hydra vid ingThe il Palagione Hydra 2013 DOCG is 100% Vernaccia di San Gimignano grown in hillside vineyards outside the town of San Gimignano in Tuscany, Italy. There has been a farm on this site since the 1500s and they have grown the Vernaccia di San Gimignano grape here since the 1200s. There are other grapes named Vernaccia grown in different regions of Italy, but even though the names the same, with DNA testing they turned out to be separate varietals. So if you want a Vernaccia di San Gimignano, you got to get it from the San Gimignano DOCG. This wine is aged and fermented for 4 months on lees (with the dead yeast and grape residue in the tank) in stainless steel vats and then held at least an extra 2 months after bottling before being released. The alcohol content is 12.5%.

The color is just a slight hint of yellow. The nose is sweet ripe fruit, peach, pear and apple, along with a pretty floral scent. This Vernaccia displays an appealing yin/yang of sweet and tart flavors. It starts with ripe peach and then crisp lemon/lime. Melon and a slight brush of minerality show up on the mid-palate. There is a solid dose of acidity that is well-balanced by the body of the wine. The finish lasts for quite some time.

If you love White wine, Italy is the mother lode, it seems that every town and region has unique White wines that the locals have enjoyed for centuries. When you think of Tuscan wine you normally think Sangiovese. In fact, I do not recall every sampling a Vernaccia before (when it was poured I thought they said Garancha Blanca, Vernaccia and Garnacha sort of rhyme) and it is THE traditional White wine of Tuscany. But, it makes for a wonderful bottle of wine, well-balanced with an interesting mix of flavors, bright, yet subdued. Vernaccia di San Gimignano reminds me a bit of a mix of Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc, while not exactly like any of them, there are elements of those grapes in the glass. Vernaccia di San Gimignano does not need comparisons, it is a worthy wine that can stand on its own.

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Don’t tell anyone, but there is absolutely no correlation between the cost of wine and the quality of wine.