Wednesday, 21 March 2018

False Friends at RAW

There were more than one false friends at the RAW London fair this year. Here was the first.

Bastard Negre caught the eye at the Mas de Serral Pepe Raventos table. We were told it was not related to Bastardo but Pepe didn't add that it is in fact none other than Graciano - a fact mentioned on his website.


 Never mind, there ws the promise of a Turan from Toscana. Everyone knows our fascination for the Hungarian cross Turan from Eger, no? We know it is grown in British Columbia under the name Agria, so it was not a total surprise to find it grown also in Italy.

A British winemaker in Toscana, Toby Owen had a wine called Turan so we made for his stand with high hopes. Sadly, this turned out to be another wild goose chase. Turan is also the name of the Etruscan God of Love, Fertility and Vitality and Toby's wine was made from good old Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Sangiovese.

Then there was the strange case of Procanico from Fattoria La Maliosa, Meremma.

Sra. Antonella Maruli responded to our question about what went into her Bianco with "Procanico!" Now we knew we knew Procanico but couldn't remember exactly how. Later, we were reminded that Procanico is nothing but Trebbiano Toscano. We didn't even taste this wine and now regret that. Not only because we think criticism of Trebbiano Toscano is sometimes unfair but because La Maliosa's website tells an interesting story of a vineyard restored and a variety, Trebbiano/Procanico rosa revived.

Strangely Ian D'Agata's otherwise authoratative 'Native Wine Grapes of Italy' doesn't mention Procanico at all except for a phantom listing in the index. there page 42 is given but there is no mention of Procanico on that page, nor on pages 41 or 43. Wine Grapes doesn't mention Trebbiano or Procanico Rosa.

Turning to D'Agata's entry on Trebbiano Toscano however, he does state '...there are some biotypes of Trebbiano, most likely the result of viral infections, that strike me as possibly being higher quality. For example, old vines of a Trebbiano Toscano characterised by pinkish, almost red berries (when fully ripe) yield a much deeper more falvourful wine ....'

Trebbiano/Procanico Rosa

Returning to La Maliosa's website, we read;

The Procanico belongs to the Trebbiano family and is also known as the “Trebbiano rosa”. Formerly cultivated in the Maremma and the Tuscan archipelago, the varietal has almost completely been abandoned in recent decades, due to its inadaptability to mechanization and a tendency, especially in Tuscany, towards international varieties with less complex tastes.

The Procanico has small to medium cylindrical clusters with its namesake pink colour at maturation. It has a contained vigour and hardiness that allows it to withstand adverse weather conditions like high summer temperatures, droughts and storms common in these territories during harvest. It produces a wine with a complex structure, ancient and strong flavours with tannins that are surprising for a white wine, but well harmonized in a complexity of fruits, medicinal herbs and hints of honey.

So maybe a true friend, this one?

No comments: