toi wine several years back, and it stood out in the crowd of other whites we were tasting that day. Yes, it is acidic wine, but it had the smooth, round, creamy, almost oily sensation when I swallowed it. That’s usually a typical characteristic for a high quality German Rieslings. Very rich in layers of flavors and definitely wine to remember.

Tasting notes:
This wine is pale yellow in color. Intense citrus and fruity aromas. Very generous in fruity flavors with hints of lemon, peach, pear and honey. Round, rich and balanced with crisp acidity into a satisfying finish. Although this wine can age a little (maybe 2-3 more years), I prefer it as fresh as possible. I’ll definitely buy it again.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 14.00

Ideal food pairing:
lovely as an aperitif, pair well with My happy TilapiaSeafood, Shrimp Scampi,  Chinese or Japanese cuisine, and many more

Bordeaux, France, White blends, White wines

Chateau Bonnet Blanc 2007

Winemaker: Laurent Le Dez (cellarmaster)
André Lurton – oversees the operations
Grapes: 50% Sauvignon Blanc, 40% Semillon and 10% Muscadette.
Region: Entre-deux-mers, Bordeaux, France

Monsieur André Lurton, one of the largest producers in the region, very skilled and influential man started with a single vision. He wanted to discover best terroires within the region of Bordeaux and produce the highest quality wines.

The long list of different syndicates, councils or federations that he is member, director or founder of, speaks for itself. He never gave up on protecting a treasure of Bordeaux and quality of its wines.

Today, with the help of 170 employees he manages total 630 hectares of vineyards, 11 estates at 4 different Bordeaux appellations. Among his many appellations are the most prestigious, Cru Classe estates in Margaux or Pessac-Léognan. Meeting him in person, despite all his titles and achievements, he is a very humble and pleasant gentleman.

Obviously, such an estate can’t be run by 1 person, it is in fact a collective effort. Vignobles André Lurton is run by a young, dynamic team of highly-skilled managers. Each and every one is attentive, rational, discreet and modest. Understandably, André Lurton entrusts them with his total confidence.

“I am a dedicated winemaker who has been searching for the best soils and micro-climates in Bordeaux for over fifty years in order to produce outstanding wines. I personally oversee work in my vineyards as well as all stages of wine production, combining traditional expertise with the latest technology. My name on the label is a guarantee of irreproachable quality, recognized around the world.”

André Lurton

Tasting notes:
This lovely blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle (a typical varieties for Bordeaux white wines) is well balanced and refreshing. Citrus aromas with delicate grapefruit hints of Sauvignon Blanc are perfectly mixed with very aromatic Semillon and Muscadelle, bringing to the blend white peaches or melon flavors. Expressing fruit, yet balanced acidity. This wine is be a compliment to seafood or salad dishes.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 12.00

Ideal food pairing:
Seafood party salad, Spanish canoes, Party tomatoes with marinated feta, My happy tilapia

Rueda, Spain, White blends, White wines

Las Brisas 2008

Winemaker: Eulogio Calleja
Grape: Verdejo, Viura and Sauvignon Blanc
Region: Rueda, Spain

See other wines from this producer:

One of the most respected winemakers in the region of Rueda partnered with Javier Alen, well respected Galician producer of white wine (Vina Mein) and Victor Rodriguez, the former director of the highlty acclaimed magazine Vino y Gastronomia, for this project.

Bodegas Naia owns 40 hectares in the village of La Seca which is considered by experts the “Grand Cru” of the denomination. Average age of these vines is 30 years with 5 hectares of 95 year old vines .

The cooperation of these strong wine personalities created this lovely, fresh wine that is a finest expression of the varietal Verdejo and the terroir of village of La Seca.

Tasting notes:
Strong ripe citrus and grassy aroma. In your mouth it will spread with colorful flavors of ripe fruit – green grapes, apples, pears, white peach, grapefruit and lemony flavors. Each variety brought something unique to the blend. Brilliantly balanced acidity, with a long finish.

Dry – Off dry – Medium sweet – Sweet
Light – Medium – Full body
No oak – Aged in oak
Retail price: under $ 12.00

Ideal food pairing:
Seafood salad, Shrimp scampi, Chicken Dopiaza, Tilapia, Baked shrimp with tomatoes and feta, and many, many more