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Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Castello di Pomino Blanco 2012, Italy

Cost: $16-18

What: This refreshing Tuscan sipper is perfect for the warm days ahead. It is great with many kinds of fish, but is just as pleasant as an aperitif.

The wine is primarily Chardonnay with about five percent Pinot Blanc, all from hillside vineyards in one of Tuscany’s most highly regarded areas for white wine.

In the glass you get a pleasant floral aroma, leading to smooth citrus and apple flavors. There is a touch of mineral in the long finish with a crisp acidity and plenty of elegance and finesse. But the lasting impression you get from this wine is the lush fruit flavors.

Frescobaldi Pomino Blanco
Frescobaldi Pomino Blanco

The grapes are fermented separately in stainless steel (75%) and French oak barriques (25%). After 21 days of fermentation the wine is aged four months in stainless steel and three months in oak barriques.

Pomino (which means “little apple”) is a small wine region in central Italy’s picturesque Tuscany region. The region is not well known in the United States, but it is a premium wine producing area that received its own DOC status in 1983. The region covers the town of Pomino as well as vineyards within the Chianti Rufina sub-zone in the province of Florence.

The Frescobaldi company has extensive holdings in Pomino with nine estates totaling nearly 2,500 acres at altitudes of 1,600-2,300 feet.

As I sipped on this wine I could picture myself under the warm Tuscan sun, enjoying the scenery and a fine meal. The wine lifts your spirits and puts you in a fine mood. Serve it well chilled.

Winery: The history of the Frescobaldi family begins around the year 1000, about the time of the birth of the banking industry in Medieval Florence. The family quickly became masters of political and economic power.

Dino Frescobaldi was a poet who was celebrated for having recovered and returned to his friend in exile, Dante Alighieri, the first cantos of the Divine Comedy, allowing Dante to continue his work.

The family started in wine production in 1300 at the historic estate of Tenuta di Castiglioni in Val di Pesa, southwest of Florence. From the beginning, the family has been known for producing quality wines. By the beginning of the 1400s great Renaissance artists such as Donatello and Michelozzo Michelozzi had become faithful clients. A century later the Frescobaldi wines were served at the tables of the Papal Court and the English Court of Henry the Eighth.

The Pomino estate dates from 1500, when the castle of the same name was built. In 1716 when the Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici identified the four best Tuscan territories for wine production, he listed Pomino, Chianti, Camignano and Val d’Arno di Sopra.

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Pomino wines won awards at the World Fair of 1873 in Vienna and took the gold medal at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1878.

In 1855 the family was the first in Tuscany to plant Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Nero and Chardonnay. At Pomino in 1894 they built the first Italian gravity-fed cellars and in the same time period they distinguished themselves for the introduction of “specialized vineyards.”

Castello di Pomino, designed by Florentine architect Gherardo Silvani, houses the estate winemaking cellars.

Today, after 30 generations, the Frescobaldis produce great wine under many labels in Italy. They combine respect for tradition with modern techniques to produce high quality wines.

Pomino Blanco with pan-fried flounder.
Pomino Blanco with pan-fried flounder.

 

Goes with: My wife Teri and I had this wine with a delightful lightly breaded pan-fried flounder that we brought back from Edisto Beach. We served it with a brown rice mixture and salads. It’s a perfect seafood wine, with the delicate citrus and fruit flavors playing nicely off the flaky flounder.

The wine will go well with any kind of light seafood, such as shrimp, cod, grouper or salmon, as well as chicken or vegetarian antipasti.

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