I've been lucky enough to spend some time in Soave and through the generosity of the producer, I've been able to taste many wines, several in multiple vintages.
This experience has certainly shifted my opinion of Soave from a simple, easy to drink young wine to one that almost requires some age to show its best. Time and time again I felt that young versions of certain wines were simple and a bit richly fruited, only to discover that with a few years age, these wine turned into fresh (fresher than on release) expressive wines with a real sense of place.
I'm not suggesting that these wines are going to become your new favorites, but I hope you take a look at my notes and see some that might lead you to a producer whose style you'll like. I was honestly impressed with the way many of these wines developed in the bottle and can see a whole new audience for these wines once they have been aged for several years.
Of course that is not always possible and many people already love Soave on release, but if you've never had a Soave that sang to you, you might have just been drinking them too young!
2007 Sandro de Bruno Soave Colli Scaligeri
Just lovely on the nose with wonderful soil tones, flint, sour and slightly waxy fruits and a hint of almond all coming together. Almost loose on entry but with this great riverstone minerality that builds tension in the mouth as the slightly Muscat perfume builds on the palate. The fruit leans towards the citrusy end of the spectrum with this sapid, crystal clear minerality that extends right through the succulent long finish. 94pts
2001 Gini Salvarenza Soave Classico
White Burgundy-like on the nose with high-toned floral notes framed by notes of incense, mushrooms and waxy white fruits. Super elegant in the mouth with a touch of bottle sweetness to the almond and orchard fruit flavors. This is bright and precise with a combination of impressive freshness and lovely evolution of flavors. 93pts
2007 Montetondo Foscarin Slavinus Soave Superiore Classico, 13.5%
This smells of machine oil and butcher’s wax, sweet ripe fruit peaches, pressed flowers, banana peel (or maybe more plantain). Lightly nutty and super complex on the nose. Gorgeously balanced with rich fruit, brassy acids, precise succulent flavors of peach, almond skin, mineral and dried apricot. This finishes with real richness and an almost sweet note before settling into a long, dried apricot-laced and mineral finish. Atypical, but impressive. Wow, really balanced and complex. 92pts
2008 Sandro de Bruno Soave Superiore Monte San Pietro
Waxy fruit on the nose with a slight dried edge that recalls heirloom apples. Very mineral in the mouth with lovely apricot fruit and really tense mineral highlights that are really assertive but balanced with the fruit. The finish is really long with a fine succulence and a mineral precision that is quite focused. This is Soave? 92pts
2007 Sandro de Bruno Terre de Terrossa
Terpene-rich nose with a huge, flinty mineral presence. On the palate this lean and focused with fruit that blossoms in the glass. Fresh, long and bright with fruit that is a touch simple, but superb inner mouth perfumes and piercing minerality that carries the finish 92pts
2007 Gini Salvarenza Soave Classico
A touch of dried orange rind greets the nose followed by white flower, nut meats and waxy white fruits all baked up with gentle medicinal herb tones. On the palate this is very precise with a generous yet focused mouthfeel that features mineral and peach flavors with inner mouth perfumes of fresh orchard fruits. Lovely length and definition of flavor. 92pts
2008 Gini La Frosca Soave Classico
Deep aromatics with notes of almond milk, almond husks and ripe orchard fruits. Tense on the palate with dried apple fruit up front and a nice mineral streak carrying through the palate. This has great focus in the mouth with emerging notes of honeycomb and spice adding complexity to the lightly orange marmalade scented peach and apricot fruit. 91pts
2009 Tenuta Sant'Antonio Soave
High-toned lightly spicy nose is full of orchard fruits. Fairly rich on the palate with a pronounced, though integrated, mineral element adding nice dusty cut to the ripe fruit mid-palate and turns almost salty on the finish. With air the fruit become more prominent early on, turning almost sweet. The sapid minerality really refreshes the finish. 91pts
2007 Corte Adami Vigna delle Corte Soave
Huge soil notes on the nose with smoke, flinty notes and a lovely fresh acacia flower top note. Superb integration in the mouth with an elegant feel and wonderfully fresh and precise apple and herb fruit on the mid-palate. The finish shows fine, firm minerality but also a bit of alcoholic heat that mars it a bit. 91pts
2006 Montetondo Soave Classico
Dried peach, flowers and clear mineral notes join together on a nose that is topped with a light terpene note. Nicely fruity in the mouth with a hint of almost over-ripeness on entry but then the acids jump up and the fruit turns precise and fresh on a base of salty minerality that extend on the long finish. Really in a great place today. 91pts
2010 Montetondo Soave Classico
Reticent on the nose with pure melon and peach fruit gently topped with hints of herbs. Richly fruited on entry with refreshing acidity that helps to firm up the mid-palate. This offers really nice balance between the honeydew and apple flavors and the dry palate keeps this really interesting extending the long, softly mineral finish. 90pts
2008 Cantina del Castello Carniga Soave Classico
Smoky on the nose and full of dried fruit tones with a spicy soil-driven base. Much lighter than expected on the palate with finely integrated tannins adding a slight textural complexity and supporting apricot and mineral flavors on the mid-palate that yield to deep mineral notes on the finish. A bit of a tricky wine to understand. 90pts
2002 Coffele Soave Classico
Tight little mineral nose with floral top notes over a peachy, meaty, lightly smoky core of fruit. This is rich and truly elegant on the palate with fine transparent peach fruit. From a weaker vintage this may have lost its early fruit, but has a wonderful elegance today with remarkable freshness. 90pts
2010 Fattori Monte Piane Soave
The nose is a little lifted with notes of dried fruits and dried flowers (polleny even), as well as lightly honied. Powerful entry but quickly turns a bit lighter than expected with some polyphenol bitterness, good mineral tones and a spicy, tense, clean finish. 90pts