Menti ‘Roncaie sui Lieviti’ Frizzante NV
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Press 4 White • November 2023 Direct Press Selection
Menti is among a small number of producers bringing back some of the soul to an area long lost to the overreach of industrial wine production after the international success of Soave in the 1970s and 80s. Menti, in nearby Gambellara, has been at the forefront of the progressive winemaking revitalizing the Veneto. Menti employs organic and biodynamic methods in the vineyards, and though the family takes farming very seriously, they allows Garganega's playful side to come out, leaving all the easy refreshment and adding a little more character and depth. As I've tasted more examples of this approach to Garganega, I've come back to Menti each time as the gold standard for exciting Garganega in the region, a feat they've accomplished with just 7.5 hectares of vines.
Menti's "Roncai Sui Lieviti" takes Garganega and adds bubbles using the ancestral method, with no sulfur added at any point. This Menti cuvee is not super funky, either, but clean and understated. Green tea, pear, whole grain mustard, and some salty, refreshing menthol on the finish. It definitely falls in the category of "breakfast wine" (yes, that's a category, and, um, only on weekends?) but is also a perfect accompaniment to dinner fare like fish tacos or spicy takeout. Jonathan Kemp.