Doing it Their Own Way

July 13, 2010 at 11:10 am Leave a comment

Fiano Vineyard of Mastroberardino, Santo Stefano del Sole (Photo ©Tom Hyland)

Looking back on the first six months of the year, I am reminded of the wonderful Italian wines I’ve tasted in 2010. Perusing the lists of these bottlings, I’m once again reminded of the amazing variety of Italian wines – be they white, red, sparking, rosé or sweet. These wines are from the breadth and width of the country, from Piemonte to Sicily and they run the gamut of price ranges. Most of them, of course, are from indigenous varieties, which combined with their excellence, also give them a singularity.

This is nothing new, but sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the identity of Italian wines as well the the quality. I’ve made 4 trips to Italy this year and a total of 45 trips in all (maybe I should just move there?), so I’ve been able to gain remarkable insight into the Italian wine industry. At its best and most honest, it’s about making wines that represent one’s land and one’s heritage. Yes, some Italian wines of today are international in style, but most of the finest wines of today are based upon terroir and communicate a sense of place. Personal preference is one thing, but there’s no disputing heart, passion and honesty.

Montalcino (Photo ©Tom Hyland)

I’ve just published the Summer issue of my Guide to Italian Wines and it’s evidence to what I mean about Italian wines. In this 46-page issue, I have conentrated on several wine types and regions including:

  • 2009 Whites from Friuli
  • 2009 Whites from Campania (an excellent vintage in both regions- these wines have fine backbone along with impressive concentration)
  • 2005 Brunello di Montalcino – an overlooked vintage, especially after 2004, but one that offers elegance and very good typicity.
  • The beautiful sparkling wines of Franciacorta – especially those from Bellavista – what a remarkable lineup of wines!
  • The sumptuous 2007 reds from Bolgheri – these are not produced from indigenous varieties, but are often gorgeous wines; 2007 represents some of the finest reds from Bolgheri to date.

These are the highlights of this issue. I’ve been writing my Guide to Italian Wines for eight years now and this was one of the most notable collection of wines I’ve reviewed during that time.

The Guide is available on a subscription basis of $30 per year (four issues), but if you would like to purchase this Summer issue only, the price is a mere $10. I don’t think you’ll spend your $10 more wisely when it comes to learning about Italian wines.

To find out how to purchase, email me at thomas2022@comcast.net

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Castello di Volpaia – Top 100 Friuli – The Great Whites of Collio and Colli Orientali

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