ITALY | REGION PROFILE
Whilst the rest of Italy is surging forward, making distinctive and authentic wines, Lazio has been left behind a little bit. It perhaps suffers from its legacy of Frascati and the, quite frankly, 'nothing' wine that is Est! Est!! Est!!! di Montefiascone (nice story - shame about the wine), which have justifiably poor reputations, since the vast majority of the former is shipped in bulk for bottling in other parts of the country. Elsewhere, there are few DOCs which have any reputation or significance on the international market, but just like anywhere else, you can find little gems every now and again.
Having just besmirched Frascati, there is in fact another side to this story. This is a remarkably beautiful DOC perched on an ancient volcano, Monte Albano which last erupted around 5000 BC, with a cooler, elevated exposition overlooking Rome. The number of estate wines produced here are few and far between, but amongst them, there is some quality to be found, with around half a dozen or so producing wines that are worthy of interest. The wines are normally a blend of varieties, mostly Malvasia Bianca, Malvasia di Lazio (AKA Malvasia Puntinata) with smatterings of Greco and Trebbiano Toscano. We follow the producer, Principe Pallavicini, who is also known for its wine from the DOC of Roma, made entirely from Malvasia Puntinata (despite its name it is not a 'true' Malvasia), and quite a remarkable wine it is too.