Italian Wine Reviews

Posted by Keith Wallace

While the member of the Wine School team laying waste to Spain’s porcine population, yours truly was engaged in exhaustive research concerning patterns of wine consumption among Italians. Specifically, what will they be drinking as the solstice creeps over the Apennines?

My unscientific poll among winemakers, baristas, restaurateurs, and enoteca proprietors traversed Tuscany, meandered along the Adriatic from Rimini to Pescara, and wound through the hinterlands of Abruzzo to Rome….and yielded no consensus. Nor did a perusal of lists in a dozen or so wine bars, most of which were representative of their particular region, which left personal observation and casual conversation as the most fruitful methods. Italians will talk wine as long as it doesn’t interfere with actually drinking the wine.

Generally speaking, they favor red wines and imbibe them year-round, especially in Tuscany. They will. However, substitute lowered alcohol, less heat-inducing whites as July and August descend on the peninsula So…some white wines that were shared and discussed along the way..usually accompanied by cuisine typical of the area (shocking, I know…food and wine in Italy). Whether Giovanni will be emptying these bottles or not, I certainly intend to.

Castello Delle Sale “Conte Delle Vipara,” Umbria Intensely fruity and aromatic Sauvignon with a tad of Chardonnay that adds style and structure without sacrificing liveliness.

Santa Barbara “Pignocco”, Castelli di Jesi Single vineyard, varietally correct Verdicchio. Not overwhelming or intense, but it has definitive flavors of lemon backed by minerality and that telltale bitter almond finish.

Careglio Arneis, Roero Fruits laced with honey – peaches, apple, pear. Textbook Roero lime and citrus blossoms highlighting the grape’s best qualities.

Cantine Sirch Ribolla Gialla, Collio Lively and youthful with spices, citrus, herbs carrying the fruit, all of it backed by mineral freshness.

San Filippo Fanti “Macchiarelle”, Sant’Antimo Bianco Trebbiano, soft and unassuming, the taste as bright as the yellow-verdant color, all summer flowers and young herbs.

Piero Mancini “Cucaione”, Vermentino di Gallura Tropical fruit and Sardinian “macchia”, typical aromatics and good acidity. Clean and crisp, it maintains the fruit throughout on a background of saline minerals and native flowers.

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