Italy: Beyond Barolo

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Italy: Beyond Barolo
Producer IFW production
Product Code 20955-4500

Nebbiolo may well be Italy’s most famous vinous export, yet there is so much more to explore of this vinous wonderland than just the ‘King of Grapes’. Piemonte, Nebbiolo’s ancestral home, is home to a gamut of varieties, both white and red, that offer a wealth of drinking pleasure… without the premium price tag. For this selection, we have also travelled outside the prestigious appellations of Tuscany and Piemonte: to Molise on the Adriatic coast and Alto Adige, the mountainous region in Italy’s northwest where the wine culture borrows from Germany as much as Italy. These less chartered regions offer some of to be the best value, food-friendly wines we ship from Europe. To complete the well-coined phrase, “Variety is the spice of life… that gives it all its flavour”. 


Albino Rocca Barbera D'Alba 2020

Barbaresco-based Albino Rocca is one of Piemonte’s most respected producers and craft this yardstick Barbera d’Alba from a single parcel of vines rooted in the clay and limestone soils of San Rocco Seno d’Elvio. All this producer’s wines capture the essence of their ‘place’ through a winemaking style rooted in tradition. Their Barbera offers everything we adore in the wines of this region: moderate alcohol, vibrant, aromatic fruit, lip-smacking freshness and food-friendly tannin. 


Di Majo Norante Moli Rosso 2020

Nestled between Abruzzo to the north and Campania to the south, Molise is one of Italy’s smallest and most secreted wine regions. Under the radar, Alessandro Di Majo crafts a range of 

delicious, medium-bodied reds and fragrant, pulpy whites, all from organically tended vines. The estate red is a cracking blend of Montepulciano (80%) and Aglianico (20%) combining the delicious black plum fruitiness of Montepulciano with Aglianico’s more brooding, black olive tapenade and earthy notes. Our default pizza wine.


Corzano e Paterno Chianti Terre di Corzano 2020

If we’re talking frankly, soul is not a virtue we typically associate with the modern-day wines of Chianti. Yet there are obviously exceptions and one of these is Aljoscha Goldschmidt’s Corzano e Paterno. With an organic, dirt-under-the-fingernails approach, Goldschmidt and his team craft a small yet vibrant collection of wines from their steep, stony slopes just south of Florence. The estate’s core wine is drawn from 90% Sangiovese co-fermented with 10% Canaiolo and aged in a combination of large 25 and 40-hectolitre botti casks (still very rare in Tuscany) and older barriques. Expect a plump, medium-bodied palate packed with lifted black cherry fruit alongside a hints of bay leaf and Mediterranean herbs. 


Girlan Alto Adige Platt & Riegl Pinot Bianco 2019

Like most producers in Alto Adige who want to sell some wine on the international market, this peerless Cantina (cooperative) make a Pinot Grigio. It’s a good wine, only their Pinot Bianco is even better. This starbright white comes from hand-picked fruit grown on Alto Adige’s mineral-rich hillsides of Cornaiano.  Girlan’s wines speak loudly of their region’s mountainous, stony terroirs in a way that belies their humble price tag. This bright, textural white is a perfect introduction to the range: expect pulpy citrus, apple and notes of apple blossom vying with pithy, mineral freshness.


Luciano Sandrone Dolcetto d'Alba 2020

This iconic producer crafts one of the very finest Dolcetto in the region. There are no entry level wines at this address, more a series of benchmarks with their own distinctive personality and style. Sandrone hits the ground running with this stunning, bright and juicy Dolcetto—a Pinot-esque wine that showcases the heights this often-underestimated grape can scale in the right hands. It’s bright and pure fruited with superb, juicy freshness. If it was labelled a Pinot Noir, you’d be happy to pay twice the price, or more.


Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo 2019

Wine critic Monica Larner (The Wine Advocate) has this to say about this benchmark Barolo producer, “As I reflect on these wines, I am struck by the harmony and perfection of the overall portfolio: the clear identity of each product and its placement within the Massolino quality pyramid,” Under the watchful eye of winemaker Giovanni Angeli, the estate’s Langhe Nebbiolo has risen to become of the regions finest: wonderfully vibrant and perfumed Nebbiolo of bright red fruit, spice and an ethereal, limestone influenced structure. It has all the personality and charm to drink now, although this release will approach its peak from 2025 onwards.

 

 

Italy: Beyond Barolo

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