Malvasia del Lazio lends itself to the production of dry, textured white wines with aromatic complexity and, depending on the soils it is planted in, a touch of mineral character as well. The variety is also suited to the production of sweet wines from botrytis infected grapes. Its thin skins are susceptible to noble rot and it has shown itself capable of making fresh, exotically scented sweet wines. The most prestigious examples can be found in the Cannellino di Frascati DOCG.
Malvasia del Lazio is characterised by small black dots that form on the skins of the grapes. In some of Lazio’s DOCS, notably Frascati, the synonym Puntinata is used. In Italian ‘Puntini’ means little spots, so ‘Puntinata’ means ‘spotted’.
The second half of the 20th century saw a big focus on quantity over quality. Criticisms were made of the variety’s reduced yields and lack of resistance to disease and instead, growers preferred to use Malvasia Bianca di Candia. With a growing understanding of yield control in making quality wine, producers are now recognising that when treated correctly, Malvasia del Lazio does in fact give more interested wines. The comeback is underway therefore. We’re seeing plenty of interested wines coming out of Lazio, many of which showcase the grape by itself, or blended with other grapes such as Bellone and Bombino Bianco and Grechetto di Orvieto.