Finding value: smart picks from Italy’s top producers
From north to south, Italy’s leading winemakers continue to captivate with their benchmark wines, but while these are often out of reach of the majority, there is usually value to be found elsewhere in their ranges. James Button highlights the smart picks…
Italy’s top estates are renowend for producing wines that set benchmarks for their respective regions – and even for the wine-producing world at large – but their flagship bottles often come with sizeable price tags.
However, these producers are considered some of Italy’s best for a reason, so if you want an insight without splashing out for the top labels then it’s often worth picking up another wine in the range at a more affordable price.
Below I have highlighted some examples from across Italy where a producer’s star quality shines through at all levels. It’s certainly not an exhaustive list, but most of these wines have good availability and represent a perfect starting point before delving into the harder-to-find and more expensive wines.
“Pietradolce’s single-vineyard (‘contrada’) bottlings are among Etna’s most highly regarded. This entry-level red is made from the estate’s younger vines – although they aren’t that young at all. Made from bush vines grown at 800m above sea level on the northern slopes of Mount Etna, the majority of this wine spends three months in French oak while a small portion is aged in concrete eggs to help soften the tannins. Fragrant aromas of cherry, raspberry, herbs, chocolate and spice are joined by a subtle saline tang. It’s a similar theme in the mouth, with herbs and spice dancing around the core of vibrant, juicy raspberry and cherry fruits. Creamy softness emerges on the mid-palate, as well as some tannic grip, leading to a long, fresh, slightly saline finish that leaves you wanting another sip.”
By James Button | Decanter
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