A Tour of Great Italian Wines

Italy is synonymous with great wine. Home to some of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, there are twenty throughout the country with unique, distinct characteristics. In addition to differences between its regions, hundreds of grape varieties in Italy are used to make wine in commercial volumes. Do Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio sound familiar?

As we all know, the best way to explore Italian wine is to simply start tasting it. Born from our love and appreciation of great Italian wines, Wine ConneXtion is having a special tasting this Saturday that will take you on a tour of some of the best wines Italy has to offer.

A complete list of the wines with accompanying descriptions and notes follows.

2017 Ca’ Maiol Lugana. This delicious, floral, aromatic white hails from the Lakes Region in picturesque northern Italy. From the Trebbiano di Lugana varietal, it is fresh, bright with delicious tones of white almonds and apple.

[More about Trebbiano variety. This is the most widely planted white varietal in Italy. It is grown throughout the country, with a special focus on the wines from Abruzzo and from Lazio, including Frascati. Trebbiano from producers such as Valentini have been known to age for 15+ years. – Wikipedia]

2018 Pasqua Bianco Passimento. From the grape of the Soave Region, Garganega, this white is made in the appassimento technique, the grapes are left to dry in trays, where they lose weight, concentrating aromas and flavors. Quite an alluring white wine, intense aromas of citrus fruits, almond and peaches.

[More about Garganega variety. The main grape variety for wines labeled Soave, this is a dry white wine from the Veneto wine region of Italy. It is popular in northeast Italy around the city of Verona. Currently, there are over 3,500 distinct producers of Soave. – Wikipedia.]

2016 Tornatore Etna Rosso. One of the most talked about areas for superb wines, Mount Etna, Sicily. From the indigenous varietal Nerello Mascalese, this red possesses remarkable brightness, freshness but with incredible depth, notes of macerated strawberries and raspberries, morello cherries and black plum. Affectionately referred to as the Nebbiolo of the south, high praise indeed. Wine Enthusiast 93 Points

[More about Nerello Mascalese variety. Named after the Mascali area in Catania where the grape is thought to have originated. It is grown mainly on the northeastern side of Sicily. While it can be used for blending, the grape is often made into varietal wine. – Wikipedia]

2017 Pio Cesare Barbera D’Alba. One of the iconic producers in all of Italy. Located in the historic town of Alba, Barbera is one of Piedmont’s noble varietals, and Pio Cesare’s Barbera comes from the Barolo and Barbaresco regions. Great structure full bodied, silky smooth, with that great Barbera spice. Wine Advocate 90 Points

[More about Barbera variety. The most widely grown red wine grape of the Piedmont and Southern Lombardy regions, the largest plantings of Barbera are found near the towns of Asti, Alba, and Pavia. The wines are now meticulously vinified. The vine has bright cherry-colored fruit, and its wine is acidic with a dark color. – Wikipedia]

2017 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino. A truly historic property, located in the southwest area of the breathtaking Montalcino area of Tuscany. Produced by a brilliant father/son winemaking team, the Franceschi, it is entirely from the noble Sangiovese varietal. It possesses an intense ruby red color with red berry, cherry notes. Extremely well structured, yet soft, a long silky finish. “A Baby Brunello at heart.” Wine Spectator 90 Points

[More about Sangiovese variety. Italy’s claim to fame and the pride of Tuscany, it is most notably the predominant grape variety in Chianti and Chianti Classico, and the sole ingredient in Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese is also a major constituent of dozens of other denominations such as Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Rosso di Montalcino and Montefalco Rosso, as well as the basis of many of the acclaimed, modern-styled “Super-Tuscans.” – Wikipedia]

2015 Gaja Dagromis Barolo. Italy’s and truly one of the world’s great producers, Angelo and his daughter, Gaia, are wine legends. This Piedmontese classic comes from two subzones of Barolo, La Morra and Serralunga. This is the Nebbiolo  varietal at its finest. Mouth-filling but remarkable balance and elegance. Quite floral showing red fruits  and a delicious “earthy” quality. A Masterpiece!! Wine Enthusiast 95 Points

[More about Nebbiolo variety. The most noble of Italy’s varieties. The name (meaning “little fog”) refers to the autumn fog that blankets most of Piedmont where Nebbiolo is chiefly grown, and where it achieves the most successful results. A difficult grape variety to cultivate, it produces the most renowned Barolo and Barbaresco, made in the province of Cuneo, along with the lesser-known Ghemme and Gattinara, made in the province of Vercelli and Sforzato, Inferno and Sassella made in Valtellina. – Wikipedia]

2014 Poggio al Tesoro Sondraia. From Allegrini’s property in Bolgheri, this is an amazing value in a “Super Tuscan.” Located right next to Sassacia and Masseto, this is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Intense ruby red, it possesses hints of exotic spices and ripe red fruits. On the palate it is quite plush, portraying great depth and structure.  James Suckling 95 Points

2014 Allegrini Amarone Classico. Another iconic Amarone by the brilliant Allegrini family, overseen by the engaging, hard-working and remarkable spokesperson, Maralisa Allegrini. Derived mostly from the most important grape of Veneto, Corvina, the wine is produced from grapes which have lost almost 40 percent of their water, resulting in a red of extreme intensity, lusciousness, and complexity. Fresh plums and fresh figs dominate this delicious, bold flavored, hearty red. Wine Spectator 93 Points, Tre Bicchieri

[More about Corvina variety.  Along with the varieties Rondinella and Molinara, this is the principal grape which makes the famous wines of the Veneto: Valpolicella and Amarone. Valpolicella wine has dark cherry fruit and spice. After the grapes undergo passito (a drying process), the wine is now called Amarone, and is high in alcohol (16% and up) and characterized by raisin, prune, and syrupy fruits. – Wikipedia]

If you’re unsure of which wines you might love most, you need not worry. Head into our North Andover location this Saturday for our ‘Passport to Italy’ tasting event for the perfect opportunity to taste the passion behind some of Italy’s best wines. We look forward to seeing you there.