Cinque Terre (Five Lands) is a less than 40 km-long coastline located in Liguria, south of Genova, stretching from Monterosso to Riomaggiore. It consists of five ancient fishing villages, interconnected by walking trails. It’s already too crowded so I won’t start to describe how beautiful the nature and the villages are and how friendly and symphatic its inhabitants are.
Cinque Terre wines are practically unknown outside of the region for all the production is consumed locally. And instantly – hence there are virtually no vintage wines on the shelfs. Amongst visitors, the wines are extremely looked after – something to be thought about by Magyar Turizmus ZRt and mostly, the wine marketing gurus in Hungary.
The vinyards are localed by the seaside but typically few dozen meters above sea level on steep rocky hills. When hiking the breathtaking trails I couldn’t stop thinking about the effort the peasants put into building the terraces that cover the best slops of the hills. Olive trees and grape are everywhere, mostly in places where the nearest road or port is 10 kms away far beyond the steep hillsides and deep valleys. No wonder they invented a kind of railway which runs 1,5 meters above ground and can carry 1 person or few dozen kilograms of freshly harvested grapes at a time – uphill.
Grape varieties tinclude Albarola, Bosco and Vermentino. The first two are of unknown origin, while the third, Vermentino, was introduced into the area fairly recently.
DOC wineries include Cooperative Agricoltura di Riomaggiore – Manarola – Corniglia – Vernazza – Monterosso and minor wineries. The flagship wines are sweet white wines, but dry white wines sell more: mostly in small local stores and restaurants, always, always served at about 5 degrees celsius – at least during the hot summers.
Entry level dry wines start around EUR 6 (retails store price) and dessert wines are priced more often than not above EUR 30 a small bottle. Interestingly, restaurants apply significantly smaller uplift than Hungarian restaurants.
Furmint vs Vendemmia
I’ve covered the Dereszla Furmint Szegi 2006 yesterday. The day after and on the second day the wine showed minor degradation only, with marzipan perfum becoming dominant (both the nose and on the palate). Quite interesting.
The Cinque Terre Vendemmia 2007 has a deeper, more corn-like, friendly color. The nose is fresh grass and acidity and more and more apple and Traubi (for those who didn’t live in Hungary in the 80s, Traubi is a popular soda from the socialist era made of grape – or at least they told us so). There’s no better word to describe this slightly sparking, apple-like sensation. I can sense the notes of large old barrel, but it’s not disturbing, rather it grants the wine a rustic accent. Low acidity and low sugar level. Full-bodied wine with minerality. The nose later becomes gooseberry and continental fruits and mediterranean fresh spices.
I would say that the Furmint is trying to be more serious whilst the Vendemmia is full of fun. Both are good wines, and Vendemmia wins by price.
Score: 5+, 6-
Price: EUR 8,5
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