Friday, June 2, 2023

Trebbiano Spoletino: Not all Trebbiano are the same

Trebbiano is not one of Italy’s highly acclaimed grapes, but you will find it in many of Italy’s wine regions. There are many various kinds of Trebbiano grapes found throughout Italy that are mostly unrelated. Trebbiano Abruzzese that you will find in the known Trebbiano d’Abruzzo wines of Abruzzo in central Italy. There is also Trebbiano di Soave that you will sometimes find blended into Soave wines in the Veneto region of northern Italy. Trebbiano Toscano is a more neutral grape found in some of the wines of Tuscany. One of the other Trebbiano to experience is Trebbiano Spoletino that is native to the Umbria region in central Italy located around the area of Spoleto. That is what we will be exploring today. 

The Grape – Trebbiano Spoletino 

Trebbiano Spoletino is a low yielding grape that is late ripening harvested mid to late October. It’s highly resistant to disease including downy mildew and botrytis. It has intense aromatic with a rather high acidity that makes it ideal for sparkling wines. There can be a variety of styles of this grape depending on the producer and terroir in which it is grown, but you may get wines that are fresh with notes of citrus and herbs or more towards the tropical note side. There are producers that also make these wines in an oxidative style, which isn’t always for everyone. These wines can be produced in dry version, passito due to its ability ripen late and still retain high acidity, as a vin santo or as a sparkling wine. 

Traditionally the Trebbiano Spoletino vines are tied between either maple or elm trees known as “maritata” vines, which mean married vines. This arrangement was created by the Etruscans. In connecting with Madrevite's oenologist, Emiliano Flasini, he shared that by using the plants as supports it allowed the vine to express its climbing nature, but also to be sheltered from animal snares and was an excellent way to protect it from morning mists and damp soil. Although you may still find producers using this style today it is not the norm.

Trebbiano Spoletino grapes on maritata vines
Trebbiano Spoletino on Maritata vines copyright of Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco

Emiliano added that Trebbiano Spoletino is an ancient vine that risked extinction in the post-war period.  Due to the tenacity of a few producers in the Spoleto area about 20 years ago it ensured the grapes survival.  It is a grape that has always been present in the Spoleto and Montefalco area, and while up until twenty years ago it was almost impossible to find, today almost all the producers in the area have planted it. Interest in this variety is constantly growing because of its agronomic characteristics but also because of its ability to produce wines with great personality, ductile and capable of evolving over time in an excellent manner.

In 2011 the Spoleto DOC was created to protect and promote the wines of this area. There is a Spoleto Bianco DOC that requires at least 50% of the Trebbiano Spoletino grape with additional white grapes of Umbria allowed. There is also a Spoleto Trebbiano Spoletino DOC that requires a minimum of 85% of Trebbiano Spoletino. 

The aging potential of these wines is still to be discovered, but it is said that these wines will tend to develop more richness and complex characteristics with notes of balsamic, smokiness, truffles and anise. 

The Wine 

I’ve previously written a piece on Madrevite when I attended a virtual tasting last year so you can read more about this winery at the link provided. Nicola Chiucchiurlotto of Madrevite shared that the winery had always been a red wine company, but decided in 2005 to plan white grapes. Madrevite planted the Trebbiano Spoletino vines in 2009 and today has about 3.7 acres planted with another 1.5 acres to be planted next year. According to Nicola it is a rustic grape that is disease resistant, elastic with great longevity. It shows notes of flint, exotic fruit and citrus.

I recently received a bottle of the 2021 Madrevite “il Reminore” Umbria IGP. The grapes are manually harvested the end of September into mid-October and sometimes later. The grapes go through cryomaceration for 36-48 hours. The wine spends 6 months in stainless steel on fine lees with an additional 6 months in the bottle.

The il Reminore was deep yellow leaning towards a golden color in the glass. A ripe nose of tropical fruits including pineapple and stone fruits with a slight touch of honey. Light bodied, but textured with tropical notes on the palate with a light tingly acidity throughout the finish with a touch of salinity. ABV 13%. 

2021 Madrevite “il Reminore” Umbria IGP
Since Trebbiano Spoletino isn’t produced in large quantities it is not highly exported so if you have the opportunity to experience this grape take your chance.  

Join our fellow Italian food and wine lovers live on Twitter this Saturday at 11am EST at #ItalianFWT for a live chat to discuss the wines of Umbria and Lazio. Here are some more exciting wines to learn about this month.

Andrea from The Quirky Cork shares “Arnaldo Caprai Grecante with Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Salad"

Camilla from Culinary Cam focuses on “From Lazio with Love – Bellone and Bruschette – an Ancient Grape & a Simple Appetizer

Our host, Katarina from Grapevine Adventures, features Rekindling Tradition: Five Producers Unite to Revive Orvieto DOC’s Native Grapes"

Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Enjoying the Food and Wine of Umbria"

Susannah from Avvinare features Cesanese del Piglio- A Bright Future

Gwendolyn from Wine Predator shares “When In Rome, Do As The Romans: Enjoy Lazio’s Thin Crust Pizza, Cacio de Pepe plus Wine

*This wine was received as a sample, but opinions are all my own.  

1 comment:

  1. I would really love to try a Trebbiano Spoletino...although I'm glad I don't have to harvest any mariata vines! Harvesting is hard enough work already!