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Sardinia's Wines: High Quality, Low Visibility

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, March 2018

Sardinian wines have improved dramatically over the last two decades but remain relatively unknown. Numerous distinctive native grapes, wines in all colors and styles, and gentle prices are just some of the incentives for wine lovers everywhere.

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Vinous Table: The Corner Townhouse, Rome, Italy

Vinous Table, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2018

The Corner Townhouse is one of the many recently born Rome restaurants that are popular with the “in” crowd, but The Corner has potential to stick around thanks to its inventive food, decent wine list and a beautiful dining room.

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New Releases from the Marche: Life Beyond Verdicchio?

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2018

The baseline quality level of the Marche’s wines is among the highest in Italy, with few truly bad wines these days. There are noteworthy peaks too, including some of Italy’s most ageworthy whites (made with Verdicchio) and unique aromatic reds (from the Lacrima and Vernaccia Nera varieties).

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Tasca d’Almerita’s Rosso del Conte: 1979 – 2012

featured, Italy: Center & South, Verticals & Retrospectives

Ian D'Agata, Oct 2017

Rosso del Conte is an iconic Italian wine, one of the first to show that southern Italy could produce world class, age-worthy reds. Rosso del Conte was tinkered with, over the years (not always succesfully, in my view,) but is back to where it should be, showcasing the heights that Nero d’Avola (and Perricone) can reach in the right hands.

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Sicily Continues To Progress

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Sep 2017

Two thousand sixteen is another good vintage for Sicily, with the Vittoria area especially exciting thanks to many outstanding Frappatos and Cerasuolo di Vittorias. Etna, Lipari and Pantelleria also shine - and keep an eye on new wines made with Perricone, a traditional red variety that is being rediscovered.

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Feudo Montoni’s Nero d’Avola Lagnusa and Vrucara: A Definitive Tasting of Two Great Italian Reds

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Sep 2017

I have always been awestruck by the purity and true-to-type aromas and flavors that owner Fabio Sireci is able to tease out of Nero d’Avola. Just as importantly, his two single vineyard Nero d’Avolas, Lagnusa and Vrucara, also showcase the characteristics of specific Sicilian terroirs. The two are absolute benchmarks of traditionally made Nero d’Avola wines.

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The Wines of Lazio: There’s Potential Gold in Those Hills

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Aug 2017

There is no Italian wine region that frustrates me more than Lazio, an area I know especially well, as it’s where I have spent the majority of my adult life. The good news is that, like elsewhere in Italy, the new generation that is in the process of assuming the helm of family estates throughout the region appears to be finally moving in the right direction.

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Abruzzo & Molise: This Year It’s Reds Over Whites

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Jun 2017

The latest releases from the beautiful and generally underrated Abruzzo region demonstrate that the difficult 2016 vintage growing season was tough on white wines, but newly released reds from 2015, 2014 and earlier are not just good but in many cases outstanding. Improvements are afoot in Molise as well.

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The Wines of Basilicata: Paradise Lost and Regained

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Apr 2017

The combination of the majestic Vulture volcano’s soil and microclimate and a world-class grape variety, Aglianico, should have ensured Basilicata and its wines worldwide fame and fortune decades ago. But it’s only now that a new generation of young winemakers is making fresh, precise, site-specific wines.

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Donnafugata's Mille e Una Notte: 1995-2011

featured, Italy: Center & South, Verticals & Retrospectives

Ian D'Agata, Dec 2016

Donnafugata’s Mille e Una Notte is one of Italy’s most complex and refined red wines, admirably showcasing the high quality Nero d’Avola can attain. My recent vertical tasting of every vintage released to date revealed many riveting bottles, still with years of life ahead of them.