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Louis Dressner Selections
In a market of flashy packaging this wine is too often overlooked, but it is truly among the best valued of our Italian whites. Fresh herbs and lightly fruity, this is an awesome example of what Garganega grown organically can be. Allowed a natural wild yeast fermentation, no filtering and very low amounts of sulfites added. Pair with seafood, white sauced pasta, chicken or hard cheeses.
Gambellara is ostensibly the extension of the Soave foothills in Veneto into the adjoining province of Vicenza where the wine changes its name, but not its general composition. The principal white grape is Garganega backed up with small amounts of Trebbiano. These hills are volcanic in origin, and have rich, dark mineral soils with good amounts of fine clay. They are south facing slopes that are protected from the blasts of Alpine northern winds by the southern Dolomites. The altitude here is between 150 to 250 meters.
Angiolino’s estate, in the hamlet of Biancara, now covers about 9 HA. For more than 16 years now, he has plowed in his vines and not used any soil treatments, chemical or otherwise. Using biodynamic viticultural practices, Angiolino has created an organic, living soil and ecosystem for benefiting the health of the vines and their resistance to any form of malady. He is unwavering in his belief that great wines are the result of healthy, beautiful, handpicked fruit, and the only way to achieve this is through natural processes.
Furthermore, he believes that the work in the cellar -- vinification, aging and bottling --must be consistent with the work in the vines and involve no additives that compromise the natural fruit material, for better or worse. The vinifications are conducted without temperature control, the addition of sulfur, enzymes or yeast and without the use of fining or filtration. Annually the production is between 35 to 45K bottles. - Louis/Dressner
The color of the wine has the transparence of seawater over a sandy seabed. The nose captures iodine whiffs, then wild fennel, licorice shrub, fresh linen. Honeydew melon and a light delicate mineral note on the palate.
100% Verdicchio. Deep straw yellow. Pleasingly fruity and persistent bouquet, with notes of Golden Delicious apples and almonds. Good body on the palate, well balanced, elegant, with silky texture and distinct finesse.
The muscular structure of a red wine achieved through excellent, low yield material, not oak nor tannin. This Verdicchio has a full-throttle aromatic profile of dried citrus, honey, broom and almond, with lots of drive and intensity, finishing with healthy acidity and a lengthy, intense finish. This is as good as Verdicchio Classico gets - from 40 year old vines. Stunning.
Our Lugana Maiolo is made from Turbiana grapes and takes its name from the Cascina Maiolo farm, founded in 1710.
The grapes for this wine come from moderately young vines, trained using the Silvoz and Guyot systems and with an average annual yield of around 10,000 kilos of grapes per hectare. The limestone-based soil with strata of clay, dating from the post-glacial era, together with manual picking, soft pressing and temperature-controlled fermentation, confers on this Lugana distinctive characteristics, such as its straw-like color with greenish highlights, its delicate scent and its tangy flavor.
Pair with shellfish and seafood, which can be also used as a condiment in a plate of pasta or risotto; slightly fatty boiled fish.
The 2020 Etna Bianco (90% Carricante, 10% Catarratto) is produced from a certified organic vineyard in the Calderara contrada district at 650 meters on Mt. Etna. The vines are 15 years old. The vinification is traditional intemperature controlled steel vats, without malo, followed by aging “sur lies” until March.
The color is pale yellow and the wine is quite intense on the nose, with hints of white flowers and ripe fruits. On the mouth it is fresh, with a pleasant acidity that enhances the natural minerality.
This Northern Italian white emerges from the basaltic lava soil of the old pergola vineyards from the eastern side of Monte Foscarino, the oldest white wine area in Northern Italy. A respectful, modern reinterpretation of the thousands of years of traditions of the Soave Classico, based on the delicate Garganega grape which is only capable of being produced from this region’s volcanic earth, this medium-bodied wine offers an intensely brilliant and rich golden straw-yellow colour, while its signature very well may be its complex flavours benefiting from minimally intrusive winemaking process and fermentation in used barriques.
Its tempting, lifted nose sweetly foreshadows the experience of honey, liquorice and hints of spice that proceed to dance on the palate with delectable aromas of the field flowers from the local region. These main notes are softly complemented by a savoury, mineral mix of stone fruit and citrus. This intermingling of complexly woven tastes enhances the medium-full, creamy palate which is balanced by a sophisticated and slightly dense consistency, oak tannins and a lively acidity. It’s lingering, dry finish ends with a delicate hint of sweet almond.
This 100% Garganega grape wine produces an exceptional Suave is full of character, which is best complemented by polenta, fish, poultry or spicy food.
Fiano is thought to be a grape indigenous to Campania. Known for its low yield and intense aromatics, Fiano is also thought to be the grape used for Rome's famous Apianum wine.
After gentle pressing, the must is fermented in stainless steel tanks at a low, controlled temperature. The wine then spends 8 months in tanks before bottling.
An elegant bouquet with very clean flavors on the palate that are reminiscent of white flowers and pear. Elegant with lots of mineral notes.
Straw-yellow with a greenish hue. The wine's aromas of white fruit, stone fruit and lime zest are immediately beguiling and followed by a subtle yet persistent bouquet of green apples. The palate is well balanced with a fresh acidity and good structure. Pleasant almond notes linger on the finish.
Aromas of sliced apples, lemon rind and spicy undertones. Bright, refreshing and full body, lots of fruit and a flavorful and a mineral finish are proof of the approximity to the Mediterranean Sea.
"Bright and fruity white with sliced lemon and apple character. Medium body, bright acidity and a clean finish. It's a pretty Vermentino."- James Suckling
At this monastery in Vitorchiano, Italy, the Sisters of the Cistercian Order tend five hectares of vineyards to make two white wine blends, Coenobium and Ruscom, as well as a red wine blend called Benedic.
Coennobium is a blend of 45% Trebbiano, 35% Malavasia and 20% Verdicchio. Their vineyards planted to volcanic soils, have been organically farmed since 1993. This volcanic soil and extended skin contact during fermentation lends itself to wine that is redolent of dried orchard fruits, flowers and almonds.
Monte Carbonare is the name of the hill upon which the vineyard that sources this wine is situated. The word Carbonare refers to coal and is used to describe this location because the volcanic soils here are black as coal. Produced from 100% Garganega and exposed only to stainless steel in order to preserve freshness, the Tessari family describes this wine as “earth in a glass”—a pure expression of their volcanic terroir.
Straw yellow with considerable intensity and brilliant highlights. This wine is creamy and elegant. It is characterized by freshness and aromas of citrus, herbs, and mineral. On the palate the wine is well-balanced and refreshing with a dry and persistent finish.
Best served with delicate fish-based dishes, truffle or mushroom risottos, and medium flavored cheeses as well as a variety of vegetarian dishes.
“We are back to the old way of Vernaccia, which was vinified like a red. In the past you had to wait to drink it after summer, and, if it was not yellow enough, you had to put some caramel with it in order to add colour. Today it is still a rich, exuberant and pleasant white wine.”
Chambers and Chambers
It suits savoury dishes such as lasagne, spaghetti “alla carbonara” and “amatriciana”, bean or chickpea soups, roast veal in a cream sauce, ossobuco alla milanese and, naturally, all fish: salt cod “alla livornese”, red mullet and grilled tuna steaks are all particularly good pairings.
Gambero Rosso have named it the best Italian wine for asparagus.
North Berkeley Wines
Straw yellow with delicate green notes. Floral (broom, chamomile and white flowers), delicate and persistent. Savory, harmonious, fine, with good persistence and intensity. Pairs well with grilled delicate fish served with salmoriglio (oil, lemon, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper).