Italy is on top when it comes to Swedes’ favourite wine countries. More than 26% of all wine sold in Sweden in the last quarter of 2015 came from Italy and almost 40% of all red wines sold had Italian origin. Italy is known for its very long tradition of winemaking. Despite the long tradition there is a lot of innovation and a lot of old local grapes begin to find their way to the world market, some all the way here to Sweden.
Recently there was a big Italian wine fair where many wines were presented. I had the opportunity to taste some of what was on offer and here are some of the favourites that I found in the limited time I had. So this is not a complete review of all wines from Italy on the market but rather recommendations for some wines that I think could appeal to many wine drinkers and some fun wines that are worth tasting.
Le Manzane, Veneto
The first wine I want to tell you about is a producer named Le Manzane in Veneto. Le Manzane means to be happy, and the winemaker intends his to be wines you drink to celebrate. He brought with him two sparkling wines.
Balbinot Cuvée Prima Stella, this is a very light wine with some fruit, primarily soft apples. The wine has a high acidity that is balanced by a pleasant sweetness. Good but not much complexity.
Balbinot Prosecco DOC Treviso, this is the big brother to the wine above and you notice more power and more maturity. The apples are more mature and more on the yellow side. The acidity is clear and well-balanced. A really good sparkling wine.
Rivetto and Alfiero Boffa in Piedmont
The most amusing sparkling wine was the Rivetto Nebbione VSQ Kaskal. A sparkling wine made from Nebbiolo. An unusual wine with a spicy flavour and fine acidity. The wine was interesting, but also rather odd.
Then I tried some wine from the producer Alfiero Boffa who is also in Piedmont. He makes wine in different styles, he has single vineyard wines that he makes in the old traditional style, but he also produces some wines he calls “cuvées” in which he experiments a bit more. He has a definite focus on barbera but his wines are unusual and very different to the barbera wines that we are accustomed to drink. Trying these wines was fun, partly because they are good, but also to see what a wide span of styles barbera comes in. This style resembles much more to Burgundy than a powerful barbera.
Barbera d’Asti Muntrivé 2010 was my favourite among his wines. The wine starts a little smoky with a tendency towards mineral. There are also some light red fruit, strawberry / cranberry. The palate is well balanced with a very marked acidity.
Barbera d’Asti More in 2010, has a lot of similarities with the wine above, but is lighter and more pinot noir-like.
When it comes to Tuscany the following wines all rank as wines of high quality.
Brancaia Il Blu 2010. The wine has a very seductive nose. It begins as light and floral. There are also a lot of cherries with some time in the glass and the fruit feels very ripe and rich. The aftertaste is long and elegant. A very good wine.
Poliziano Rosso di Montepulciano 2013, a nice and affordable wine. It starts with some leather tones, then changes to cherry and strawberry. The wine has high acidity and a long fresh aftertaste. This is a wine that I think will be very exciting in a couple of years’ time.
Grattamacco Bolgheri Rosso DOC 2012. Interesting, structured nose with blackcurrants and cherries in a nice and complex mix. The wine has a very fine balance and very fine tannins. Excellent.
Grattamacco Bolgheri Rosso Superiore DOC 2012. Blackcurrants, strong tannins and a long finish, a wine with a lot of power and a long, elegant aftertaste.
Poggio di Sotto, Brunello di Montalcino DOCG 2010. A quite stunning wine, undoubtedly expensive, but absolutely incomparably delicious. Brilliant clear fruit, perfect balance. Cannot find anything to improve in this wine, except perhaps keeping it for a few years in the cellar perhaps. But superb now.
Tobias Karlsson writes on BKWine Magazine on wine tastings with wine merchants and importers.
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