Castel de Paolis Muffa Nobile is one of my personal favourite Italian wines as it typifies the changes in Italian wine (especially white) and perhaps best exemplifies the phenomenal increase in quality coming from areas of Italy that have long been thought of as areas of mass production and little else. Castel de Paolis is a Lazio producer coming straight out of Castelli Romani, the home of Frascati.
Frequent readers of this blog will know that I had a fantastic time living in Rome for two years in 2006 and 2007 where Frascati and Est! Est!! Est!!! enjoy a big following among the younger drinkers. Frascati is made in the wine producing area just outside Rome, "Castelli Romani" and is regarded, among both Romans and Ex-pats as something of a poor mans wine region with the focus being on quantity only. The Romans of 2000 years ago held exactly this view, that Frascati and all wines from this area were strictly for the proles.
It's amazing really, that a country so prolific in wine production can still be undergoing mass regeneration. The area of Castelli Romani has been in wine production for 2000 years and yet it is only lately that, as with many other parts of Italy, it is now being considered as a region that can grow premium wine. Only in the last 40 years was the potential of large parts of Tuscany realised with the planting of Bordeaux grapes (along with Sangiovese) to create the Super-Tuscan. It's remarkable to think that so much of Italy's vine growing potential is still yet untapped. These are exciting times indeed for Italian wine.
Castel de Paolis Muffa Nobile is nowhere close to the Frascati wines you know and love, made from 80% Semillion and 20% Sauvignon Blanc with grapes completely affected by Botrytis, here, in the back yard of the great emperors, you have a sweet wine that can compete with many from Barsac or Sauternes and of course, half the price.
Castel de Paolis themselves are considered the leading light in top end Frascati and have led the charge in bringing the wines of Lazio to the international arena. All the wines here are also organically cultivated.
Is that not exciting? Are you not entertained?
Castel de Paolis Muffa Nobile 2005 - BUY - €19
Pale amber in the glass the nose is exquisite with pronounced notes of both honey, apricot and pine nuts. Soft texture but mightily intense on the palate, the wine has a non-cloying sweetness that is difficult to achieve, great acidity and freshness. A total winner of a sweet Italian wine from a great vintage. Brava - 92 Points
Stilton and Sauternes move over for Maytag and Muffa.
Where can I buy this wine?
Very few outlets but you can get the wine sent over from Trimani for €19.
Leave a Comment?
I am ridiculed for drinking sweet wines all times of day, all times of year, what's your opinion? Dessert wines for puds only or work them into rotation like any other wine?