- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cecchi, Litorale, Vermentino, Maremma Toscana, 2004, $18

To be honest, most white wines from Tuscany prove disappointing. No matter the grape variety, they tend to taste shrill and bitter. When the grapes are grown in the Maremma subregion, however, the wines perform better. Some vintners are experimenting with chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and other international varieties, but a consistently fine Maremma Toscana white is made by Cecchi from a local grape, vermentino. Called “Litorale,” it’s a delicious, refreshing, warm-weather choice.

Cecchi is a traditional Tuscan producer, specializing in old-fashioned, somewhat rustic red Chiantis. Not surprisingly, Cecchi’s approach to white wine is also traditional, emphasizing an indigenous grape but treating it with newfound care and respect.

This wine tastes of citrus and melon fruit, with a slightly floral bouquet and a lingering, spicy finish. It sees no new oak, so it tastes primarily of the nuanced grapes themselves. Tasty on its own as an aperitif, it will be even better when paired with seafood. (Imported by Banfi Vintners.)

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