Getting a Taste of Italy, Bargain-Style

The Back Story:

I set out a couple weeks ago with a mission in mind: to taste a new grape and spend as little as possible doing it. My destination, then, was A Southern Season, a gargantuan gourmet shop that has everything from a cheese bar to a Belgian beer section. They’ve also got a decent-sized wine section with particular emphasis on European wines.

After several minutes of wandering back and forth in the French section, enjoying the fact that I have experienced enough in French wine that I now can actually recognize wine labels from different vintners, growing regions, etc., I moved into the Italian section, renewing my focus on finding a new varietal under $10. Unfortunately, I left the store without fulfilling my quest. Not because they didn’t have one, no, but because I got distracted by a sale sticker. The sticker happened to be attached to a 2007 Vecchia Torre Leverano Bianco. The Bianco is a blend, 80% Malvasia Bianca and 20% Chardonnay. That’s basically all I knew going in, but to me, the mystery is part of what makes tasting a wine so exciting.

The Results:

The appearance of the wine was pretty average. The viscosity was fairly high, with a bright yellow color, slightly green, and the swirl suggested a good texture.

The nose of the wine was particularly fruity, exotic, primarily ripe tropical fruits. There was something off, though, giving a tinge of what smelled like vinyl. It wasn’t altogether unpleasant, but it didn’t quite jibe.

The mouth feel of the wine was good but nothing special. It was a little syrupy, but it balanced nicely with a high acidity.

The taste of the wine mimicked the nose, offering mostly tropical fruits. First, mango and apricot flavors co-mingled with a pretty decent tartness, slightly dry. There was an odd flavor that I couldn’t peg at first, and I finally settled on green beans. A little out of left field, but whatever. The short finish was a dry, overly ripe banana. Overall, it was standard fare for a white and rather simple.

For the Casual Drinker:

This would be a fantastic wine for a dinner party or any other group of varied tastes and interests. It’s a fairly neutral wine, not too sweet or dry, not too exotic, with a very agreeable flavor and texture. The simplicity makes it suitable for many palates, and it would pair with a variety of lighter foods as long as the flavors weren’t too overpowering. It’s also affordable, which is always good.

The Conclusion:

Though there’s nothing really to knock about this wine, it’s also fairly forgettable. Simple flavor, short finish, about what you’d expect for 9 bucks. You won’t regret buying this wine, but you might not go back for a second bottle. 5/10

I also picked up the Vecchia Torre Leverano Rosato. How good was that one? Stay tuned… but I will say that, coincidentally or not, I’ve bought 7 bottles of it in the past 2 weeks.

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4 Responses to “Getting a Taste of Italy, Bargain-Style”

  1. Ben Simons Says:

    I love trying out new things, even when the experiment ends up being an average one, it is still interesting to try something that you haven’t had before. I’m really excited to read the next review, sounds interesting.

    • wineaccguy Says:

      I wanted to review the Rosato first, but I’d dedicate easily 3 times as much time to it, and I’m on the clock right now and scrambling to photoshop stuff… c’est la vie!

  2. drinknectar Says:

    Josh – I’m starting to get a feel for your style and layout. I like the flow with backstory, and the results. The casual drinker section is gold! Real world application.

    Great work!

    Josh @nectarwine on twitter

    • wineaccguy Says:

      Thanks a lot, Josh. I wrote one review without this format, all long, flowing paragraphs and proper construction before I attended a copywriting workshop that basically said “white-space, headers, short paragraphs, bullet-points, be ADHD.” Best advice I’ve gotten in months.

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