Home Winners > Winners 2014 > ITALY: North-East Whites, including Soave

Winner Details

Italy: North-East whites, including Soave

2014 Gold: 3; Silver: 10; Bronze: 6; Commended: 4
2013 Gold: 2; Silver: 9; Bronze: 4; Commended: N/A
Must-list status: 65%
Overall SWA performance 2014 C+

You have to go back to 2010 to find the last time a Soave made it on to the SWA Gold List – and this year was a familiar story. While it wasn’t an overly bad flight, it was one characterised by grudging acceptance rather than outright enthusiasm.

‘In a lot of these I was getting ascorbic acid, a lot of pear drop, suggesting they are pushing the winemaking side of things,’ said consultant Ronan Sayburn MS. ‘Though for the price some of these offered attractive, fresh drinking with some reasonable character.’

The Pieropan was closest to Gold, and all could recognise that it was a high-quality wine, but probably should have been sitting in a smoking room with white Burgundies rather than down the pub with other Soaves.

‘It’s a great wine, but I’m not sure it’s that typical of Soave,’ said Gold List co-ordinator Christine Parkinson, so it stayed at Silver.

Outside of Soave, things were better, with our tasters finding attractive blossom and mineral wines of real food-friendliness at good prices.

‘You may or may not like the style of these wines, so they will divide people, but you can’t fault the balance, the acidity, the quality of them – some are just about perfect,’ said Riccardo Giacomelli of Bocca di Lupo.

And in the absence of any Gold Gewürz from elsewhere in Europe, it was great to see the fabulous Cantina Tramin steam in from the Alto Adige. Yes it is nearly £20, but it’s a class act.

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines from Trentino Alto Adige, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia & Veneto.

 From the Tasting Teams

‘What can you say about Soave, how excited can you get about Garganega?’ Ronan Sayburn MS, consultant

‘The quality was amazing both for the cheap wines and the more expensive ones, and they never go really crazy on the price. For me, these whites are a good alternative to classics like Sancerre.’ Riccardo Giacomelli, Bocca di Lupo

‘Outside Soave, these whites would have to perform a specific function on the list, with a certain dish or food style, and probably be a hand-sell.’ Matthew Cocks, Cubitt House Group

‘There was lots to interest us in the whites, with producers trying new things, a variety of different styles reflecting the regions and wines that consistently delivered on quality.’
Athila Roos, The Arts Club