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Bianco, 2017. Gran Passione

Bianco, 2017. Gran Passione

Item #: C0420W2II
Vintage: 2017
Varietal: Bianco
Vineyard/Appellation: Veneto IGT, Italy
Color: Very Pale
Nose: Apple, Pear, Kiwi
Palate: Prickly Pear
Finish: Slight Citrus Rind
Rating: 95
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now through 2022/Seafood, Vegetarian/12.5% Alcohol by Volume

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Almost 100 years ago, a Venetian countryman named Carlo Botter had enough of all the talk of the best Italian wines coming from places like Chianti and Piedmont. So, he set his mind to show the world what great Italian wine was like from the Veneto.

He began by buying bulk wine from local producers and blending them to his liking. Then he contracted with wineries to crush and bottle the grapes he purchased from his favorite vineyards. It was long before his "grand passion" was born and eventually his own winery. Today the company is run by the third generation and produces over four million cases of wine a year.

We love stories like this almost as much as we love the wines. We especially love the wines of the Veneto, this one in particular. It is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Garganega, the principal grape in Soave. The wine sees no oak, so the flavors can integrate and blossom without any interference. These clean, crisp whites from Italy were unheard of 30 years ago. Back then, they made whites the same as reds, throw them in a barrel and top them off once in a while. As a result, the wines were oxidized and tired.

Then they discovered cold fermentation in stainless steel, and almost overnight, these lovely wines were coming from all over Italy. The shy apple and pear make an excellent foil for curried chicken salad or crab cakes.