Salcheto, Obvius Bianco Toscana, 2020
One of our favourite of the avant-garde wineries of Tuscany is Salcheto. New generation winemakers swept through the, quite frankly, outdated methodologies of years past to totally revitalize a winery that was caught in the lacklustre affairs of generic winemaking. Think of Italy's burgeoning natural wine scene as the Italian Renaissance 2.0, a transformation from the Middle Ages of wicker basket Chianti to the modernity of low-intervention juice. Fitting then that the renaissance of the 15th century also started in Tuscany, no?
The transformation from sharecropping farm to innovative leader in wine and estate management happened under the watchful eye of Michele Manelli, who has helmed Salcheto since 1997. The work in estate management is particularly unbelievable with their off-grid cellar considered a model of environmental efficiency and technological innovation (literally award-winning) and an integrated environmental estate management model (GHG, Water, Biodiversity) which has achieved premiere world status in indexing of Carbon and Water Footprint. All that to say, Salcheto is walking the walk and talking the talk on sustainability, reducing environmental impact and in minimizing their carbon footprint.
Even better, the wines are so delicious and fun. Obvius is Salcheto's all-natural lineup and the Bianco Toscana is a slick mix of organically and biodynamically farmed Trebbiano and Vermentino. This is bursting with ripe pear, dark honey, bramble and earthiness tied into this savoury element that underpins the funk. A soft pear and honey flavour hits your palate in tandem with Meyer lemon and beeswax alongside a medium-bodied expression to the finish. Spy a little of that yeasty character and that delicious savoury funk to tick all the boxes on the natural wine lovers' checklist of must-haves. This is so easy-drinking and kinda like a big umami bomb.
Lightly chilled as an aperitif, next to some umami-heavy stir fries like Dan Dan noodles or with something slightly richer like miso or shoyu ramen. Really though, there's a wide world of food pairing options so have fun with it cause that's kinda the point of this kind of wine.