Bellissimi Vini. Beautiful Wines from La Biancara.
Angiolino Maule, La Biancara, Masieri Bianco Veneto (IGT) 2017, 11.5%, €18.85 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny
Early 2018 in Dublin, Francesco Maule, the son of the founders of La Biancara, stressed the importance of having a “very good quality grape”, otherwise there is the risk of extracting “bad things”. In the cellar, “nothing is added, nothing is removed”. You can taste the result in this Masieri white (and also in the red).
Colour: Light straw, cloudy. Aromas are complex, yet moderate; white fruit (apples) in the mix. Excellent mouthfeel as it spreads across, citrus and stone-fruit flavours combined with an energetic acidity. The citrus influenced finish is lengthy with no shortage of minerality. Very Highly Recommended. Quite often in the past, Garganega has underachieved but here, thanks to the Maule family, its potential has been realised.
It consists of 90% Garganega and 10% other varieties. It is unfiltered, hence the slight cloudiness. The grapes, which are the fruit of vines in volcanic soils grown using natural methods, are fermented spontaneously. It can be combined, the Maules say, with lasagna of asparagus, pasta with pesto alla genovese, amberjack carpaccio and baccalà alla vicentina. Best of luck with those dishes but at least you have a few hints.
Vino Italiano, which praises the vineyard (as does the World Atlas of Wine), says it could be argued that the (white) wines here are purer expressions of Garganega than those of neighbouring Soave. Garganega is thought by some to be related to the Greco (another Mediterranean grape that I favour) of southern Italy.
Angiolino Maule is one of the founding figures of natural farming and wine-making in Italy. He has been setting an example in both practices since the late 1980’s and is now assisted by his two sons, Francesco and Alessandro.
Angiolino Maule, La Biancara, Masieri Rosso Veneto (IGT) 2018, 14.0%, €22.25 64 Wine Dublin, Bradley’s of Cork, Greenman Dublin, Le Caveau Kilkenny
The label tells us this red is a blend of Merlot (50%) and Tai Rosso (50). In some years Cabernet Sauvignon is used. Tai Rosso is more or less the same grape as Grenache. Spontaneously fermented grapes, from vines grown in volcanic soils using natural methods, this is an unfiltered wine, without added sulphites.
Colour is a deep ruby. Cherry and blackberry in the aromas, also some floral elements. It is fresh and juicy on the harmonious palate, a touch of spice features too, a hint of liquorice there too, tannins well-integrated. Easy-drinking from start to impressive finish and Very Highly Recommended.