My Favorite Wine, April 24, 2019

2017 Bisson ‘U Pastine’

Bianchetta Genovese

Portofino DOC

Regular price $27.99

Sale Price $22.99

Most wine ‘experts’ (the ones that speak on the radio and write in the newspaper) can name perhaps a few different dozen grape varietals. That’s really very good, considering that most are not nor have ever been in the wine business and wine is merely a hobby for them. But the reality is that there are between 5,000 and 10,000 common grape vines (vitis vinifera) on the planet and perhaps 1,000 of them are in regular production. Most people, even the self anointed experts, have never heard of 90% of them.

This wine is of the 90%.

Full disclosure: I really like geeky, obscure, Italian varietals that no one else has ever heard of (remember the Refosco from a few months back?). And, yes, it irritates me that wine hobbyists get paid to make up shit about wine. And, so, yes, this is a bit of me showing off.

All that notwithstanding, this wine is really, very, very good. In fact, its excellent.

The grape is Bianchetta Genovese, and its indigenous to the Ligurian coastline, south of Piedmont. Its likely been farmed there for two thousand years, but had largely fallen out of favor when Pierluigi Lugano decided to take his chance in the use of grapes originating from the Eastern Ligurian coast. What followed was the rediscovery of both Bianchetta Genovese and Ciliegiolo, grapes that made wines of subtlety and beauty that pared wonderfully with foods from the ‘Italian Riviera’

This white wine is delicate and crisp, yet deeply satisfying with bountiful acidity and mineral and saline notes. Its lightness and freshness brings to mind Portugal’s Vinho Verde, but it’s far more interesting. It’s rich but not weighty, complex, yet friendly. This wine, quite frankly, makes me swoon.

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