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Degrassi’s Istrian Malvasia warmly welcomed in Italy

by Gogo on November 10, 2009

in All wines

The charm of Istrian Malvasia starts to seduce also the Italians. On her excellent blog Soavemente Maria Grazia Melegari writes about an event “Face to face with the producer”, organized by Slow Food from Vicenza in Veneto region, where an interesting vertical tasting of five Malvasias produced by Moreno Degrassi took place. Here is the slideshow of the event.

Degrassis Istrian Malvasia

Vertical tasting of Degrassi's Istrian Malvasia

A lot of people from Istria believe that Istrian Malvasia gives its best if consumed very young, within one year and a half from the vintage. Obviously it is just a myth and Maria’s tasting notes speak clearely against this misconception. I tried to translate them here:

Malvasia Bomarchese  2008 – Still very young, with intense straw color and clear floral aroma. Afterwards it is opening with characteristic exotic hints of ananas. Pleasantly crisp and mineral. More time in the bottle is needed in order to equilibrate its 13.5% of alcohol. The cleanness of flavor and aroma, fatness and minerality are impressive.

Malvasia Bomarchese 2007 – The aromas are still a bit closed, but evolved, of white macerated flowers and tropical fruit; also the flavor is more complex with a pleasant almond aftertaste. Nice equilibrium between acidity, minerality and alcohol content. Remarkable minerality.

Malvasia Bomarchese 2004 – the wine Maria liked the most: intense straw color, brilliant, with aromas of mature, exotic fruits and surprising hints of iodine. The wine is complex and fat, it is nicely easy-to-drink with its 13% of alcohol, maintaining great freshness and minerality right to the last sip. It is a wine of great character and recognizability.

Malvasia Bomarchese 2003 – In contrast to previous wines, this one is fermented in tonneau. The stress of the famous heat-wave vintage is percebtible in decreased acidity and flavor/aroma intensity. The notes of vanilla, honey, ananas  and hints of iodine can be found.

Malvasia Bomarchese 2002 – this wine is partly fermented in stainless steel and partly in barrique. A light oxidative note does not disturb a nice overall impression of gustatory pleasure. Very evolved aromas of hay, dry yellow flowers and fruit macerated in spirits.

This kind of tastings where you hear the story about a wine directly from its producer are not so common in Istria. Too bad for a region that produces so many excellent and, on a worldwide scale, quite unique wines. I believe that such small-scale and intimate events, and not the big wine fairs, are much better opportunity for consumers to fully understand and appreciate the wine that comes from their surroundings.

At the end, many thanks to Maria for such an important post that demonstrated the longevity of Istrian Malvasia and for kindly letting me using her notes here.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Maria Grazia November 11, 2009 at 01:28

Thanks to you, Goran! Sono onorata che le mie impressioni vengano lette anche nella Patria della Malvasia: l’Istria mi ha veramente affascinato, in occasione di un viaggio, qualche anno fa. Ho avuto anch’io la percezione che la vostra terra sia tutta da scoprire nell’enogastronomia, ricca di potenzialità da far emergere.
Un vino tenace e solare, la Malvasia! Il tempo la rende complessa e armoniosa. Ancora grazie e mi auguro di ritornare per rivedere la tua bella terra. Un saluto.


Clem November 11, 2009 at 09:38

What’s vertical tasting? Does horizontal tasting also exist?


Gogo November 11, 2009 at 11:16

Of course, horizontal tasting is when you try different wines of the same vintage. The goal is to learn how weather during the year affected the wine properties. Usually, some wines will suffer while the others will profit.


James November 22, 2009 at 23:51

‘Malvasia Istriana’ can become as famous as ‘White Burgundy’. Committment to top-quality/terroir and right marketing.


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