Mazzolada Chardonnay NV
I love all of the tiny mom-and-pop vineyards and wineries that dot the European landscape. However, if you regularly read this newsletter, you know that I never rule out the large, well-managed Co-ops and the larger family-owned and operated estates. In many cases, they can be excellent sources of inexpensive diamonds in the rough!
The Mazzolada estate is a prime example of a superbly managed large family-owned operation. They produce a wide range of terrific wines, and I find their entry-level bottlings of particular interest.
Grape cultivation in the Veneto, between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea, dates back to the reign of the Roman Emporer Constantine the Great. Roman records dating back to 300 BC describe grape growing to produce high-quality wines in the Julia Concordia region (now known as Concordia Sagittaria, which includes the Mazzolada estate). The Genovese family acquired the venerable Mazzolada wine estate in 1985 and continues to uphold the region's centuries-old traditions and culture, evidenced by the numerous prestigious awards in numerous global wine competitions.
Third-generation vignerons, brother and sister Renato and Francesca Genovese, are currently in charge of the property and continue the family's focus on quality and tradition. The family's estate stretches across one hundred hectares of vineyards, almost entirely in DOC and DOCG designations.
Mazzolada Chardonnay is sourced from vineyards in the Lison-Pramaggiore DOC of Eastern Veneto, a two-hour drive north and west of Venice. The gently-rolling well-drained vineyards here feature just the right mixture of limestone and clay soils, producing Chardonnay with beautiful verve and lift.
In your glass, this charming Chardonnay opens with notes of green apple, citrus, and minerals, leading to a fresh, mouth-watering, and citrusy palate. This squeaky-clean white illustrates one of the true benefits of growing Chardonnay in cooler, northern climates: low alcohol and zippy freshness. Featuring an alcohol content of just 11.5%, you can totally indulge in that second glass without worry.
The clean, fresh palate makes this Chardonnay an excellent aperitif or starter for your next gathering or dinner party. Pair this with your favorite lighter fare, especially savory soups, light salads, white-fleshed fish, and lighter poultry dishes. For sure, keep this thirst quencher in mind for the warmer months ahead.