Inama New Releases
The steep slopes and poor volcanic soils of Soave classico are in large part what makes this region capable of producing some of Italy’s most thrilling white wines, however it is far from a region where you can be assured that by picking any producer from the higher, more desirable sites, you will end up with a compelling wine. As Eric Guido mentioned in a recent article, Soave is a reminiscent of Clos de Vougeot, a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy, that despite its remarkable terroir, the vast array of producers craft vines of wildly different qualities.
It seems that Soave, sadly, is still a region where bulk, insipid wines intrude on the landscape but amidst the banal there are some stunning jewels. Producers who set a very high watermark for quality and who value this special appellation and are intent or producing wines that echo its unique character. These are producers like Pieropan, Suavia and Inama whose wines are not just among the finest whites to be found in Italy, but offer some of the best value anywhere in the world for those seeking terroir focused, mineral inflected white wines.
This week that idea was cemented once again as I tasted through the latest releases from Inama. The story of Inama closely mirrors that of Pieropan, with Giuseppe Inama first seeing the potential of these volcanic hillsides above the walled town of Soave for producing wines of quality vs quantity, which had become the focus in Soave. From that time over 50 years ago this vision has been carried down first through his son Stefano, and now rests with grandsons Matteo, Alessio and Luca who run the estate with that same focus, energy and integrity today.
The new releases from Inama are nothing short of outstanding. The Soave classico shows a different face to Pieropan’s much loved offering, with the fruit tucked back a little further and those wonderful almond and floral notes a little more to the fore. It’s a textural delight, round and mouth-filling but not without tension and focus.
The two single site wines really take things up a notch however and showcase different, but equally enthralling, expressions of Soave. Carbonare is the fresher and more vivacious of the two, perhaps showing the brothers more modern tastes. It still has that classic rounded Soave texture but this is tightly honed, citrus fuelled and showing plenty of basaltic-volcanic vineyard character.
Unlike Carbonare, Foscarino see a longer maceration on the skins before spending time in old French oak barriques with working of the fine lees to build further richness and texture. It’s exotic leaning with a beautiful notes of chamomile and ripe pear and a luxurious texture and toasted almond on the long, lingering finish. Very complex. Inama have done a wonderful job here of delivering wonderful mouth-coating richness in a package that never feels too fat or overworked.
It feels like every vintage I fall more and more in love with the high quality artisan wines that can be found in Soave and this new round of releases from Inama has landed another blow for, and I repeat myself again here, what are some of the best value terroir driven, mineral inflected white wines in the world.