If I had to name a white wine grape that embodies what most aficionados mean when they refer to a wine as “pretty”, Falanghina would be it. Crisp and floral, Falanghina wine probably functions as well as a light perfume as it does an elegant summer sipper.
Hailing from southern Italy in the province of Campania, Falanghina is an age-old varietal that historically grew on the volcanic slopes near Naples. As hot and Mediterranean as it can get in the southern “ankle” of the boot of Italy, the high altitudes at which Falanghina typically grows, along with diligent maceration and cool fermentation practices, help keep the grape’s ethereal and delicate aromatics in check.
This example from Ocone, a 100+ year-old winery, is about as expressive as it gets for Falanghina. Aromas of fresh orange blossom along with hints of sweet mint leaf, peach and nectarine cloak a chalky, slightly briny nucleus that together form a light-bodied quaffer that is at once both heady and refreshing. A wine geek-worthy vino with loads of intensity and complexity for the money. I’ll be picking up more bottles this summer for sure! $17 in LCBO Vintages.
[On a side note, this is one of the first examples from Italy where I've seen the DOP (Denominazione di Origine Protetta) appellation be used!]