Wine Talk

Snooth User: pandarooster

Can Soave age?

Posted by pandarooster, Feb 25, 2010.

Recently, I dug up an ancient bottle of Anselmi 1993 from the wine cave. Not expecting much from a wine that is supposed to be drank within a year or two after bottling, I was delighted by the intense fragrance of the wine. Lemon and tangerine profused and the taste was complemented by slight taste of saltiness from the ageing. There was at least 30 seconds of length down the throat.

Has anyone else shared the same experience, and can anyone recommend a Soave that can withstand such ageing? I'd love to repeat the experience, but don't want to buy new Soave and wait that long!

Pandarooster

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Reply by gregt, Feb 25, 2010.

Really interesting question and the other question is how to tell which might and which might not. The Soave region is completely messed up right now. They have the Classico region and the rest, much like there is in Chianti, and now they have a new top designation called Superiore but that's used mostly by the big coops so some of the better Soave is just labeled as Classico.

Regular Soave is supposed to be wines from the plains. The Classico is supposed to be from the central area which is hilly and there's even another designation called Soave Colli Scaligeri, for wine that comes from hills (colli) that are outside of the central Classico zone.

But wine from any hiillside can be called Superiore if your vineyards have low yields and you get your wine analyzed and it has the required alcohol and so on. So your wine can be Classico Superiore or it can just be regular Soave Superiore, i.e. the Superiore designation is not limited to the Classico region.

So some producers are PO'd and they just call their wine Soave, with no additional designations. The thing is, they may make much better wine than any of the others. This is why I think the DOC and AOC laws are stupid, personally. They are supposed to designate the various quality levels, but they really don't and if they did work as they're supposed to, they make the "lesser" producer always be a second rate producer forever and ever.

So after all that, the short answer is that as you found, some Soave can in fact age. But you have to know the specific producer, or brand, because the information on the label is not necessarily going to be a good guide. And I suppose that's as it should be.

Incidentally, if you want to repeat the experience, how can you do it if you don't age the wine? It won't be the same in two years or three.

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Reply by pandarooster, Feb 25, 2010.

Thanks, Greg, for the good reply. I suppose I would like to know besides Anselmi who else would make Soave that ages. Even better, who would stock old Soave...

The Anselmi 1993 was a Classico, as far as I remember.

I hope to hear from more...

Pandarooster

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Reply by Quentin4, Feb 25, 2010.

Hi Pandarooster,

In Italy two years ago and I was invited for a dinner at Gini's Estate. They produce excellent Soave with pure and fine structure. Anyway, I was asking myself the same question. Can Soave age? And I had the answer 3 hours later, when they brought out a vertical going back to 1993! Absolutely fantastic! The wines were rich and luscious with still exellent freshness of the fruit and delicate flowery aromas. (unfortunately I didn't write tasting notes and can't remember which one it was from their selection!!! shame)

GregT has sum up pretty well the region for you and you may need to research some more to find the right producers.

And to answer your question. Yes Soave can be fantastic wines when aged.

Cheers
Quentin

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Reply by Eric Guido, Feb 26, 2010.

Yes, there is a good amount of Soave that can age. I don't have any experience with a bottle of a decade + age but many wine lovers I know attest to its age-ability. I would highly recommend Pieropan's Soave classico and single vineyard bottles.

Below are the tasting notes I wrote from a recent experience I had with a 2002:
http://www.snooth.com/wine/pieropan...
"A golden yellow color and the appearance of a heavy viscosity in the glass. The first thought that comes to mind on the nose is Vin Santo with baked apples, caramel and vanilla. Amazing how this light white could appear so heavy and then smell like my favorite dessert wine. The palate is where you realize what you're really drinking with a brisk acidity and flavors of Melon, Apple and flint fill your mouth. The finish is quite short but the impression this wine left went on for hours."

The hardest part is finding a reputable place to buy them from.

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Reply by gregt, Feb 26, 2010.

pandarooster - you can try the higher 2 wines from a producer that I sell -

http://www.istefanini.it/eng/i_stef...

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 26, 2010.

Anselmi, Pieropan, Iname, I Stefanini, Coffele, Pta Ca' Rugate and temellini all make a Soave that can age. Most also make one that can't. I would be interested in doing a retrospective tasting of Soave because the truth is I don't think I've ever had more than 10 or maybe 12 years old. An interesting question to ponder over the weekend!

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Reply by zufrieden, Feb 26, 2010.

I second the opinion(s) on age-worthy Soave. I have had excellent results with Ca' Rugate and Pieropan and recommend these wines to anyone who loves the nutty almond, soft and approachable Soave made by serious producers. I reviewed a couple of these recently and continue to be impressed. Generally, a few years will improve the superior bottles.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 26, 2010.

Soave was my first contact with Italian whites, and since it was also caught up in my iniital forays into the delights of true Italian dining (as opposed to the Americanized Italian I grew up with), and especially their seafood, I still have a soft spot for it. Unfortunately, over the years in Japan, most of the Soave I've encountered has been shaky, due to poor bottlings, poor shipping/storage or both. The good ones I've had have tended to be in Italy, and unfortunately they'v never made the cut for bottles I bring back from my trips to Northern Italy. As a result, I've tended to never lay any down.

So, I'm very interested in this thread, both in any pointers towards best of breed, and also, particularly, Greg, if you're able to ever drag together a group of aged bottles and pull their corks all at once... ;-)

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 26, 2010.

Forgot to mention, GregT, that I love the descriptions of their wines by the poetic translators at istefanini:

For the Monte de Toni:
"...'nearly bad' nose in its Basaltic expression. Also in mouth it does not joke, stiff as rope of Violin. sharpened live a shaver. Unheard character...."

