Variety: 60% Garganega, Pinot Bianco, Sauvignon
Region: Soave Classico region, Italy
Cost: $40 (SRP)
Winemaker’s Notes: A wine with great potential for aging. A stylistic effort designed to obtain a unique complexity and structure through the skillful combination of the different characteristics represented by various vintages. Garganega gives the wine structure, freshness, and fragrance with floral notes and intense minerality, a profound expression of the volcanic-origin soil composition. When tasting, the different vintages are expressed in a long succession of hints and notes ranging from just-blooming flowers to chamomile, hazelnut, citrus, and tropical fruit.
My Review: This one is a bit of a head-scratcher. Not in a bad way mind you, but an Italian wine named “Hey French” where the dominant grape is one that I had to go back and search to see if it was something I’d had before (spoiler: I had, and as recently as last summer).
While I’m used to the idea of non-vintage wines, multi-vintage was a new one for me; or at least the blatant naming of it was. A blend of vintages from 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017 (2014 was excluded because of a bad year thanks to rain), the Hey French is predominantly Garganega rounded out with Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon. For each of the years vinification takes place with maceration on the skins for about 10 hours with partial malolactic fermentation following later. Each vintage is aged for about 6 months in second-use wood and then refined in steel tanks.
The resulting wine is a deep golden yellow. On the nose I picked up aromas of green apple, tropical fruits, and ripe citrus. In the mouth the green apple continued as the dominant flavor for me, joined by lime and rounded out by the time spent in barrels, but without it being oaky.
My wife and I paired the wine with lemon herb salmon over risotto, and it was a nice pairing; the crisp citrus notes did a good job of cutting through the richness of both the fish and the risotto, but the hint of roundness on the finish left my mouth coated in a pleasant fashion that went well with the fatty fish.
I really liked this wine. My biggest complaint is the wax enclosure around the cork was a pain in the ass to get off (I hate screwing through wax since I’ve ruined too many corks that way to feel good doing it). For a cheeky wine I thought it was a good value, and one I would definitely try again.
Editor’s Note: I received this wine as a free sample for review.