Of all the wine regions due for a comeback, who’d have thought Soave would be next in line?
Soave has a bad rap. Hailing from the Veneto region of Italy northwest of Venice, Soave wines are made almost exclusively from the Garganega grape. Young and uncomplicated, Soave was popular in the 1970s Blue Nun/Black Tower/Lancer’s era, with Bolla Soave the standard-bearer of the time. Of course, none of these wines were any good, and that popularity sunk Soave as an oenophilic joke for decades.
Now the winemakers of Soave have regrouped and refocused their efforts on quality, and while Soave remains extremely affordable ($15 is about the most you’ll ever pay for this wine), it’s no longer the rotgut you might remember it as.
We had the opportunity to taste two Soaves from the new 2008 vintage, both proving that today’s Soave is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about.
2008 Cantina di Monteforte Re Teodorico Soave DOC – Crisp and full of citrus flavor. Reminds me of good Albarino. Some light vanilla notes in the finish. Really pleasant, fragrant, and easy drinking, and with a grapefruit kick to close things out. Give it a try. A- / $NA
2008 Rocca Sveva Soave Classico DOC – Woody, with a muted, more mellow character. Fine on its own, but compared to the Re Teodorico, it’s clearly the lesser wine. There’s mild tropical fruit and some perfume notes, but it’s lacking in power, and the acidity isn’t enough. Not bad, but not great. Probably what most people think about when they think about Soave. B / $15