One of the reasons Chardonnay is grown so widely around the world is its versatility. When grown in a cool climate with no oak aging, the resulting wine is crisp and light, with aromas of green apple and white flowers. On the other hand, growing Chardonnay in a warm climate and aging in oak gives a full-bodied, rich texture with spices and tropical fruit aromas and flavours. Depending on where it is grown and how it is handled in the winery, there is a huge array of styles that Chardonnay can make. It can make a wine to suit virtually any palate.
The Casale Marchese winery is located in Lazio, in the hills overlooking Rome. Like the rest of the region, they produce Frascati wine from indigenous grape varieties, but also grow international grapes such as Chardonnay. The winery dates back to the late 1700’s and is one of the few in the region to focus on producing quality wines — most of the others preferring to sell their grapes to the local cooperative. It is owned by the Carletti family which boasts two papal cardinals among its recent ancestors.
On offer this week is the 2013 Casale Marchese Clemens, which is named after one of the cardinals, Clemente Micara. This is a delicious Italian take on Chardonnay. There’s no oak aging, but it undergoes full malolactic fermentation (a natural process converting the harsh malic acid to softer and creamier lactic acid), which gives this wine an incredibly creamy, almost buttery mouthfeel. Ultra ripe Chardonnay grapes and Malvasia del Lazio grapes are blended to produce a wine with a hedonistic tropical fruit profile.
The 2013 Casale Marchese Clemens is available for immediate delivery, but there are only 25 cases of 6 available. To order, please e-mail or call 416-463-4683.
2013 Casale Marchese Clemens
Deep gold colour with honey, apricot, cake spices and clotted cream aromas. Palate is full, rich and creamy with some nice fresh acid which keeps it lighter and drinkable. Flavours of melon, pineapple and passionfruit abound and linger on the long finish.
Drink: Now – 2020
Food Pairing: Try with seafood chowder, white meat, spit-roast suckling pork, fish baked with potatoes.