Italy has been making a big push into Vancouver, and Canada, over the past few years. Over the past 2 weeks, there have been 3 different Italian wine delegations come to Vancouver to show us their wines. In some cases the wineries already have representation, but there are many other wineries that are looking for representation. So this article is both for the consumer and for wine reps. In the latest tasting, there was a big delegation from Veneto showing their Valpolicella wines, from Classico to Ripasso and Amarone. Tuscany was also a big presence, showing off their Chianti Classicos.
But there were also interesting wines from Puglia and elsewhere. I was happily surprised by the nice fruit-forward white wines that I tasted at this event. If you have not tried a wine made from Vermentino or Grillo, buy one and try it with our BC seafood. It should be a great pairing. Below are my favourite wines from this tasting. Cin cin.
White and Sparkling Wines
Banfi Toscana IGT La Pettegola 2016 – 100% Vermentino from Tuscany. This white wine has a light stone fruit nose. Medium plus body, round with medium plus acidity. I enjoyed the mineral streak in this wine. A blend of citrus and stone fruit flavours.
Cantina di Castelnuovo del Garda Custoza DOC Cavegar 2016 (needs a BC rep) – From the Veneto region, this is a white blend made with 40% Garganega and 40% Trebbiano Toscano, plus 2 other grape varieties. It has a light peachy nose. Medium body, lower acidity, quite round. Medium intensity flavour of peach and tropical fruit, with some bitterness on the end. A nice wine.
Cusumano Sicilia DOC Shamaris 2016 – 100% Grillo. A light intensity nose with a blend of oranges and stone fruits. Round and soft with light acidity and some minerality later on. Interesting flavour of spearmint and stone fruits. –
Cantina di Verona Lugana DOC Terre di Verona 2016 (needs a BC rep) – 100% Trebbiano di Lugana. Nice tropical fruit and juicy fruit gum aromas. More tropical fruit on the palate, along with apples and oranges. Dry and round with medium acidity. Very nice. –
Foss Marai Guia Millesimato Brut Valdobbiadene DOCG 2016 – This sparkling wine has a very light stone fruit nose. Dry with higher acidity and small, biting bubble. Starts with peaches and apple flavour appears later.
Villa Mattielli Soave Classico DOC Campolungo 2015 (needs a BC rep) – 100% Garganega. Sweet stone fruit and ripe apples on the nose. Crisp apple and stone fruit flavours. Dry with medium acidity. Tasty.
Albino Armani Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore DOC 2015 (needs BC rep) – Ripe, deep cherry aroma. Medium body, dry with a mix of flavours covering coffee, bitter dark chocolate and cherries. Medium tannins. Very good.
Albino Armani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG Reserva 2012 (needs BC rep) – Ripe, dark fruit along with a whiff of nutmeg on the nose. Full-bodied, with a nice fruit to acid balance. Flavours of sweet, ripe cherries, vanilla and nutmeg.
Amastuola Organic Wines Puglia IGP Centosassi 2012 (needs BC rep) – 100% Primitivo grapes. Chocolate and plum aromas in the glass. Off-dry with medium body and acidity. Sweet ripe to over-ripe dark fruit. Medium tannins. An easy sipper.
Argentiera Bolgheri DOC Villa Donoratico 2015 – A blend of Bordeaux grape varieties from Tuscany. Cabernet Sauvignon making 50% of the blend. Really ripe fruit nose, cassis and cedar too. Fuller bodied, dry, round with ripe black cherries and a light touch of vanilla. Fine tannins with a soft finish. Quality.
Argentiera Bolgheri DOC Poggio al Ginepri 2015 – Another Bordeaux blend, with 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, but this one has 30% Syrah in it as well. Nice nose with red cherries and capsicum. More capsicum on the palate, along with cedar, cassis and a light touch of cloves. Medium plus tannins, but does not finish overly dry. Medium body, semi-round. Buono.
Banfi Chianti Classico Gran Selezione DOCG Fonte Alla Selva 2013 – Ripe cassis and vanilla nose. Full body, bigger, rounder mouthfeel. Red fruit and vanilla flavours with tannins kicking in later. Fruity. Good quality.
Codice Citra Niro Montepulciano d’Abruzo DOP 2015 – 100% Montelpulciano grape. Light intensity, dark fruit nose. Medium plus body, dry but not too tannic. Nice acidity. Flavours of red cherries and plums. A light sipper.
Fattoria le Pupille Morellino di Scansano DOCG 2016 – A red blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Alicante, and 5% Malvasia Nera. Nice cedary/Old World oak nose, along with a mix of red and black fruit aromas. Medium plus body; silky with medium acidity. Red cherries and red fruits with a light oak touch and medium tannic finish.
Fattoria le Pupille Toscana IGT Poggio Valente 2014 – 100% Sangiovese. Nice, lighter cedar/Old World oak nose, along with red cherries and nutmeg. Medium bodied, lighter mouthfeel. Red cherries, vanilla, and a light touch of cedar. Tannins are quite firm. Very good quality.
Ornellaia Le Serre Nuove Dell’Ornellaia 2015 Bolgheri DOC Rosso – Light, red fruit and vanilla nose. Medium body, silky but getting firmer tannins later on. Red fruit with some vanilla. Good quality. Needs 4-5 years ageing.
Ornellaia 2014, Bolgheri DOC Superiore – A quite famous winery from the Tuscany region, this DOC, Bolgheri, can produce Bordeaux blends, without any Sangiovese. This one has 34% Cab Sauv, 32% Merlot, 14% Cab Franc, and 20% Petit Verdot. It has a nice light cassis and oak nose. Fuller bodied with a medium mouthfeel and firm tannins. Ripe black fruit flavour and medium oak. This wine needs 5-10 years in order to fully enjoy it.
Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine Valpolicella DOC Superiore Ripasso Romeo & Juliet Famiglia Pasqua 2015 – Smoky, coffee and black fruit aromas in the glass. Dry, medium plus body and round mouthfeel. More smoky, coffee, black fruit and nutmeg on the palate. Intense flavours. Medium acid and fine tannins. –
Pasqua Vigneti e Cantine Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG, Famiglia Pasqua 2013 – Very nice nose with a mix of cedar, allspice and red fruit aromas. Full body, dry, but very fruity and spicy. Red fruits, red cherries, sweet spices. Cedar toward the finish. Lots of complex flavours.
Renato Ratti Monferrato DOC Villa Pattono 2015 – a blend of 60% Barbera and 40% Merlot from the Piemonte region in NW Italy. A very unique nose with aromas of pronounced pine needles, followed by red cherries. Medium body, dry, with medium minus mouthfeel. Red fruit with vanilla and light pine needle flavours. Drier tannins on the finish. Cool.
Cantina di Verona Valpolicella Valpantena DOC Ripasso Superiore Terre di Verona 2014 (needs a BC rep) – 60 % Corvina and 40% Rondinella. Dark fruit with a hint of cedar on the nose. Sweet, ripe black fruits and nutmeg on the palate. Full-bodied and peppery. Nice.
Cantina di Verona Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Terra di Verona 2014 (needs a BC rep) – Red cherries and plums along with light oak on the nose. Round, fuller bodied, with ripe sweet black fruit and cassis. Cedar/Old World oak. Pepper and nutmeg. Very good quality. –
Zyme Amarone Valpolicella Classico DOC 2009 – Very nice cedar, red cherries and vanilla aromas. Full-bodied, rounder, with medium tannins. Ripe red fruits, red cherries and vanilla on the palate. Drying finish. Good quality.