Italy has hundreds of indigenous grapes, many of which go by several names that depend on where they’re grown. This fact alone can terrorize even the most capable wine geek, let alone the average consumer thinking about buying something at the store.
Here is one you have not likely heard of – Pallagrello Bianco. It was thought to be extinct, but DNA testing in the 1990s revealed some plots growing unattended in Campania.
The grapes that went into this wine were grown near the Volturno River in a small village called Castel Campagnano located a couple of hours northeast of Naples.
And here’s a fun fact – the grape’s name comes from the Italian word Paliarello which is the original name for the straw mat these grapes would have been sun dried on to make sweet wines with in ancient times.
This version is not sweet though – it’s dry, and is WSET Very Good. It is absolutely tasty – not the innocuous white Italian any of us envisioned.
When it’s made into a varietal wine, it is sometimes done in stainless steel, but this one was more likely barrel fermented which accounts for the toast, nuts and creaminess.
This wine is clear and bright, medium lemon with legs. On the nose, it’s clean with medium aromas of nuts, toast, Meyer lemon, apricots and lemon oil.
The palate has medium alcohol and medium acidity with ripe apricots and more lemony goodness including lemon balm and lemongrass. A creamy mouthfeel accompanies hazelnuts and almonds and finishes with medium plus length.
Drink now or enjoy for the next 3 years.