Whoa. So I guess I have been way off on this whole "Recession Refreshment" column, as apparently the recession has been over since... June of '09? Does it feel like that to you? Yeah, didn't think so. I blame that foreign-born, Muslim president of ours. Grr! angrily
So screw it; bring on the cheap wine!
This latest one I have actually been sitting on for awhile. Back in June, the importer was kind enough to send me a bottle, which I drank without reviewing; I bought another, which I also drank without reviewing. Lather, rinse, repeat, and here we are in late September, on bottle number five. So either I am really irresponsible, or this wine is really good (answer: both).
Founded in 2000, Cantina Novelli is a thoroughly modern winery in the central-Italian region of Umbria. As is typical of the Umbrian wineries, Novelli tips its hat to both the past and the present, producing both classic regional wines, and forward-thinking, innovative blends. The BiancoCube 2008 falls firmly in the latter category, being an atypical expression of three of the region's native grapes: Trebbiano Spoletino, Grechetto and Pecorino.
Though not aged in wood, thanks to a lengthy period of skin-contact during fermentation, this wine pours a rich shade of lemon yellow with golden highlights. The nose is a complex and intense melange of lemon, violets, peach, and pineapple. The attack is bracingly acidic, with bright, sweet pineapple flavors and some flinty notes. From there, this light-bodied but velvety wine becomes exceedingly dry, with typical Italian straw flavors on mid-palate, and more yellow fruit. The finish is intensely acidic and dry, and heavily flavored of grapefruit.
The blending of a modern fruit profile with classic Italian acidity make this wine an absolutely brilliant food-pairer. Whether with salad or fish, chicken or veal, pasta or pork, this wine is going to add something to the equation, almost regardless of preparation. And best of all, this one only runs about $12.99 per bottle!
So far, I have purchased the wine at two locations in Washington DC: MacArthur Beverage, in Palisades, and Griffin Market, in Georgetown. I am confident that it is more widely available, and will update here as I find out more. In the meantime, ask your favorite retailer to track down the importer, Red Ink, and see what they can find!