Today, I talk about a wine that was born in one of the smallest regions of southern Italy: Basilicata. Aglianico del Vulture it’s (that’s cousin of the homonymous wine and vine of Campania) and only here, in Vulture area, it has unique characteristics. Some geographical notes: the Basilicata region borders with Campania, Apulia and Calabria. The Aglianico vine originates in the territory at the slopes of a prehistoric volcano that has been extinguished for millennia, Mount Vulture, which reaches 1,326 meters above sea level.
The Salvionis make wine for three generations in Montalcino. Grandfather Umberto Salvioni, an agricultural doctor, made wine for friends. But the “family affair” was consolidated and strengthened through the work of all components: Giulio Salvioni, son of founder Umberto, with his wife Mirella, and theirs sons: David, graduated on Agriculture, and Alessia, working on marketing, sales and administration. All together with a unique goal: produce a limited amount of excellent wines.
That’s the liking company in the Marche region (Centre of Italy). No more schematic, ingested, formal, rigid presentations. La Calcinara is a smart, young and jaunty company, as a modern “start-up” (as it would be said today) that breathes through the image of its owners: Paolo and Eleonora Berluti brothers. They are a tangible example of the enthusiasm and liveliness with which the Conero area offers, for some time, so many excellent red wines that deserve to be known more and better.
The Renato Ratti’s Barolo is a great family history between territory and tradition marked by a courageous and innovative choice. The company founder, Renato Ratti, is known as the “Great innovator of Barolo”. He studied Oenology in Alba (Cuneo), then emigrates to Brazil where he is put in charge of the sparkling wine production and Cinzano’s Vermouth.
If you haven’t picked up on that by now, Sicily is my most beloved region: not just for oenological reasons, but above all because it’s where I was born, lived my youth and went through my school and university studies. You should know that every time I have a nice glass of Sicilian wine, I find it contains the perfumes, the colors, the flavors, the atmosphere, the very essence of my earth.
The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino vintage has been rated five-stars (excellent quality) by the Consortium of Protection. The bottles of this vintage are currently on the market, and there is the embarrassment of choice: we are still drinking and appreciating the many, exciting chalices of the 2010 vintage – Brunello, is the best of the third millennium – that 2012 also reached levels of excellence thanks to wines that represent the perfect fusion of texture and balance to taste. Definately Brunello 2012, in general, can be described in two words: great quality.
Last July I have had the opportunity to take part in an important national wine event. I have tasted about a hundred of Piedmont wines and thirty of the amazing Barolo DOCG. They were in good shape. However, only one wine has aroused the unanimous emotion of all of us tastes: the Barolo Pira Riserva 1996 of the company Roagna.You have to know that we all asked for an extra glass of wine to fix it better and remember what can become, greatly improving, a Barolo that comes from Nebbiolo grapes harvested 21 years ago.
Is it a given to think that a sour wine from the South is supposed to give off heat, colours, scents of fresh and tropical fruit, and intense flavours? Well, picture it in your mind and close your eyes: it actually is! There is an amber wine that emits intense and unexpected aromas that will please and delight you: in fact, you will feel like you’re sitting on a deck chair, on a beach on a small Mediterranean island, sipping your cool wine.
Today I’d like to tell you about a sparkling wine that really surprised and impressed me. It’s part of the Lessini Durello DOC typology and it is, of course, a Classic Method (Champenois). But first, it seems only fair to introduce the type of grapes from which this wine is born: it is the Durella, so called because of its thick and hard skin (“Durella” meaning “hard”).
The love for Brunello di Montalcino is unyielding: for us Italians is an unshakable certainty, considering it is our most famous and appreciated red wine (along with Barolo) all over the world. This type of wine has today reached full maturity of style thanks to its unquestionable quality, which reaches the highest levels. Among the many Brunello wines I have tasted, there is, however, one that I could define my “heart’s Brunello” simply because it was one of the first tastings of my sommelier course. It really was “love at first sip”, believe me!