TenutaCapoest Lucchese, Piave DOC, 2011

The Piave DOC is the largest viticultural zone in the region of Veneto.  It is the first DOC wine region on our list, along with being the first region with a relatively large variety of grapes grown within it.  Most regions on our list so far produce wine based on one primary grape, (such as Sangiovese for Chianti Classico and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano), but wines from the Piave DOC can be either varietal (based on a single grape) or blended, and can showcase a number of different grapes.  It is also the second region on our list that produces both red and white wines (Roero DOCG being the first).  Red wines from the Piave DOC are generally made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Carmenere, Merlot and/or Raboso, a local variety that is gaining in popularity.  White wines are most often made from Verduzzo, Tocai, Chardonnay and/or, increasingly, Manzoni Bianco.

Manzoni Bianco is a relatively recent grape, when compared with some of the more traditional Italian grapes.  In the 1930’s, a professor at the Oenology School of Conegliano named Luigi Manzoni created a number of new grape varietals by crossing and grafting vines from various vineyards.  One of these was called Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13, commonly known as Manzoni Bianco.  It is a crossing of Pinot Bianco and Riesling grapes, making it well suited to cooler climates in Veneto.  Though the idea of creating wines based on man-made hybrid grapes has not been fully embraced everywhere, it has been in Veneto and some of the surrounding regions, where Manzoni Bianco is used in a number of wines.

This Piave is made from 100% Manzoni Bianco by TenutaCapoest Lucchese (the above image is taken from their Marca Trevigiana wine, which looks nearly identical).  It is a beautiful golden yellow in color, almost amber.  The nose is a bit subtle with some slightly floral notes, backed by citrus.  The body is light to medium (richer than some other Manzoni Bianco’s you might find) and has flavors of apple and pineapple.  It has a nice acidity to it, which makes for a very crisp and clean profile, not unlike a good Sauvignon Blanc in some ways (though a bit fruitier).  The finish is also clean, with lingering fruit flavors.  It would pair nicely with a good seafood dish, especially shrimp, as well as cream and butter based sauces.

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