Following my previous post
, my vinitaly started on Friday when I have visited my producers, tasting new wines and new vintages. I don't want to bore you with the details, but I want you to tell you a couple of highlights from my producers. The first one comes from Dal Cero.
The Dal Cero family has vineyards in Tuscany, in Cortona, and Veneto, near Soave, and this year they presented three new wines, a Pinot Grigio Blush and a Sangiovese Rose', and a Syrah. The overall quality of Dal Cero wines are remarkable, however, I was very impressed with their Sirah, the wine is called Clanis from the latin name of the Chiana's valley where the vineyards are located. A preamble about Syrah and Tuscany has to be made here. The soil of the vineyards around Cortona is proving an ideal soil in which to plant the Syrah grape. Said that, the beauty of the Dal Cero Sirah is that is different from all other Syrah wines of the area because it counter the elegance to the power and in fact, when I tasted the wine, my mind went immediately to France, to the elegance and class of the Cote du Rhone wines' or the Chateauneuf du Pape, very different from all the others where the power is privileged on the elegance. If I did not know that it was from Tuscany, I would have thought of tasting a French Syrah, a very elegant wine, still not ready, but with all the characteristics to develop into something sublime. Unfortunately they haven't released the wine yet and told me that could only give me a few cases because they have a very limited production and I look forward to when it will be released.
The other highlight is the Pomedes from Scubla. Roberto Scubla is a wine maker from Friuli, the Colli Orientali area, and makes outstanding wines and it is one of those, unfortunately not many, that you could listen for days without getting bored. I always look forward whenever I am meeting him and this year, I was happy to taste a Pomedes, a blend of Pinot Bianco, Friulano (the new name for Tocai Friulano) and Reisling Renano the way I like it with plenty of personality and towards the old style Pomedes. The first time I tasted Scubla wines was in 2003 and was really impressed with the Pomedes, a wine that could stand a Grand Cru Chablis, a wine that would really impress, a wine with a unique personality, a wine that needed to be understood. However, Roberto made the choice of making wine easier to understand, still retaining their uniqueness and making outstanding wines. I have already said that many makes good wines and few outstanding, Roberto Scubla is one of them. I have to admit that initially I did not like the choice too much but the result was still there. However, the new vintage, brought back the mad side of the wine, I went back to the origin, and I love it. During our meeting I told him that and that whilst the previous vintages were bending over towards wine drinkers, this one requires wine drinkers to bend over it, what I am saying is that the new vintage is a wine with personality and like all such wines needs to be understood to be appreciated.
I was also very pleased and surprised with the other producers and I could also notice in the wines the difference between last year and this year vintages and the difference between 2008 vintage in the north and the south due to different weather conditions, with the south having good weather conditions all the way up to the vintage and the north where the weather has had its up and down, making the vintage more difficult but still achieving very good results.
After having finished visiting my producers, I decided to spend the rest of the Vinitaly tasting new wines and I have focused my attention to two wines, The Gavi and the Franciacorta. The Gavi is made with a grape called Cortese grown in vineyards surrounding the town of Gavi and other 58 towns. Franciacorta, on the other side, is a sparkling wine made using the classic method with the second fermentation in the bottle, the same used for the Champagne using Pinot Nero, Chardonnay and Pinot Bianco, both having the DOCG status. Franciacorta producers and wines are enjoying good times, both in Italy and abroad, especially now where Champagne is losing its appeal, Franciacorta offers better value for money, however, many producers are riding the wave so the difficulty now is to find a good one that still offers good value for money.