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!
The meeting of two diametrically opposed ideas might well result in an excellent, territorial, highly drinkable sparkling wine: in this case, in fact, it resulted in the Masetto Privè Trentodoc 2008, from the Endrizzi winery in Trentino. Before we start our tasting though, we should take a step back in time by 130 years.
There are some wines that should be drunk at least once in life. One of these is definitely Sassicaia, an authentic Made in Italy icon the world over, like Ferrari or some fashion brands. So every time I find a tasting of the “rocky wine” on a calendar, I try not to let the occasion escape for any reason in the world.
It can certainly be said that the Elvio Cogno Barolo was originally conceived under the sign of the purest tradition of vine, wine and land, never losing or compromising its identity over the years.
Elvio Cogno, founder of the family company, who died a year ago after decades of work in the vineyard and in the cellar, had a fixed goal in mind: to exploit the great potential of wines from the Langhe, and in particular the area of Novello, a town in in the province of Cuneo, Piedmont.
On the ground of Franciacorta it has breathed new air for some time. Companies consolidate and live the passage of the witness with the new generations. One of the brightest examples of this new road is Joska Biondelli, a young virginal who from the finance environment has returned to family lands to manage a family-owned wine-growing tradition.
Maria Caterina has an innate gift for singing: she possesses an intense and melodious voice, her heart beating for the seven notes. But it is far from her only passion: she also feels a strong love for her land, her wine, and the nature she breathes in from her vineyards and olive groves surrounding the villa and the family estate in the surroundings of Montepulciano. A love for the land inherited from her father Glauco, a man of great vitality and lucidity. But how did the family business of the Dei family come about?
The company is named after the Roman lawyer Gabriele Mastrojanni who, in 1975, bought the estates of San Pio and Loreto and therein planted the first vines. The vineyards are all about 40 years old and, to this day, they are still employed to produce wine. “A poor and virgin land, clean and unpolluted,” or so it was called back in the day. The hills are located between 180 and 440 meters above sea level and the Romea (Francigena), the ancient road used by pilgrims between France and Rome, cuts right through them.
The history of Roberto Voerzio, of his company and his wines is relatively recent, yet it is already rich in satisfaction and in excellent wines that elicit emotion after emotion.
Here’s the backstory. The winery was founded in 1986 in La Morra, a small town in the heart of the Langhe. Roberto has always been known for his exceptional Barolo, but believe me, even the bottles of Barbera leave their mark. Not to mention the Merlot and Dolcetto.
The quirk of the Le Ragnaie winery is that a portion of its Sangiovese vineyards is located 600 meters above sea level, in the highest part of the Montalcino wine area. If you are curious to know why the winery is called The Ragnaie, it is, very simply, because it was named after the area where the heart of the company lies.
Le Ragnaie covers an area of 28 hectares. The land is cultivated with vineyards and olive groves, according to the organic farming model.