Be honest with yourself: it has been a long day. You deserve a drink. But the last thing you want is more work. It can be interesting, sure. But complexity, tannins, grip, and food pairings sound horrid.
Let me whisk you to Italy. Specifically, Tuscany: land of rolling hills, Chianti, Renaissance palazzi, and rustic food. But leave the sweat, art, dust, gelato, and tourists of Firenze (aka Florence) behind. Head northeast, into the mountains, and you will find Pomino DOC: a few miles from where I use to excavate an Etruscan temple.
Established in 1983 Pomino, as a DOC, oddly focusses on French grapes Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco (Blanc), Pinot Nero (Noir), and Sauvignon Blanc. At 700 meters above sea level, in the middle mountainous, peasant-ridden nowhere, this is an odd place to sit on the cutting edge of international wine style.
Yet, enter Frescobaldi: a family living here since the 1300s, who made wine for Henry VIII, and today dominate production around Rufina and Pomino. Their Chardonnay comes from their highest vineyard surrounded by sequoias, firs and chestnut trees. It becomes wine in stainless tanks, with a dash in barrels seeing malolactic fermentation, in just four months. It will solve your dreary day.
Frescobaldi, Chardonnay, Pomino DOC Italy 2016 $22
Colors looks a clear, pale straw glinting with steel and washing the glass. Aromas flit and lilt delicately, hinting at orange blossom, jasmine, kiwi, candied lime, and white pear that amplify and become more honeyed when drunk. Yet the palate remains dry, clean, round, and a touch fleshy, but with good acidity. The length is medium plus.
Frescobaldi’s Pomino Chardonnay is Spring in a glass. Florals and fruits stop short of becoming cloying. The body teeters on voluptuous but stays clean and silken. It is very good (4 of 5).
If you must, you can pair it up with some delicate, young cheeses, mild mixed nuts, white fish, salads. But honestly, just enjoy it and forget the world.
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