Garganega wine grape
An ancient variety from the Veneto in north-east Italy, Garganega is the principal grape used in the well-known white, Soave. It isn’t much found elsewhere, and its name is not often seen on labels. Despite that, it is the parent of at least ten other varieties found all over Italy, including the most-planted white grape of them all, Trebbiano Toscano.
Catarrato, the main white grape of Sicily, is also a child of Garganega. This became less surprising when further DNA testing revealed that Sicily’s Grecanico is in fact Garganega, making Sicily the only region outside Veneto with significant plantings of the variety.
Soave wines must be at least 70% Garganega, and many are made entirely from it. It is also the main variety in the less well-known Gambellara DOC. Its usual blending partner is Verdiccio (called locally Trebbiano di Soave) and/or Chardonnay. Many IGT blends with Pinot Grigio are produced, whose labels usually emphasise the fashionable Pinot Grigio even when Garganega is the main component.
Garganega produces quite light-bodied wines with fresh acidity and flavours of lemon and almond. Though not overtly fruity, the best examples (from producers like Anselmi, Inama, Coffele and Pieropan) have a combination of spiciness and steeliness that fills the mouth and makes them superb with food. However, if its natural tendency to high yields is not controlled, Garganega can be merely light, dry, crisp and neutral. Most Gargenega should be drunk young, though the very best wines can age well.
Decanting Club wines containing: Garganega
From Veneto, Italy
Coffele 'Castel Cerino' Soave Classico
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