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Reply by zufrieden, Feb 27, 2010.

Very weird, almost eccentric review - but if it works for you - all the best! :-)

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Reply by gregt, Feb 27, 2010.

D - please to use this beautiful translate function. Working inside to exact word matching for comprehension experience.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 27, 2010.

Hey, I paid my dues in the rewrite trenches, as E-in-Chief of the (supposedly in English) technical journals of Japan's premiere research organ in information, communication and all sorts of related fields, back in the day. On bad days (and most were) it was truly mindbending for me and my crew to have to intelligibly reshape the truly stinky heapage that was served up by the people who, amongst many other things, were working on the algorithms, AI firmware and everything else involved in supercomputer machine translation. I was able to regain my sanity by first jumping to the Japanese original and translating it myself, then going further upstream by writing from scratch based on just the information my clients were able to gather, and ultimately by gathering and packaging the information myself. Many of my former colleagues were stuck indefinitely working just with the supposed English raw mass that was continuing to be fed them.

So, I've got a fair bit of sympathy with those who have to turn out texts in languages that challenge them, as well as those who need to clean up that text. In this instance the winery appears to have translated descriptions of two of their three wines. The excerpt above is from the worse of the two. Whether the harsh grappling of Google Translate algorithms, or the fumblings of a real person with vocabulary challenges is hard to tell. But it is kind of cute, and strangely I feel I know what they're getting at.

Though Greg, if you're marketing their wines, why don't you offer to edit their web page? ;-)

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Reply by gregt, Feb 27, 2010.

D - you have no idea how often I've offered to help out. Even for wines I have nothing to do with. I was at a winery last spring and they were so enthusiastic and wonderful and their document was so touchingly bad, I simply took a pen, sat down, and corrected it in five minutes. No idea if they took my corrections to heart, but I tried. These wines are selling on quality and even on WS scores these days, so it's not such a big issue. But yeah, we should make the offer, although as you say, somehow we know what they're getting at. Maybe that's part of the charm?

Anyhow, I'm sure you've seen this but it's my all time favorite web site.
http://www.engrish.com/

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Reply by zufrieden, Feb 27, 2010.

Many of us have shared re-write trenches(and writer's cramp) - either for journal submissions, internal papers by intelligent and well-meaning colleagues, or newspaper articles. If you have the time to help some of these wine websites, you should; but beware the black hole that absorbs time. I find that once you are identified as the local high school English Master (or Mistress), your energies for other activities might diminish... but worth a try.

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Reply by dmcker, Feb 27, 2010.

Chinese menus have always been the greatest single source for bloopers of the fractured English sort, Greg, and are almost always good for a few quiet chuckles at table while waiting for service. For awhile Japanese shopping bag legends were giving them a run for their money, but that wave seems to have subsided.

Yeah, Zuf, back in that same area of endeavor and era there were a few years where one of my translating/rewriting/creativewriting sidelines was application packages for Japanese corporate business and research types who wanted to get into the best universities in the US (and very occasionally UK, even once Canada). Over a four year period I worked on low-three-figures numbers of applications packages to the best-known doctorlal and master's programs from the biggest zaibatsu/keiretsu banks, trading and engineering firms. Somehow it seems *every* person I processed got into the school of their choice, for whatever reasons, but regardless I received more and more requests every year. Saw fit to retire after the fourth because I'd had it with trying to figure new twists on items to take onto the space shuttle, etc., etc. definitely ad nauseum.

Helping with wine descriptions is a positive delight after that and all the other seemingly-Augean tasks of that sort I did during that past life....

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Reply by Cathy Shore, Feb 28, 2010.

I enjoyed a bottle of Inama Soave 2006 last night. We've a few bottles left - the prevous one seemed to have lost a little freshness but this was great. Lots of body, a hint of bitter almond and good long finish. Interestingly, the merchant we bought it from thought we were pushing it with the 06 saying we should be buying something younger and fresher. That's the oldest I've tasted though. Very interesting reading.

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Reply by zufrieden, Feb 28, 2010.

Cathy, when you get the chance you might try another upscale Soave - this time by Pieropan instead of Inama - if you have not tried one recently. I tried a 2006 Pieropan Calvarino and was initially a bit worried given that the bottle aging mostly took place at the local wine merchant (I trust them but you never know). In any case, this wine could have lasted another year or two in the bottle without any loss of quality.

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Reply by VegasOenophile, Feb 28, 2010.

My first response would be no, but then again I have only had a couple of simple cheap bottles of it. I'd expect a quality producer could craft some that, kept under ideal conditions, could age as well as any other white wine might be expected to. I'd assume we'd need to look for something on the "reserve" level to consider aging a soave. Anything is worth trying, right?!

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Reply by zufrieden, Feb 28, 2010.

So much depends on the producer. Generally, drink the youngest available, but in the case of those special craftspersons (like Pieropan) you have a choice: drink up now for fresh, nutty Soave of very high quality, or leave for 2-4 years and experience something a bit different, but with the same high quality, assuming good cellaring. Of course, the better producers also fetch higher prices, but the occasional Pieropan, Ca' Rugate or Inama is usually worth it. From earlier personal experience, I would never have thought Soave could produce the wonderful spring-water qualties of a Pieropan. I drank a goodly amount of the cheaper, more typical fare (especially as a University undergraduate).

But you live and learn, right?

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Reply by lindsey55, Mar 1, 2010.

I think Ca-Rugate and Piropan are the best Soave. For me it is an intense almost buttery taste with almond. Even aged, I get a very slight fruit on the finish ( pear maybe)

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