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Wine of the Week

By Dave Buchanan

Looking for a white wine but something different from the sauvignon blanc style, and inspired by a Vernaccia recently served at the home of winemakers Neil and Diane Guard, I stopped at Fisher's Liquor Barn and purchased a bottle of La Carraia 2008 Orvieto Classico DOC ($10).

This is a crisp, dry white wine composed of Grechetto (40 percent), Malvasia (30 percent) and Procanico (30 percent), the latter a local clone of the Trebbiano grape, which reputedly is the second-most planted white grape in the world. My guess is chardonnay is No. 1.

This affordable wine has great acidity with hints of roasted almonds and white peaches. Like most Italian wines, it really didn't open until the cheese, elk salami and crackers were served.

And while Orvieto isn't really close to any sea – it's along the route from Rome to Florence - the La Carraia Orvieto Classico DOC is recommended with any seafood. The Etruscan-era town of Orvieto sits high on a bluff of volcanic tuff, a defensive site at first and still famous for its underlying network of Etruscan and medievel catacombs and caves and a 175-foot deep well dug from 1527-1537.

The Orvieto DOC ("denominazione di origine controllata") is in southwest Umbria, where the land is composed of tufa limestone and volcanic soils. You can almost taste the sea.

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