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Wine of the week: Zenato San Benedetto 2012

Zenato San BenedettoOne of the things that makes Italian wine so fascinating is its variety. You never know, literally, what you’ll find next. How else to explain the Zenato San Benedetto, a white wine made by a largish company that I had never heard of in more than 20 years of doing this?

That’s not unusual with Italian wine, where even the biggest companies are often little known. It’s also not unusual that their wines, like the Zenato ($12, sample, 13.1%), are worth knowing. This was a wonderfully pleasant surprise in what has been a spring of mosty dull, tiresome, and overpriced samples.

The wine is made with the trebbiano grape, the Italian version of the Gascon ugni blanc. But the flavors are different; none of the Gascon white grape, but white fruit (peaches?), a little citrus to flesh out the whole, and a soft, blossom-like aroma. It needs chilling, and an ice cube or two wouldn’t be out of place. If and when warm weather arrives in your part of the country, this is the perfect kind of wine.

It’s also an ideal wine to sip while contemplating this metaphysical question: Why do so many big wine companies in Europe making interesting cheap wine, while their counterparts in the states rarely do?

  • Brian B

    As I understand, it was made to go with freshwater fish, specifically those from Lake Garda. This has been a go to wine for me for many years, and I can honestly say, it has been instrumental in converting a few friends to the wonders of Italian white wines.
    And it is a Leonardo LoCascio import, a very trusted name when it comes to Italian Wines.

  • Bobby Cox

    Trebbiano is a very happy grape up here on The High Plains, y’all drink up we will grow more. Look for Duchman, Wedding Oak, and soon the be released, Hye Meadow.

  • Joe Burns

    Zenato reds (Valpo, Rippaso and Amarone) are available widely here in NJ and are very good. Have never seen a white from them on shelves here however. Will certainly try if I see it.

    • Brian B

      You are correct.Their reds are very good, and i buy them regularly. If the stores have the reds, I bet they could order this from the distributor. I believe the importer, Winebow, is located in NJ.

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