Italy produces some of the most exciting, delicious and great value white wines in the world. My latest find is this 2010 Zenato Lugano San Benedetto from near Lake Garda in the Veneto region. First produced in 1967, Zenato have been producing Lugano San Benedetto for almost 45 years. This is definitely a mineral-driven wine. Youthful pale lemony color with tinges of green. Minerally, with delicate citrus aromas, hints of peach pith, jasmine tea, white flowers and a spicy dried herb note. Quite broad and earthy on the palate, it has an appealing richness to the texture. Very refreshing and lively in the mouth, with ample juicy fruit and a lovely resiny kick on the finish.
At the table: The minerality in this wine makes it a great dinner partner. Yet, the fruit is so juicy it can be sipped on its own as an apéritif or enjoyed with finger food. It is particularly good with white fish simply pan-fried or grilled and served with a herb butter. We recently enjoyed it with pan-fried flounder sprinkled with fresh marjoram and a good dash of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Try it also with skate served with black butter or crispy fried calamari rings.
About Zenato, and the 2010 Lugano San Benedetto
The Zenato winery, located in the Veneto, was founded in 1960 by Sergio and Carla Zenato and is now run and managed by their children Nadia and Alberto. This Lugano San Benedetto is made from 100% Trebbiano di Lugano (the finest Trebbiano sub-variety, which is noted as being particularly flavorful. The wine was vinified in stainless steel tank and rested on its lees in tank post fermentation for about six months before bottling, and a further three months in bottle release.
Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW (Master of Wine), is a New York based wine educator, freelance writer and consultant.
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(Image: via Vino Monte)