Italy: North, Cellar Favorites
In what he deemed to be poor vintages, or simply when the Amarone wasn’t up to his exacting standards, Giuseppe Quintarelli declassified his Amarone into the ‘Rosso del Bepi’ label.
Italy: North, Verticals & Retrospectives, featured
No other estate in Italy boasts a line-up of white wines as strong as Enzo Pontoni’s at Miani. His Friulano is the country’s greatest example of this wine. Magnificently deep, multilayered and unctuous, it offers a textbook example of Pontoni’s talent as well as a glimpse of the heights this variety can reach.
Italy: North, featured
Veneto is a source of world-class bubblies suitable for all palates and pockets. While wine lovers think of Prosecco as a simple quaffer, better examples are anything but that, and require long work hours per hectare to make what can be outstanding wines of uncommon balance and complexity. Also noteworthy are Veneto’s deep, multilayered but perhaps little-known Lessini Durello sparklers made by secondary fermentation in the bottle.
Stanko Radikon was a man of purpose and deeply held beliefs. Like many of the producers in this part of Italy, Radikon also carried a sense of gravitas acquired over many years of fighting against convention and dealing with the scorn his wines received in some circles. His recent passing is a huge loss to the world of wine.
featured, Italy: North
Two thousand fourteen proved to be an extremely challenging vintage for Alto Adige’s growers. Cool temperatures, a lack of sun and rain throughout the summer gave producers fits. My first look at the just bottled young 2015s suggest a much more promising and consistent vintage across the board. At their best, Alto Adige's wines deliver superb quality and a level of value matched by few regions in Italy.
Italy, featured, Italy: Center & South, Italy: North
This year’s Rosatos are also much bigger, sweeter and rounder than usual. This is a definite plus for those who enjoy bold, luscious, full-throttle rosés but the flip side is that many of Italy’s 2015 Rosatos also carry high sugar and low acidity levels, and show less obvious site or regional character than in other, cooler, vintages.
Italy: Piedmont, Italy: North, featured
There aren’t too many secrets left anymore in the world of wine. Alto Piemonte and Valtellina are two of them. When we think about Nebbiolo, Barolo and Barbaresco are often top of mind, but there was a time when the center of Piedmont’s wine universe was in Gattinara and not in the Langhe. Further east, in Lombardy, the terraced vineyards of Valtellina are capable of yielding distinctive wines rich in a sense of place.
Cellar Favorites, Italy: North
What a treat it is to discover Miani’s 2011 Malvasia, one of the rarest wines proprietor Enzo Pontoni has ever made.
Italy: North, Italy: Piedmont, featured
Italy offers one of the richest oenological landscapes anywhere in the world. Quality has never been higher, while the number of regions and estates producing truly compelling wines makes it increasingly challenging to keep up with new releases. There is something for every palate in this short Odds & Ends update.
Italy: North, featured
Friuli’s oenological landscape is one of the most diverse and multi-faceted in Italy. An extraordinary range of sites and microclimates, along with influences from neighboring Slovenia and Austria, yields wines that at their best are compelling. That is the good news.