On this mid-October day of drizzle and rain, I am tucked away at New York Public Library for the Simply Italian Wines US Tour. After a day of seminars and tastings, I look down at my notes:
- WORDS SPOKEN
I’ve written, retraced, doodled each word until their letters are nearly unfit to read, so often have I heard…and felt…their message throughout the day.
As one who has thought much about the expression of wine through human language, and based upon what I’ve experienced today via my tasting glass, I must say that those five words – Tradition, Quality, Innovation, Place and Family – form a complete language revealing of Italian wine, one spoken as common tongue across the peninsula’s appellations: wines from Italy’s regions are showing more varietal focus, less dependence on wood, shining a brighter light on balance in general. And I get the sense that producers are feeling more confident about throwing away that burdensome yoke of pandering for point scores, concentrating on making the wines they want to make.
Some noteworthy mentions:
Ca’ Del Bosco AnnaMaria Clementi Franciacorta 2004 Complex flavors, minerality, full of grace
Rivera Il Falcone Castel del Monte Riserva 2006 Power and elegance, smooth, big aromatics
Mastroberardino Radici Taurasi 2006 Complex nose and palate, clear as a bell
Gradis’Ciutta Collio Bianco Bràtinis 2010 Rich but delicate, with structure and exotic bouquet
Gradis’Ciutta Collio Pinot Grigio 2011 Finely-etched Pinot, tons of personality