Decanter magazine’s Italy Supplement this month features five Enotria producers; a lovely affirmation of the high quality, diverse range of Italian wines available for every wine list.
A sparkling result
In his opening gambit, “Why Italian wine has never been better”, Ian D'Agata writes about the diversity, modernity, reinvention and future of winemaking in today’s Italy. D'Agata’s recent book Native Wine Grapes of Italy was 13 years in the making, so you could say he knows a thing or two about Italian wine.
D'Agata particularly focuses on the subject of sparkling wines, highlighting the wines of Trento:
“Trento DOC wines made in Trentino are blessed with higher natural acidity and a tighter, more austere mouthfeel. Therefore, they appeal more to those consumers looking for a fresher, livelier sparkler.”
He goes on to pick Ferrari’s Perlé 2007 as one of his favourites: “Bright and light in style, with floral and peachy aromas and flavours that just go on and on. 90/100”
A few pages later, Richard Baudains' article on Prosecco Superiore, explains that the DOCG version of Prosecco, from the historic production area in the hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene (as opposed to the larger area of DOC), now “offers a genuine step up and is worth seeking out.”
Baudains takes Ruggeri’s Vecchie Viti Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG 2013 as an example: “Biscuit crust and mineral nose, delicate herby nuances and a slightly spicy, aromatic note. Very fine, elegant perlage. The palate has rapier intensity, length, depth and purity. 93/100”
Monty Waldin urges Brunello fans to seek out “single-vineyard expressions” in his article ‘The many crus of Montalcino’; there’s more than just one style of Brunello, he writes.
Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2007 is sourced from a 15 hectare single vineyard in Sant’Angelo, Colle, with vines grown on rocky clay at an altitude of 250m. Waldin likes its “effortlessly drinkable” style and its “sour cherry fruit nicely arranged around tannins with a savoury balsam feel.”
Smoldering good looks
In his regional profile on Etna, Sicily, Simon Woolf says that “the vinous potential of Etna’s unique volcanic terroir is finally being fully realised.”
According to Woolf, local grape Carricante has a “Riesling-like ability to age, mutating from nervy saltiness to honeyed, smoky maturity, without any assistance from oak.”
Eruzione Bianco 1614 Carricante Planeta 2013 “The addition of a small amount of Riesling seems to lift the aromatics in this superbly focused, pin-sharp Carricante from a large but quality-focused producer. The fruit is generous, the finish long and mineral.”
Unique and Iconic
Ian D’Agata concludes the supplement with a piece called ‘The white icons of our times’ which includes the “unique” Jermann Vintage Tunina 2012:
“A blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay with a small percentage of Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia Istriana and Picolit (Pinot Blanco was originally planned but a nursery error led to Chardonnay being planted instead). The grapes are slightly late-harvested together from a 16ha site at Ronco del Fortino, and the wine sees no oak. It takes its name from that of Antonia (Tunina, in dialect), past owner of the vineyards from which the wine is made , and is dedicated to another Antonia, one of Casanova’s favourite lovers. Although best drunk within 5 years, it can improve for up to 15.”