One of my favorite Italian white wines for quality and value is Soave. Years ago, the region suffered from an image as a producer of vapid whites. No longer. A new generation of winegrowers and winemakers has transformed Soave, which lies near the city of Verona in northern Italy, into a powerhouse for producing flavorful and sometimes profound wines.
The better Soaves exhibit unctuous flavors with plenty of body and freshness. Recently, I purchased a bottle of Soave from an estate I was not familiar with, Rocca Sveva. This estate is owned and operated by the local cooperative Cantina di Soave, though it is marketed under its own label, which also encompasses two reds, a Valpolicella and an Amarone. The label was introduced earlier this year to the United States, and the 2008 Soave Classico is impressive.
Made entirely from the native Garganega grape, this wine features apple, melon and almond flavors with a good minerality and fresh acidity. It finishes with a touch of cream and honey. At only 12.5 percent alcohol, it would make a fine sipper for a warm summer’s day, and at $15 a bottle, its price is hard to beat. I rated it 88 points, non-blind.