I always love discovering value wines and boy, have I found one! It’s the 2011 Bibi Graetz “Casamatta” Bianco from Tuscany. Bibi Graetz makes a wide variety of white and red wines (as well as a lovely rosé) from several growing areas in Tuscany. Of course, it’s the more expensive wines that get much of the attention (human nature, I suppose), but what a delight it is to report that this white is a first-rate value and bottom line, an excellent wine!
This is a blend of grapes from vineyards near the seaside town of Castiglione della Pescaia in the province of Grosseto in southwestern Tuscany. It’s a blend of 60% Vermentino – the perfect variety for this location near the Tyrrenhian Sea – 30% Trebbiano and 10% Muscat. If you think that the Vermentino and Muscat lend some beautiful aromatics to this wine, you’re right! My notes detail the lovely perfumes of fresh red apple, honeydew melon and magnolia flowers, while there is very good depth of fruit and a rich, flavorful finish with striking natural acidity. This is aged solely in stainless steel to let the perfumes emerge – why mess with oak in a wine like this? – and it’s beautifully balanced, dry and absolutely delicious!
I’d love to pair this with shellfish – this would be especially great with sautéed shrimp or prawns – but I’d also enjoy it with vegetable risotto or even a chilled chicken salad.
Bottom line – you don’t have to think about a wine such as this. It’s made for food and it’s delicious, so just drink it!
Best of all, it has a suggested retail price of $13. That’s $13! Please let me know if you can find any other Italian white – or white wine from anywhere at $13 that’s this good (and from as famous a producer). You can’t afford to miss this wine!
P.S. The artwork on the label is by Bibi Graetz himself.