Italian Wines For Dummies

You can’t love wine, spend a month on a gastronomical odyssey around Italy and not fall in love with Italian wine. It’s just not possible. The shape of the country, diverse terroir, varying weather conditions and the existence of hundreds of different indigenous grape varieties gives Italian winemakers the power to produce a bottle to please any palate. It has effortlessly become my favourite wine producing country in the world.

To Summarise:

1) There are 8 major (most planted) red grape varieties in Italy: Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Barbera, Valpolicella Blends, Primitivo, Dolcetto and Nebbiolo.
2) Italian red wines tend to be fruitier in the South and more earthy from the North.

Here’s a beautiful chart to illustrate this:


My Top wines

(in order of my preference for earthy, tannic, medium bodied wines)

100% Nebbiolo aged for at least 3 Years
Mosconi – clay soil… More meaty… Darker….
Cannubi – sand stone… Lighter… Floral…. Balsamic.
Via nuova – mix of Nebbiolo grapes

1) Damilano barolo 2007
2) Camerano 2010 Barolo Cru

Chianti Classico (at least 80% Sangiovese with the remaining 20% usually colorino, canaiolo, mondillera ?!?!?!, and also Sab Sauvignon or Merlot or other grapes allowed by the docg)

1) Poggio al Sole
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3) Cecchi Chianti Classico 2011 (supermarket wine but very good value for money. 90% Sangiovese and 10% colorino)

Brunello di Montalcino (100% Sangiovese)

Poggio al vento 2007 riserva

For their ripasso wines and/or Valpolicella superiore.
Valpolicella doc needs a blend of corvina, rondinella and molinara

1) Serego Alligieri (specifically their “Vaio Amarone” Classico 2007)
2) Cesari (I tried the “ripasso bosan”. Slightly tannic in the finish. Good dryness. Very well balanced. )
3) Monte de Ragni (mountain of the spiders)
4) Allegrini (specifically their “la grola” which is 80% corvina and 20% Syrah and their “la poja” which is 100% corvina)
5) Masi (I tried the “de oro” ripasso. Very tannic and dry with a firm structure. Not very long finish though)
6) Tommasi (still good quality although I prefer the ones above more as they’re more earthy and tannic)

Taurasi (Aglianico grapes with at least 3 years ageing of which 1 must be in wood. Grown 400m-500m above sea level)

Rosso Piceno “fattora a. Lorenzo” marche
Wine I had in Venice
Mix of 40% Sangiovese and 60% Montepulciano (i think the 60% montepulciano made it too jammy though)

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