13 Jan Please The Palate Wine of the Week: Giusti 2017 Recantina “Augusto” Montello – Colli Asolani DOC
Montello e Colli Asolani DOC in the hilly area of northern central Veneto in Italy is best known for Prosecco. The region also produces international varieties such as Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Carmenère. But there is an obscure native grape called Recantina to which I was recently introduced. A fascinating history and an enjoyable wine, the Giusti 2017 Recantina “Augusto” DOC Montello is the Please The Palate wine of the week.
I love discovering new wine grapes and with roughly 2,000 native grape varieties in Italy, there is a lot to discover! Recantina is an historical grape that dates back to the 1600s. The grape seemed to disappear, perhaps replaced by French vines or perhaps wiped out by phylloxera. However, over a decade ago, Recantina was rediscovered. There are 12 hectares of Recantina, and seven of them belong to Giusti.
Ermenegildo Giusti grew up in northern Italy. He had a dream of going to North America and at 17 years of age, moved to Canada. He spent 25 years working in construction and 20 years ago, he moved back to Italy and started purchasing property in Veneto. Today, with property in Montello, 50 miles from Venice, Giusti is the largest property owner in the area. Giusti produces Prosecco but when the Recantina was discovered, he wanted to try it and made the first vintage in 2014.
The Giusti 2017 Recantina “Augusto” Montello – Colli Asolani DOC is 100% Recantina from estate fruit grown in clay and iron-rich soils. The Recantina grapes were harvested and vinified in stainless steel with skin contact for 15 days. After malolactic fermentation, the wine was aged in large Slavonia oak barrels for 12-14 months.
The wine is a deep ruby, almost opaque, color. The nose is very fruity with notes of cherry, currant and plum, as well as bright violet and sweet oak notes. For such a big nose and deep color, the wine is medium bodied with softly drying tannins and mineral finish. The acidity sneaks up on you and makes your mouth water. This wine is young and needs a little more time to age but when it is ready, it will be enjoyed with red meat or duck.
The 2017 Giusti Recantina is not in the US yet but when it is, it will retail for approximately $21.