The Cavalchina Bianco di Custoza DOC 2013 is a blend of 40% Garganega, 30% Fernanda, 15% Trebbianello and 15% Trebbiano grown in the Custoza district, southeast of Lake Garda in Veneto, Italy. Bianco di Custoza is a traditional blend of 9 approved grapes, the blend must contain specified percentages of 3 grapes and the other 6 grapes are optional, the Fernanda is the optional grape. These grapes all ripen at different times, from early September to early October, so each varietal is picked and vinted separately. They are aged “on lees” (with the dead yeast and grape residue) until January or February, then the wine is blended and bottled. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is pale golden-yellow. The nose is surprising, melon, guava, tart apple and a bouquet of flowers. This is a dry, balanced, fleshy wine. It tastes of peach, minerals and herbs, with apple and pear added on the mid-palate. There is lip-smacking acidity, nothing too much, but enough to let you know this wine is made to be paired with food. The finish is subtle and lengthy.
When I was new to wine, I was intimidated by Italian wine, especially Italian White wine. I never heard of the grapes used in the wines, there are over 350 grapes varietals grown in Italy, and since they are food wines they had more acidity than I was used to. Back then I was having a hard enough time getting my palate around Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, Garganega and Trebbiano seemed like they came from another world. But now, I say bring them on, each new grape and Italian wine region is a new adventure. Italians have benn making wine and drinking wine for a long, long time and they have the whole process figured out. They make great inexpensive wines (the average Italian drinks wine everyday, wine can’t cost too much) and outstanding expensive wine. With the wide variety and styles of wine, you will never get bored exploring Italian wine.