2021 Allegrini Oasi Mantellina, Lugana, Italy (Alcohol 13%, Residual Sugar 4 g/l) LCBO Vintages $28.95 (750ml bottle)
This straw yellow wine is remarkably restrained on the nose, which is strange seeing as James Suckling describes it otherwise: “Lots of perfume here.” I don’t know about that, Mr. Suckling. But occasionally subtly can be a virtue, and I believe that to be the case with this most enjoyable bottling from Allegrini.
Made from manually harvested 96% Turbiana and 4% Cortese planted in clay-rich soils at around 100m above sea level, this wine is fermented and aged for four months in stainless steel and then another two in bottle before release.
After allowing the wine to warm in the glass a little, I found it to express extremely delicate floral aromatics accompanied by blanched almonds, apricots, and citrus. In the mouth, this wine really comes to life with an explosion of tangy and zippy citrus (more grapefruit than lemon here), which plays well with the ripe pear-like richness on the palate. There’s a very subtle almond nuttiness present here, which extends into the almost salty finish. It’s really rather charming and a delight to drink.
This is a fabulously elegant “first course” white wine that would sit perfectly alongside poached river or lake fish, simply seasoned with lemon, herbs, and salt.
Postscript: I forgot to mention that I feel that this wine will only improve with time in the bottle. I’d expect the nutty elements to really come to the fore as the wine evolves. I’d like to see it again in around 5 – 8 years.
(Four apples out of a possible five)