Wine Meridian a web-based wine magazine celebrating Italian wine dropped by Vancouver this week with 20+ wineries and some of their wines from across Italy to sample. From Piemonte to Puglia, from Sicilia to Veneto, we had plenty of interesting wines to try. I worked my way through Prosecco and other sparkling wines, through many interesting white wines made with indigenous grapes, and finished with light to full-bodied reds from Veneto, Toscana, Sardegna and more.
But I must caution you, this article is a tease. While you can look at the labels, and enjoy the descriptions of these wines, they are not yet here in Vancouver. All these wineries are looking for distributors in BC (and in Alberta). So if you are a wine agent in Vancouver, here are the wines I recommend bringing in. If you are a reader of my articles, check to see which wine grapes’ flavours sound interesting to you; drop by a BC liquor store or private wine shop and see if you can find a bottle made from that grape, and try it. Cin cin.
White and Sparkling Wine
Cantina di Custoza Organic – Terre in Fiore DOC 2016 – A blend of 40% Garganega, 30% Tocai, and 30% Trebbiano. You may have never heard of these 3 indigenous grapes of Italy but together they have made an exceptionally tasty wine. Nice, light flowers, oranges and lime scents. More orange and lime on the palate. Dry, soft and fruity.
Contadi Castaldi Saten DOCG 2013 – This sparkling Franciacorta is from 100% Chardonnay grapes. It has a light stone fruit nose. Dryish, that starts with stone fruit and adds crisp apple later. Small bubble. A nice sip.
Contadi Castaldi Brut DOCG N.V. – A blend of 80% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Nero, and 10% Pinot Bianco. A lightly scented stone fruit nose. Dry, medium body with small, creamy bubbles. Apples and stone fruit flavours balance the higher acidity of this sparkler.
Ronco Margherita Tiliae IGT 2015 – Made from Ribolla Gialla 30%, Friulano 40%, and Sciaglin 30%. Another blend with 3 indigenous Italian grapes you haven’t heard of, but the resulting wine is very enjoyable. It has a light apple plus peach nose. Fuller bodied, off-dry and quite fruity. Peaches. A hint of sweet spices with an overlay of salty minerality. –
Ronco Margherita Ribolla Gialla Brut IGT 2015 – a sparkler made with the Ribolla Gialla grape, using the Charmat (prosecco) method. Quite an aromatic stone fruit nose. Dry with lifted acidity and tiny bubbles. Mostly apple flavour with some bitter almond on the finish. –
Maggio Vini Vigna di Pettineo Grillo IGT 2015 – This wine is made from the white Grillo grape, and has been aged in 900 litre tonneaux for 4 months for extra complexity. The wine does have medium intensity oak, butterscotch and dried stone fruit aromas. Dry, medium plus body, round and thick in the mouth. Flavours of ripe peaches and pears with integrated oak and vanilla. Nice.
Cornarea Roero Arneis Cornarea DOCG 2016 – Made from the Arneis grape and aged in stainless steel for 3 months. A more intense peach nose. Medium plus body, higher acidity with peach flavour. Good quality.
Cantina Mosparone Brina DOC 2014 – I don’t often see a Sauvignon Blanc made in Italy, but this one comes from the Piemonte region. It has a light green plus herbal nose. Lighter body, dry with flavours of green beans and jalapeno pepper. Medium acidity. A restrained Sauv Blanc.
CVA Canicatti Grillo BIO IGT 2016 – Made from organic Grillo grapes and aged in stainless steel for 3 months. This wine has a nice, fresh stone fruit nose. Fresh stone fruits, in particular peaches on the palate. Dry with medium acidity. A refreshing, fruity wine.
Cantina Frentana Abruzzo Pecorino Costa del Mulino DOC 2016 – Made from the Pecorino grape, this wine is deeper lemon in colour. It has a light intensity mix of apple and stone fruit aromas. Medium body, dry with balanced acidity. A mix of apples and bruised apples on the palate. Some stone fruits on the finish. Longer length.
Val D’Oca Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore “Rive di Santo Stefano” DOCG 2016 – This prosecco has a light stone fruit nose. Small creamy bubble. Dry with flavours of crisp apples, and stone fruits, along with some citrus on the finish.
Cantina Fiorentino Terra San Giovanni IGT 2015 – This wine is 100% organic Primitivo grapes that were aged in stainless steel only. It has a flinty, dark fruit nose. Dry on the palate with light mouthfeel and medium acidity. Roses and red fruit flavours, and very strong tannins on the finish. –
Petra Potenti IGT 2013 – A Tuscan red made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Not a drop of Sangiovese! Nice nose; medium intensity red fruits with a whiff of nutmeg. Smooth, medium body a mix of red cherries other red fruits and some sweet vanilla. Nutmeg on the finish. Light and easy to drink. –
Corte Moschina Cabernet IGT Veneto Colle Alto 2015 – Another Tuscan red without Sangiovese. This wine is made from 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc. 18 months of French oak aging. The wine has ripe, rich cherry and vanilla aromas in the glass. Ripe red fruit flavours along with some vanilla. Medium acidity with very firm tannins. Enjoy with food, or let it age a year or two to soften the tannins.
Corte Moschina Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore DOC 2015 – A blend of 40% Corvina, 40% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, and 2% other grapes. Light clove and red fruit aromas. Light body and mouth feel, with flavours of roses and red fruits along with nutmeg toward the finish. Sweetish. An interesting wine. –
Ilatium Morini Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso “Campo dei Ciliegi” DOC 2014 – A blend of 70% Corvina and Corvinone, 20% Rondinella and 10% Oseleta and Croatina. Barrel aged between 12-15 months. Very aromatic with cherry and cedar aromas. Fuller body with medium mouth feel. Nutmeg red cherries, vanilla and some bitter chocolate. Tasty.
Ilatium Morini Amarone della Valpolicella “Campo Leon” DOCG 2012 – A blend of 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, and 10% Oseleta and Croatina. Barrel aged for 30 months! Very rich aromatic nose; cherries, dark fruit, and nutmeg. Sweet taste, with medium body and light, fine tannins. Sweet black cherries and vanilla flavours. A wine with a long life ahead of it. –