Italian wine always excites me. I think it is the acidity in the wines and the in general red fruit flavours. There is also a wide variety of wines from sparkling Prosecco and Franciacorta wines, and rosé/white/red wines made from indigenous grapes that smell and taste different from the other vitis vinifera that is now so common around the world. I was fortunate to be invited by the Italian Trade Commission to a tasting of Italian wines and I’ve outlined below my favourite wines for you. About half the wines are available in BC, while the rest are needing BC reps. If you are working for a wine agency, please give these wines consideration. Enjoy!
Ca’ di Rajo LeMoss Frizzante IGT Sur Lie NV (needs a BC rep) – A sparkling wine from the Veneto region that is not Prosecco. This wine has it’s second fermentation in the bottle, like Champagne or Cava. It has a very aromatic peach and honey nose. Medium to lighter bodied, semi-sweet with herbaceous and peach flavours. Tart finish with some leafiness. –
Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta DOCG Contadi Castaldi Saten 2015 (needs a BC rep) – Franciacorta is a sparkling wine made in the Traditional Method like Champagne or Cava. This wine is bright lemon coloured. It has a nice rich apple nose. High acidity with tiny creamy bubbles. Mouthfilling. Fresh apples on the palate. Medium-plus body.
Fontanafredda Barolo DOCG Vigna La Rosa 2013 – This rosé wine is made from 100% Nebbiolo grapes from the Piemonte region. It has a candied red cherries and cinnamon nose. Dry, medium-minus body with a light mouthfeel. Medium acidity. Red fruit with light Old World oak flavour. Some pepperiness on the finish along with red fruit flavour.
Firriato Etna DOC Sabbie Dell ‘Etna Rosso 2017 (needs a BC rep) – This winery is located in Sicilia, which is a hot climate. The grapes that make this wine are 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The wine has a light translucent garnet colour. Matchstick (or flintiness) and red fruit on the nose. It is medium-bodied with a soft, roundish mouthfeel. Ref fruits and smokiness on the palate. Medium acidity. Very nice.
Fontanafredda Barolo DOCG Riserva Centosessant Anni 2010 – also made from the Nebbiolo grape. This wine has a medium translucent garnet colour. A nice cedar, red apple and red fruit nose. It is off-dry, lighter bodied with a soft mouthfeel. Sweet red fruit, candied red fruit and light cedar flavours. Medium acidity and light tannins. An elegant wine. –
Frescobaldi Nipozzano Riserva Chianti Rufina DOCG 2016 – A very nice wine made with 90% Sangiovese, 4% Malvasia Nera, 2% Colorino, 2% Merlot, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. This wine is a darker translucent garnet in colour. It has a ripe red and black fruit nose. It is dry with a medium-minus body and lighter mouthfeel. Ripe red fruit flavours and pepperiness mid-palate to the finish. Also light oak and medium acidity. A very nice red cherry finish.
Frescobaldi Tenuta Perano Chianti Classico DOCG 2016 – A blend of 90% Sangiovese, 4% Merlot, 3% Canaiolo, and 3% Cabernet. This wine has a deeper translucent garnet colour. Aromas of toasted oak and light red fruit. Dry with medium body. Almost silky mouthfeel. Ripe red fruits and some vanilla on the palate. Medium acidity and soft tannins. A bit puckering on the finish. Nice.
Guidi1929 Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2014 (needs a BC rep) – made from 100% Sangiovese grapes. This wine is a light translucent brickish garnet in colour. It has a light intensity Old World oak and red fruit nose. It is dry with a light body, medium acidity and finer tannins. Bright red fruits, Old World oak and red cherry flavours. Very nice.
Agricole Gussalli Beretta Toscana IGT Granbruno 2018 (needs a BC rep) – a blend of 60% Merlot and 40% Sangiovese grapes. Medium translucent garnet colour. This wine has bright red fruit and red cherry aromas. Medium-plus body, dry and soft mouthfeel. Red fruit, light oak and vanilla flavours. Light acidity. Nice.
Cantina Di Solopaca Aglianico Riserva Sannio DOC 2016 (needs a BC rep) – made from the Aglianico grape from the Campania region of Italy. This wine is a lighter translucent garnet colour. A light red fruit nose. Lighter bodied with medium acidity and tannins. Lifted red fruit and some sweet red fruit flavours. Very tasty!
Giusti Wine Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie Longheri DOC 2018 – This wine is medium lemon in colour. It has a deep, ripe stonefruit nose. It is dry and smooth with a medium body. Stonefruits to start then has a mix of bitterness and honey. –
Giusti Wine Asolo Prosecco Superiore Brut DOC – Medium intensity bright lemon in the glass. Fresh apple, peach and toast on the nose. This wine is off-dry with a medium-plus body with a creamy bubble. It has flavourful stonefruit flavours along with toast, apple seed, and apple skin. –
Zeni 1870 Lugana DOC Vigne Alte 2018 (needs a BC rep) – made from Trebbiano di Lugana grapes. I enjoyed this wine a few years ago when I purchased it at the Vancouver International Wine Festival. It would be nice to see it back in the BC market. Light lemon colour. Baked apple, peach and toast on the nose. Medium-plusU body, low acidity and a silky smooth mouthfeel. Toast and light stonefruit flavours. A delicate wine. –
Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta DOCG Brut NV – Made from 80% Chardonnay, 10% Pinot Nero and 10% Pinot Bianco grapes. It has a nice stonefruit nose. Lots of creamy bubbles. Medium-plus body and acidity. Citrus and light toasty flavour followed by baked apples. –
Contadi Castaldi Franciacorta DOCG Contadi Castaldi Rosé NV – This rose wine is made from 65% Chardonnay and 35% Pinot Nero. It has a light orangy pink colour. Lots of bubbles on top of the wine once it is poured. It has a light strawberry nose. Dry with medium-plus acidity. Nutty and tart strawberry flavours. Small bubbles on the palate. Some minerality on the finish. –
Cusumano Sicilia DOC Benuara 2017 – a blend of 70% Nero d’Avola and 30% Syrah. It has a deep ruby colour. I really like its deep, ripe, rich cassis nose. It is medium-bodied, off-dry with medium acidity and fine tannins. Candied red fruit and ripe dark fruit flavours. Some pepperiness on the finish. –
Feudo Disisa Granmassenti 2017 (needs a BC rep) – made from 100% Perricone, which is a new red grape to me. This wine has a medium-plus intensity translucent garnet colour. Cranberries and cloves on the nose. The wine is dry with a medium-minus body, medium acidity and soft tannins. Red fruit and clove flavours, and a peppery finish. –
Firriato Etna DOC Cavanera Rovo Delle Coturnie 2014 – a blend of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The wine has a light translucent garnet colour. Red fruit and bandaid aromas. It is dry and soft with a medium body. Medium acidity and tannins as well. The wine has a light red fruit flavour with some pepperiness on the finish. –