Azienda Agricola Marziano Abbona is a famous wine producer of the Langhe region located around the town of Dogliani.
But like many wine producers of Piedmont, perhaps less famously, they also produce a few white wines.
These whites from the North of Italy, are just perfect to pair with Italian cheese, so make sure to read our cheese & wine suggestion down below 🙂
This cuvee Cinerino is made from 100% Viognier grapes which is very uncommon for the area!
So why Viognier you’d ask?
The Abbona family discovered Viognier in the Rhone Valley. Who’s not to be impressed by the potential of Viognier in Rhone, just like for example, E. Guigal winery so superbly demonstrates with their Condrieu.
The winemaking family went back home with the desire to reproduce the excellence they found in France, and returned to the hills of Dogliani in their native Itlian Piedmont
Thus began Cinerino.
The cuvee is named after the grey herons that occasionally stop in the lake beside the vineyards, as pictured on the label.
This wine, although rather young with this 2015 vintage, comes in a gold color with a certain intensity rather than looking youthful.
It still smells very very fresh on the nose however, with clear aromas of muscat: intensely floral and citrusy.
Rich elderflower, ripe mandarin, apricot, yellow peach, fresh fig, it’s a luscious world of sun-ripe gorgeous fruits to smell, with just a touch of spices.
Add subtle acacia honey tones and you have a relatively complex aromatic profile though mainly on primary fruit characters with a bit of spicy/way evolution to it.
The palate is dry but well rounded with an oily texture and richness from the luscious fruit flavors: heaps of confit orange, dates, and an almost tropical pineapple richness to it.
Medium acidity, not quite biting enough to freshen the whole up as perhaps we would have hoped.
But it’s overall elegant and quite complex, the right balance between luscious super-ripe fruit flavors and some savriness from the wine’s dryness and a hint of salivating bitterness to the finish.
Quite a long waxy finish filled with sweet spices too, make for a lasting experience after tasting, and should allow successful pairings with elegant deserts more than entrees I would think. Much like a Vin Santo it does share many similarities with in the aromatic profile.
Wine & Food (Cheese) Pairing
I paired this wine with a 15-month old famous Grana Padano cheese.
Much like Parmesan cheese (Parmigiano), Grana Padano is generally used more as a grating cheese, but I personally find it’s actually very good on its own, well I mean… with wine.
Grana Padano is actually very close if not better in quality than the more famous Italian Parmesan, and perhaps even better on its own.
The 15-month old version sits between a younger and creamier 10-12 month-old one, and the richer, crumblier, drier and tastier 24-month old. This gives it a combination of fresh creaminess (you can still taste the fresh grass and milk that have gone into its making), with the power of an aged grating cheese.
In combination with this honey-scented Langhe Bianco wine that also has some nutty richness and floral grassiness, Grana Padano and Marziano Abbona Cinerino Viognier just work wonders together.
If you don’t feel transported to Italy (in a misty morning of spring when flowers are blooming) tasting these too together, then I don’t know what would.
I guess you’d just have to go to Italy and experience for yourself, in person 🙂