There’s a whole heap of Soave out there that makes it hard for any decent producer in the region to charge a reasonable amount for their product. It’s a bit like all that $5 Australian Chardonnay, in that it’s created a niche for itself that is broadly “tastes OK for a cheap wine”. And so, we can buy any number of Soaves off the Dubai shelf for about 30AED – they’ve got a little in the way of aromatics, some zing, and are always good with food (probably because they are so watery and neutral).
But just like Aussie Chardonnay, that’s not what Soave is really all about. It’s about a grape called Garganega, which, when made well, has an intense level of natural spice, is fragrant and floral, and has a long and flavoursome finish full of citrus and stone fruit. In the Soave Classico DOC, where this Pieropan wine hails from, the alluvial soils are less fertile than on the plains, and you get this intensity that is lost elsewhere. It’s got a very powerful nose – sweet spice, gardenia and citrus, and the palate is forward and ripe yet not cloying at all, with a thin streak of mineral character flowing through it. After swallowing, you are left with a sneaky invisible mouthful of apricots.
Drink now or for 3 years
95 AED + Tax (Purchased tax-free at The Cellar, Al Hamra, RAK)