Import Selection: Orvieto Classico, 1987; Bigi

Orvieto is a white wine from Italy that is named after a town located southeast of Florence and north of Rome. All wine called Orvieto must originate from grapes grown in a zone of vineyards of sixteen communes around the town, by specific area limitation according to the DOC (Denominaz­ione di Origine Controllata) regulations . Orvie­to wine is a style, and a blend of wine from native grapes grown within this zone. “Orvieto Classi­co” is a further delimitation of source. Within this zone, the core of the best vineyards are located round the Orvieto commune, and they are designated “Orvieto Clas­sico”.

The ancient town of Orvieto, perched atop a mass of volcanic rock rising from the vineyards be­low, is home to Bigi of Orvieto. This firm was established in 1880, and is the only major producer based in the designated region. The winery is a former Franciscan monastery named “La Trinita”. Most other producers must trans­port their grapes from the vine­yards of the area to wineries many miles away, making it difficult to retain the freshness and quality of the newly-picked perishable and fragile grapes. This latter fact, plus the skill of winemaker Marco Monchiero, who incidentally is Managing Director of the Consor­tium of Orvieto Wine Producers, has earned the reputation for this brand to be called “L’Orvieto di Orvieto” (The Orvieto of Orvieto) in Italy.

Five vinifera grapes are used for this Orvieto. The primary va­rietal is Trebbiano Toscano which gives the wine its fresh, lightly fruited quality, and the blends of lesser amounts of Verdello, Gre­chettto, Drupeggio, and Malvasia Toscano contribute to the wine’s body and delicate balance.

Our wine is light yellow, with a hint of green. It has a fruity aro­ma mixed with a somewhat com­plex bouquet. The aroma reminds me of cheremoya fruit, and the bouquet has a hint of chalkiness. The taste is rich in fruit that has mellowed and blended with the other components in the grape to produce a lush middle to the taste. A pipin apple flavor emerges in this full bodied wine. A pleasant crispness follows that balances the wine. The flavor is long on the fin­ish. Serve chilled with poached or baked salmon, or as your white aperitif wine.

 

Cellaring Notes: Can handle two more years and improve in that time.

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