- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Cantina Terlan, “Terlaner Classico,” Alto Adige, Italy, 2007, $23

From one of Italy’s most consistently impressive white wine producers, this proprietary blend of pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc, and chardonnay tastes simultaneously rich and refreshing - a rare, delectable combination.

A fine choice for warm weather sipping this time of year, it also shows the potential for aging, as past vintages have evolved gracefully over many years in the cellar.

One of the keys to this wine’s character is the terrain in which the grapes grow. Alto Adige is in Alpine northern Italy, just below the Austrian border, where warm summer days coupled with cool nights allow white grapes to ripen slowly and retain acidity. Near the town of Terlano, the soil is filled with hard granite and porphyry rock, something that imparts a steely, sometimes flinty quality to wines made from the vines that grow there. In this instance, the result is a wine filled with luscious citrus and tropical fruit flavors, buttressed by a streak of compelling minerality that gains intensity in a long, layered finish.

Cantina Terlan has been making this particular wine for years, the blend being more than the sum of the parts. Drink it with poultry or seafood dishes, particularly those that contain some Asian or Near Eastern spice. Its lavish fruit flavors complement ginger, coriander, and even peppery heat well, while its crisp acidity keeps everything in clear focus. (Imported by Banville & Jones.)

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