Wine review: Castello Montauto Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2010

0zTUwr8gUO0G9OvJNmqC80535_G I’ve written more than 250 wine reviews for the Advocate over the past five years, and this may be the most unique.

For one thing, the Montauto ($10, purchased, available at Jimmy’s) is a white wine from Tuscany, best known as a red wine region. For another, it’s made with vernaccia, a minor grape even by Italian standards, given that there are more little-known grapes in Italy than almost anywhere else in the world.

And it doesn’t taste like you’d expect an Italian wine to taste, which means it’s not for everyone — especially for people who prefer anything but subtlety in their glass. Look for some white pepper and lots of minerality to go with a little lemon peel, and not much else. In this, it’s almost like an aperitif made with tonic water and vermouth. But it’s fresh and clean and very well done.

In fact, it was far from a wine of the week when I first tasted it, but the more I thought about it, that difference was part of the Montauto’s charm. It’s the sort of wine that fits the holidays — light and refreshing, whether for drinking on its own or with Christmas oysters.

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