The Garofoli Superiore Macrina is an Italian white wine that offers surprising quality and value
Of all the things the Wine Curmudgeon loves about wine – and I love almost everything about it – my favorite might be finding an inexpensive wine of tremendous quality that I knew nothing about. In other words, a wine like the Garofoli Superiore Macrina.
The wine was everything it should have been – somehow, both fresh and rich, with an almost creamy approach that tasted of almonds and citrus. But it wasn’t heavy, which is what that description makes it sound like. The finish, in fact, was clean and crisp, with lots of minerality. Is it any wonder I enjoyed it so much?
Drink this chilled on its own or with almost any kind of grilled or boiled seafood (the Marche is on the Adriatic coast). A note about the price – they’re all over the board, from as little as $11 to $16.
The Umani Ronchi Villa Bianchi is great cheap Italian white wine, destined for the $10 Hall of Fame
Vineyard Brands is an importer renowned for its oh so tasteful portfolio of high-end wines, which include Champagne, Burgundy, and Brunello. But its greatness as an importer is also defined by the cheap wine that it imports, like the $10 grocery store staple, the Spanish Marques de Cacera.
Which brings us to the Umani Ronchi ($10, purchased, 12.5%), an Italian white made with the unheralded verdicchio grape in the equally unheralded Marches region. This is one of those wines that makes me glad I write about wine – professionally made but also terroir driven and representative of its time and place. It’s the kind of cheap wine that reminds me why I do this, and that wine does not have to be about snobbery and pretense.
How to describe everything that is going on here? Perhaps a touch of almond in the aroma, with some delicate citrus (lemon peel?) flavors, and an almost apricot pit quality to the finish. Best yet, all of that is balanced and Italian, without any allowance made for smoothness or ripe fruit or focus groups.
Highly recommended, and almost certain to be added to the 2018 $10 Hall of Fame. Drink this chilled on its own or with something like spaghetti and clam sauce or chicken and mushrooms braised in white wine, where this is the wine for both cooking and drinking.