Take a guess at how many DOC wine making regions exist within the province of Lazio?  Go ahead, I’ll wait…………  

Sure, you might mention Frascati, which is now DOCG.  If you’re really into wine, you might know that Orvieto, which most attribute to Umbria, also resides inside Lazio.  But as of this writing, we count 30 DOCs within Lazio.  And, as you might expect, most of them are somewhat obscure. But that obscurity often equates to affordability and that can be a good thing.   

Since 2011, a new DOC has been created in the hills overlooking Rome; a DOC which encompasses the communes of Frascati, Monteporzio Catone, Montecompatri and Grottaferrata.  It’s name is “Roma”.  

The Roma DOC sits at an altitude of about 200-400 meters above sea level and its soils are characteristically volcanic with high concentrations of potassium and phosphorus; two items that often impart minerality to the wines they produce.  Today, three white grapes are authorized and grown in the region; Malvesia del Lazio, Bombino Bianco and Greco.  Roma also produces a DOC Rosso which will be the subject of a future article.  Betting on the quality of this new DOC is one of the areas leading wineries, Fontana Candida.

With Spaghetti Aglio e Olio,  we enjoyed the 2014 Roma Bianco from Fontana Candida.  In the glass, this crisp wine is a medium yellow color.  Aromas are easily coaxed from the wine and feature soft peach and lemon notes with white floral tones combining nicely.  

On the palate, the wine is crisp and refreshing.  It shows slightly more body than one my expect – a result of spending 4 months resting on its lees before being bottled.  Bright white fruit and citrus notes are enjoyable and a soft mineral note lingers on the finish.   To label this “simple” is really not fair because the wine does exhibit interesting complexity.  That said, this isn’t something for the cellar. It’s perfect for near term consumption – especially this summer – and it’s versatile with lighter food.  87 points and a good value around $12-$15.  Availability may initially be limited, but the roll out is coming.  Now you’re ahead of the game.  Disclosure: This bottle was an importer provided sample.

~ The newest white from Fontana Candida ~


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