92 Insider Points
This delicious Vernaccia has been certified a small vineyards discovery, meaning hand-harvested, earth-friendly, and from a family-owned estate. More importantly this means that special care was given to the wine, and it shows in the complex layers of fruit, vibrant mid palate and long lasting finish. The nose is dominated by fresh white fruit, with a subtle honeysuckle note and a saline minerality. The palate is fresh and zesty, with green apple and a lemony acidity over hints of tropical fruit and lilac. A delicious wine that will go great with salads and seafood, to enjoy now through 2017. - DZ Jan 2016
From the first—EVER—D.O.C. in all of Italy, this Tuscan wine rocks! The insanely cute hill town of San Gimignano is famous for two things: its picturesque medieval towers and its distinctively crisp, 100% unoaked white wine. Regarding the later, Le Rote produces one of the best.
Le Rote farms 35-year-old vines on a soil that offers a mix of clay, marl and shells—the perfect conditions for nervy, super bright Vernaccia. Careful fermentation in temperature-controlled tanks and absolutely no oak of any sort to cloud this wine’s vibrancy insures a classic, acid-rich Vernaccia that’s designed for food. Citrus skin and green apple fruit are aided and abetted by almond and herb notes with an addictively piquant, subtly bitter finish that refreshes and enlivens with every sip.
Interestingly, one of the oldest references to Vernaccia was by Dante, who claimed that Pope Martin IV indulged overly in a dish of eels picked in the wine and consumed with a fatal degree of gluttony. Eel might still be a winning match, but our Tasting Panel recommends shellfish, particularly shrimp or a hefty, loaded salad of the kind that can easily (and tastily) count as dinner on a typical weeknight.
Reasons why we love it:
The Le Rote winery is a tiny, family-run affair owned by Lara and Massimo Scotti along with their three boys, Cosimo, Giovanni and Pietro. In addition to creating one of the DOCG’s best wines, the couple also run a small pensione (or agriturismo) on the property.
The Vernaccia grape likely has ancient origins but fell to nearly extinction in the middle of the last century. Luckily for white wine drinkers everywhere, the variety and the place were brought back from the brink thanks in large part to the appellation achieving DOC status.
Surprisingly to some, Vernaccia di San Gimignano is Italy’s oldest DOC wine, having earned the honor back in 1966. Because of the unique terroir and the consistent quality of the whites produced here, the appellation was promoted to the coveted DOCG status in 1993.
This wine is a bright, exciting, floral delight with cleansing citrus and a lush body. Made by the Scotti family, this is the best Vernaccia we have come across in years. Why? These 35 year-old vines pack loads of Old World minerality into every sip.
Lara and Massimo Scotti are a beautiful Italian couple whose quality wines are equally striking. Along with their three boys, Cosimo, Giovanni, and Pietro, they also run a charming agriturismo, in a 19th century villa, located just one and a half kilometers from the famous towers of San Gimignano. The site was originally the family’s summer home, and Massimo recalls spending languid days there as a child.
Vernaccia is one of Italia’s most historic white wines (the first to be elevated to DOC), and San Gimignano’s mainstay, so half of all production is devoted to this classic varietal.The other focus, uniquely, is Sangiovese. Because of the high global demand for Vernaccia, very few producers in the area still devote any land at all to red varietals. The Scottis, however, have accurately assessed that their terroir and microclimate rival that of nearby Chianti Classico, and in recent years it has become their goal to produce the best red ever made in an area esteemed only for its whites. One taste of their Chianti Colli Senesi, and you know their goal is within reach.
Pecorino cheese, grilled prawns, and summer time Panzanella salad.