Italian wines can make any day feel like a holiday. But we do have holidays upcoming so here are a few Italian wines that I recently tasted in downtown Vancouver that you may want to consider purchasing. Of particular note are the white wines made with indigenous grapes you may not have heard of; Carricante and Grillo exclusively grown in Sicilia.
I divided up the wines according to their geographic region in Italy and highlighted the regions on the map on the right. Maybe you will see some similarities in the aromas and flavours of the grapes and the wines within each region.
Frescobaldi Pomino Bianco DOC 2015 – 70% Chardonnay and 30% Pinot Bianco. Light stone fruit and honey on the nose. Medium body, dry and soft in the mouth, with apples and stone fruit flavours. A tasty wine. Rating:
Agricole Gussalli Beretta Franciacorta DOCG Cuvee 7 Lo Sparviere – A sparkling wine made from the Chardonnay grape, using the Champenoise method. Franciacorta wines for me can be as good as Champagne. This wine has light apples, stone fruit and lees on the nose. Off-dry with a light, aggressive bubble. Bruised apple and pears. Dry finish. A quality wine. Rating:
Argentiera Bolgheri DOC Villa Donoratico 2013 – A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot. A Tuscan wine without a drop of Sangiovese! Ripe red cherry nose. Dry, medium body with a mineral edge and cassis flavour. Spice and nutmeg with medium plus tannins. Rating:
Castello di Meleto Chianti Classico DOCG Gran Selezione 2011 – 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep, ripe red cherry with oak and dustiness on the nose. Fuller body, dry and round, with medium plus tannins. Red apples, red cherries, and light spice. Tasty. Rating:
Casa Paladin Chianti Classico DOCG “Capotondo” Permiata Fattoria Castelvecchi 2014 – A blend of 85% Sangiovese and 15% Canaiolo. I was very happy to see this wine as I had purchased a bottle of it when I was in Florence on vacation this summer. I opened it and enjoyed it immensely with some wine-loving friends, and now I hope it finds a wine rep in Vancouver; It is available in Alberta. This wine has light flower and raspberry notes on the nose. Medium bodied with a light mouth feel. Raspberries, red cherries and vanilla flavours. Light and fresh in the mouth. Rating:
Casa Paladin Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG “Lodolaio” Permiata Fattoria Castelvecchi 2012 – 100% Sangiovese, this wine is the Big Brother of “Capotondo”. It has red fruits and cherries on the nose. Fuller bodied, ripe dried cherries, raspberries, and vanilla. Full bodied with fine tannins. Some minerality. Rating:
Chiorri Umbria IGT Pinot Grigio Chiorri 2015 – Sweet floral and stone fruit aromas. Round, off-dry with medium acidity. Light stone fruit flavours. An easy sipper.
Cusumano Alta Mora Etna Bianco DOC 2015 – Made from the Carricante grape, this wine has light ripe apple and stone fruit aromas. Fuller body, with ripe stone fruit and apple flavours. Some stoniness. Rating:
Cusumano Sicilia DOC Shamaris 2015 – Made from the Grillo grape. This wine has a mix of oak and flintiness together with apple aromas. Medium plus body, round and heavier, silky mouth feel. Apples, stone fruit and oak flavours. Rating:
Feudo Ramaddini Nassa IGT Terre Siciliane 2015 – Also made from the Grillo grape, this wine is not yet in BC, but hopefully soon. The wine has a flinty, melon and stone fruit nose. Stony, medium body, acidity and mouth-feel. Stone fruit flavour with some bitterness on the finish. Rating:
Planeta Sicilia DOC Eruzione 1614 Carricante 2015 – This wine is 95% Carricante, but also has 5% Riesling in the blend. It has a nice honey, stone fruit and marmalade nose. Dry, with medium body. Apples, mint, and juicy tropical fruit flavours, together with a mineral streak. A very interesting wine. Rating:
Marchesi Di San Giuliano Terre Siciliane IGP Belluzza 2013 – A blend of 43% Tempranillo, 30% Grenache, and 25% Shiraz. All grapes that are found in other hot growing regions around the world, like Australia, Spain and the south of France. This wine has a mix of dark fruits and dark chocolate on the nose. It is fuller bodied, dry and round, with ripe dark fruit followed by red cherries later. A mineral edge with some pepper on the finish. A BIG wine. Rating:
Monte Schiavo – Tenute Pieralisi Marzaiola Lacrima di Morro d’Alba DOC 2015 – Made from the very interesting Lacrima grape. La Crima in Italian means “tears”. I asked the winery principal about the name of the grape. He said that the grape has very thin skin and when lightly squeezed, it looks like tears coming out from the grape. This wine has a very interesting nose. Raspberries with lychee! It is dry, medium minus body, medium tannins, and a light mouth feel. Raspberry, raspberry leaf and lychee on the palate. A different, geeky wine. This winery is not yet in BC, but you can get their wines in Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. Rating:
Monte Schiavo – Tenute Pieralisi Marzaiola Pieralisi For Friends Esino DOC 2013 – Made from a blend of 60% Sangiovese and 40% Merlot grapes. Nice ripe red fruit, cherries, and plum aromas. Fuller body, dry, round and soft in the mouth. Red fruit and cherry fruits, together with a floral hint and some oak/cedar. Rating:
Monteci Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico DOCG Monteci 2011 – A blend of 80% Corvina, 16% Rondinella, and 4% Oseleta grapes that have been dried to intensity the sugars and flavours before fermentation. This wine has aromas of flowers, sweet cherries and spice. It is dry with a sweet entry. Full body. Flowers, dark fruit and sweet spice on the palate. A very tasty wine to serve with a full-bodied rich dish. Rating:
Monteci Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2013 – A blend of 77% Corvina, 18% Rondinella and 5% Oseleta grapes. It has a nice smoky, chocolate nose. Medium body with dark chocolate and black cherry flavours. Medium tannins and acidity. Tasty. Rating:
Enjoy the upcoming holidays! Cin cin.