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Gruppo Italiano Vino, Italy

© 2009 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Gruppo Italiano Vino.

FONTANA CANDIDA, LAZIO

Basic Frascati 2008
This is the wine that is in Sainsbury's and others as an own label. Nicely aromatic, with some floral notes and a certain nuttiness. A very straightforward, lemony and fresh palate with a slightly harsh finish. 83

Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore 2008 DOC
50% Malvasia di Candia, 40% Trebbiano, 10% Malvasia del Lazio. Lovely fresh nose, lots of lemon and delicate little flower and ripe apple skin notes. The palate has freshness: A great core of lemony acidity and some really rich, grippy mouth-feel with a touch of typical bitter almond in the finish. Lovely stuff. 86/100.

Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore 'Terre dei Grifi' 2008 DOC
50% Malvasia di Candia, 30% Trebbiano, 10% Malvasia del Lazio and 10% Greco. A gentler, smoother character with lemon balm and fresh grapes, and that floral note. The palate has a tiny candied fruit character, a touch of preserved lemon and fresh apple and pear fruit, again with that bitter finish that makes these wines so appetising. Ramps up the intensity over the Superiore. 87/100

Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore 'Vigneto Santa Teresa' 2008 DOC
30% Malvasia del Lazio, 30% Malvasia di Candia, 30% Trebbiano, 10% Greco. Doesn't have that immediate freshness and floral appeal of the other wines, but this selection from a vineyard parcel in the locality of Santa Teresa has little more herbal and mineral quality. The palate has a hint of sweeter, riper and more peachy fruit, with plenty of apple and citrus cut and acidity, and a gently bitter almond finish. Persistent and concentrated, and makes up in intensity what it loses in aromatics. 88/100

Fontana Candida Malvasia 2008 IGT
Mauro says "this wine doesn't sell well, expect in the Rome area and in Japan - people don't know or understand it." Only 25,000 bottle produced. Quite a luscious honeyed note to this, with a fatter fruit quality and a certain fleshy character. The palate has a rounded, quite silky feel. The bittersweet bite of the almond and lemon pith is lovely, with a fat lemony clarity and plenty of freshness and zip. Quite lovely. 88/100

Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore 'Luna Mater' 2007 DOC
The wine aged in the tufa cellars, this is a blend of 50% Malvasia di Candia, 10% Trebbiano, 20% Malvasia del Lazio, 10% Greco, 10% Bombino. Very careful selection of grapes from selected higher slopes. Complex fermentation in three separate lots, with skin contact for part, and part added to already fermented must. This has now been in bottle for 20 months. A weighty wine with 14.5% alcohol. Intriguing, waxy, very mineral nose. Some herbal notes too. On the palate it is full and rich, with a certain fruity density and sweetness, but plent of body and grip. It has a certain plum and waxy fruited weight with some orange rind and plenty of lemony acidity. 90/100

Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore 'Luna Mater' 2008 DOC
Lots of lemon zest and apple skin notes, a hint of nuttiness and some real minerality. The palate has lovely freshness: seems slightly clearer and more harmonious than the 2007 perhaps, with a very grippy, orange and grepafruit finish and lots of lemony bite. A great intensity and grippy, almost liquoricy bite in the finish. 92/100

Fontana Candida Frascati Superiore 'Vigneto Santa Teresa' 1997 DOC
Pulled from the library to see how the top Frascati can age, this has an extraordinary deep yellow colour and a lovely nose, with the honey and waxiness, and an intense minerality. The mouth-feel is broad and silky, with beautifully resolved palate showing that citrusy bite of the grape but a honeyed sweetness and really steely, mineral and lime zest finish. Fabulous stuff, that suggests laying down a few bottles of the Santa Teresa or Luna Mater could be a fascinating experiment. 91/100

Fontana Candida 'Siroe' 2008 IGT
A blend of 45% Syrah and 55% Cesanese, from the Lazio hills south of Rome on volcanic soils, about 25% aged in barriques for four months. Slighty nutty, green-tinged herbal nose with some black fruit notes and just a hint of creaminess. The palate has a richer, more rounded red berry fruitiness. Plenty of bite and freshness, with a little of that v egetal, rhubarby astringency, some spice and a quite a grippy, tannic finish. An intriguing wine, with a stripe of liquoruice intensity that means it probably needs some robust food to show at its best. 88/100

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