Sunday, February 17, 2008

Fontana Candida Frascati

At a party, I had an opportunity to try a Frascati DOC. Frascati DOC is white wine from Lazio (Latium) region which boasts well drained volcanic soils from 200 feet to about 100ft above sea level. Frascati is made from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes, is primarily dry but sometimes made in semisweet, sweet and spumante styles.

Frascati is produced in large quantities by producers interested in maximizing production, finding a good bottle may take some work. The philosophy in the region is to produce and sell what you produce. In recent years, more attention has been given to quality. Where this may sound like the same old song played on a different radio, we are talking Italy here and Italy is working to change its wine image. Sometime old habits are hard to break.

Where we in the wine world may be critical of Italy for mass production, let's not forget that we Americans have a 20th century history of producing wines by the railroad car load shipped east for bottling and repackaging. California had a good economic thing going with Chardonnay which was sold to a thirsty market (by the tanker car load). When the market wanted something different, Chardonnay was oaked to the point where you couldn’t see the grapes through the trees. Now producers are offering us non-oaked Chardonnay as something new and exciting. It has only been in the last three decades that California has become a quality producer. But wine is still produced by the tanker load. My point is that Italy should not be singled out for over production and we in the New World should not complain about the mote in our brother’s eye.

So what about this bottle of Fontana Candida (the winery), Frascaiti DOC (the wine), Superiore (the marketing term)? The wine was clear, pale straw colored. The nose was of pear and violets, rather floral and little mushroom. Dry, clean and on the crisp side. Not a whole lot to report and nothing changed in the glass over time. It was a pleasant white wine best shared with breads, lighter species of fish, nothing sweet or this wine will go sour to the palate. Had this been our wine, we would have had it tonight with the Soba Noodle salad that Taster B made for dinner. Frascati should be opened within one to two years.

I would encourage you to look for this wine if you enjoy trying different grapes and experimenting. Look for Frascati DOC wine produce by Colli di Catone, Fontana Candida and Villa Simone for the best examples.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the information. I'm right now drinking a bottle of the same wine, a 2006 Fontana Candida frascati superiore secco. I also served it with noodles flavored with sesame oil. I find it a bit simple with no after taste and a bit too dry. But it pleasant in its simplicity, clear color and modest price. Not bad for a summer wine.

vlad said...

We are also currently drinking Fontana Candida frascati superiore secco (2009), bought in local supermarket Interspar :) It goes very well with good bread, ham and fine cheese. Did not find the mushroom taste but otherwise your description is matching. Perfect for summer dinner. Reminds us of Rulandske sede a bit because of its straight taste and a bit of acidity (hint of sparkling). We are puzzled by the noodles reference - do you mean italian pasta or chineese soup noodles ? :)

Anonymous said...

we just loved this wine during our recent trip to Rome.... a nice crisp finish to a long hot day in the city. we brought several bottles back for friends & family and they've also had good things to say about it. it's fruity without being too sweet, straightforward, uncomplicated & refreshing. great with pasta dishes with an olive oil based sauce, fish dishes, or even with a tomato/buffalo mozzarella salad. I can't believe we'd never heard of this until we took the trips. Wish it was easier to find in the states......