Ambasciatore Silvanum Chardonnay-Raboso

A very unusual and interesting blend from northeastern Italy. This is 70% Chardonnay and 30% Raboso Bianco – a crossbreed of the ancestral red Raboso variety with Marzemina Bianca to produce a dusky-skinned white grape. I’m having this with some baked flounder. I got this as a Christmas gift and thought now would be a good time to pop the cork.

Wine-016Ambasciatore Silvanum Chardonnay-Raboso (2009) Veneto, Italy – $10 to $20.

Color: very dark for a white; this reminds me of an Amontillado Sherry, and I could swear there’s the tiniest hint of red in there as well.

Aroma: Apple and citrus blossoms, plus a little toastiness. I can’t find any details online, but I suspect this saw some malolactic fermentation in oak.

Taste: Loads of juicy apple, both fresh and dried fruit, along with some soft vanilla and hazelnut. The Raboso contributes a firm, tannic kick at the end. This is a surprisingly complex wine for the price, and it big enough to go with a hearty risotto, mackerel, or pork. Recommended!

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