The 6 best Frascati wines below 20 euros chosen by Gambero Rosso

Mar 25 2024, 18:20
Frascati is the white wine symbol of Lazio's viticulture. Here are the labels with the best value for money

Frascati is the white wine symbol of Lazio's viticulture (just as Cesanese is for reds), once victim to a commercially successful but qualitatively lacking past. In a slightly provocative manner, one could say that Frascati's misfortune lies in being the wine region closest to Rome: after World War II, when the Eternal City began demanding a vast quantity of wine, the Castelli Romani decided to focus on quantity, inevitably sacrificing productive quality. They flooded the market with mundane, identity-lacking wines meant for daily consumption at home and in the many taverns dotting the city, as well as the hills south of Rome where citizens sought refreshment on weekends.

Today, this past seems definitively behind us, thanks to the intervention of enlightened winemakers who have fully recognized the exceptional characteristics of the territory. The denomination encompasses the municipalities of Frascati, Grottaferrata, Monte Porzio Catone, as well as areas of Monte Compatri and even the Municipality of Rome; these are often dedicated, mineral-rich soils, formed over the long activity of the ancient Lazio volcano, hills that breathe in the sea breezes allowing grapes to ripen in a wholly healthy environment.

Frascati is a blend of different grape varieties: the dominant one is malvasia puntinata (or malvasia di Candia), accounting for no less than 70%; the remaining 30% may include bellone, bombino bianco, greco bianco, tuscan trebbiano, and trebbiano giallo.

The best value-for-money Frascati wines

In the list presented here, you will find the best Frascati wines available in wine shops or online stores for under 20 euros, among those reviewed in the 2024 Berebene by Gambero Rosso. A small starting point for discovering a denomination experiencing strong qualitative growth.

A guarantee is Villa Simone's 2022 Frascati, pleasant with its citrusy tones, notes of almond, aromatic herbs, and white flowers. Ambitious were the goals that guided Piero Costantini in the 1980s when he acquired the old vineyards of Cardinal Pallotta: to produce a wine of great prestige capable of competing with the most important wine realities of the north. The enterprise was daunting, but Costantini found the right key by focusing on quality: he planted malvasia del Lazio and embarked on a successful venture. Today, leading the company is his nephew Lorenzo, who, like his uncle, believes in Frascati and its great potential.

Principe Pallavicini's 2022 Frascati offers cedar and white peach notes on the nose, with hints of aromatic herbs and wild fennel, while the palate is fresh, mineral, and smooth. The Pallavicini family has been a protagonist of the region's territory and wine for centuries. With 50 hectares, it is the largest private vineyard in Frascati, with production entirely carried out on the estate in Colonna, in the heart of the denomination.

Casale Marchese's 2022 Frascati Superiore, with its tones of cedar and Mediterranean scrub on the nose, boasts a savory, enveloping palate, tense, with mineral notes and a long almond finish. Vineyards interspersed with centuries-old olive trees, totaling 50 hectares in the territory of the Frascati denomination, this is the landscape in which Casale Marchese develops, an agricultural company now in its seventh generation, led by Alessandro, administrator, and Ferdinando, agronomist. A family tradition for over two centuries, but whose history began in 1301 and is still perfectly integrated into the Monte Tuscolo territory. Local varieties coexist with international ones for a production that has become a reference point for the denomination.

Gabriele Magno's 2022 Frascati Superiore is fresh and smooth, with notes of apple, citrus, and rosemary well supported by its acidic structure and remarkable salinity. The Magno - Di Mattia family cellar relies on six hectares of vineyards, cultivated organically in the heart of the Castelli Romani, on sandy and tufaceous soils. The vineyards at the base of Frascati are about 50 years old and consist of 75% malvasia puntinata and 25% trebbiano.

Casale Mattia's 2022 Frascati Superiore Terre Laviche has floral, sage, and Williams pear aromas, with a savory, tense, and gritty palate, featuring the typical almond finish. Roberto Rotelli and Lucia De Sanctis founded Casale Mattia in 1996. The company relies on 12 hectares of vineyards at an altitude of 200 meters, on soils rich in volcanic residues in the heart of the Frascati denomination, cultivated organically.

Fontana Candida's Vigneto Santa Teresa Frascati Superiore is a classic of the company. The 2022 version presents almond and jasmine aromas, with hints of aromatic herbs, followed by an agile, fresh palate, long and savory. Over 200 hectares of vineyards for this historic reality of Castelli Romani winemaking, located on volcanic soils rich in minerals and microelements, with a Mediterranean and ventilated climate.

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