February 23rd-Manzoni Bianco

Manzoni Bianco (Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13) is a white grape variety created by professor Luigi Manzoni in the 1930’s. Professor Manzoni was an instructor at the Viticulture and Oenology School of Conegliano in Veneto. In the mid 1920’s, he decided to experiment crossing vines to create new grape varieties. The process takes prolonged periods of time because a vine takes 3 years to become mature and produce its first crop. This, combined with the post harvest production of the wine and experimenting with how to maximize the grape’s attributes in the wines made, took a few years to get a solid representation of what the grape could offer. His most successful was a cross breed of Riesling and Pinot Bianco. The name may sound obscure but it is planted in most every region in Italy. Most vines must be planted in specific climates with particular soil conditions but Manzoni Bianco is easily adaptable. 

This week, I tried a bottle of 2020 Fratelli Seghesio (the merchants confirmed this is a completely different wine family than the Seghesios in Sonoma County) Bianco was recommended by my local wine shop. Upon checking the specifics on the winery’s website, I confirmed it was 100% Incrocio Manzoni 6.0.13. The label states Rapui, which is a nod to the cluster shape and size. The clusters grow to be short and compact bunches. The wine was a very clear pale lemon when I poured it, a good indicator that it was aged in a non reactive vessel such as stainless steel or sometimes concrete, but not a standard sized oak barrel. The legs stretched down the sides of the glass from near the rim but dissipated to look watery after they fell. Despite it being chilled to the point the aromatics should be dulled, the nose erupted from the glass. The highly fragrant Riesling heritage was quite evident. Scents of white grapefruit, gardenia, slightly under ripe green apple, meyer lemon, and honeysuckle were prominent. While it was fairly acidic, it managed to have a heavier body than most white wines. It was completely dry but also had enough alcohol to keep me warm on a cold winter day! On the palate, white peach and apricot became more prominent and were slow to fade. It would be wonderful with a light fish dinner, soft cheeses, or as an aperitif, but I found it to be a complementary   pairing with my frozen Swedish meatball dinner! I think I’ll save the rest of the bottle for a night when I don’t have to work the next morning! This marks #175 for my quest for 200! 


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