This our third review of a wine signed Farnese, a low cost producer from the Abruzzi region of central Italy. It’s a Chardonnay with the plebian IGT designation claiming that it expresses the characteristics of the locality. Frankly the locality should be pretty good; the vineyards are situated in a river valley near Mount Maiella and the Adriatic Sea. Farnese also makes the region’s most highly regarded wine, one that I have yet to review. If you’re in the neighborhood you’ll want to visit the beaches, the nearby Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzi, and perhaps Ortana, site of a World War II battle known as Little Stalingrad. The companion wine is an Israeli Chardonnay at over twice the price.
Let’s start with the marketing materials. “Tasting Note : Medium gold/yellow color, green applet, citrus and vanilla nose; dry, medium bodied with ripe citrus, sweet apple fruit and butterscotch flavors; hint of toast on the finish; crisp and dry with a long finish. Serving Suggestion : Roasted chicken; mild cheeses; grilled prawns.” And now for my review.
At the first sips this wine offered pleasant sweetness and acidity with good citrus. In the presence of Japanese rice crackers the drink’s acidity stepped up. My first meal centered on an omelet made with basil, thyme, crushed chili peppers, caraway, celery seed, and processed American cheese. Now it was citrus’s turn to step up. When paired with potato salad containing peas, carrots, and pickles, the libation provided a good balance of acidity and sweetness. Upon facing a tomato, cucumber, red pepper, and carrot salad our Italian friend was light and pleasant. Dessert was a blueberry strudel brimming with cornstarch. My glass responded with good acidity and a bit of citrus. I sensed a tinge of oak.
My next meal centered on a dry barbecued chicken breast. The Chardonnay was somewhat metallic offering crisp acidity and citrus. Then came a medley of sautéed leeks, chickpeas, and mushrooms. Now the citrus intensified. Dessert was a vanilla pizzelle, an Italian waffle cookie. The libation reminded me of oak juice but I also sensed limes and balanced acidity.
The closing meal was a boxed Baked Ziti Siciliano that I doused with grated Parmesan cheese. The liquid was weak, with no fruit and light acidity. Fresh pineapple transformed the wine into water. Paired with fresh strawberries, the wine bounced back to the level of weakness.
Final verdict. Despite the final pairings I would buy this wine again. But they better not raise the price.Access the companion wine An Israeli Kosher Chardonnay.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would
rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario
French-language community college. His wine websites include
www.theworldwidewine.com and http://www.wineinyourdiet.com
Visit his website devoted to italian travel www.travelitalytravel.com
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