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Uncorked: Pomino Bianco an exceptional wine from unlikely area

Published: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 1:15 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 1:20 p.m. CDT

Everything about the Marchesi de Frescobaldi Pomino Bianco is unique.

An interloper in Tuscany, an area filled with traditional bold red wines, Pomino Bianco stands alone as a Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco blend. 

The outsider trend continues with its vineyard site. Situated high above the famous rolling Tuscan hills, Pomino Bianco’s fruit is grown at such a high altitude that the landscape looks more like Germany that Italy.

It’s a unique characteristic that defines Pomino Bianco and makes it an exceptional wine from an unlikely area.

Winemaker spotlight

Pomo means apple in Italian.

It’s a fitting root word for Pomino Bianco, a wine that offers the experience of taking a bite out of a crisp, fresh green apple. There’s a hint of pear and lavender on the nose and a great stone minerality that compliments the finish.

But, it’s the apple note that is the star. There’s a great balance of acidity that is a byproduct of location and attention to detail.

“We don’t have to purchase any fruit,” Frescobaldi U.S. Export Manager Galen Crippin said. “That gives us the ability to produce our wines the way we want them year in and year out.”

Because of the high-altitude vineyards, the fruit is able to develop outstanding acidity.

There is a huge temperature variation between night and day.

Exceptional daytime sun exposure allows for physiological ripeness and cool nights help the fruit retain its freshness.

Sandy clay soil is high in acidity and really shines on the iron-like minerality present in the finish.

The varietal goes unaccredited, but offers another special perk for a versatile wine that could pair well with spicy Thai dishes or any seafood.

“We use just a hint of Riesling,” Crippin said. “It’s the secret ingredient that gives beautiful aromatics to the nose.”

What to buy

Marchesi de Frescobaldi, Pomino Bianco 2012, $17.99: Pomino Bianco is already at the forefront of the pendulum shift that has taken place in the U.S. wine market for several years.

Great acidity and crisp minerality mark a decisive start and finish. Sandwiched in between is beautiful green apple notes.

“We use stainless steel and 2- and 3-year-old barrels,” Crippin said. “We really want to capture the freshness and liveliness of the green apple. It’s all about elegance and the terroir really is the key. We are at the highest vineyard in Tuscany. We get very low yields and due to the altitude, we can get an incredible balance.”

• James Nokes writes a bi-weekly wine column for the Daily Chronicle. He’s been tasting, touring and collecting in the wine world for several years. Contact him at news@daily-chronicle.com.

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