Tag Archives: Italy

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Italy beats France as wine producer

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source: EU Commission

source: EU Commission

Italy has surpassed France to take to crown of world largest wine producer in 2015, according to European Union data. This year’s benign weather conditions have resulted in an abundant grape harvest across the Mediterranean peninsula, as opposed to that reaped on the other side of the Alps.

The figures submitted to the European Commission in mid-September show total output approaching 50 million hectolitres, while in France production declined by one percent. The Burgundy and Beaujolais regions were worst affected, but it’s thought that both areas could see price rises in the coming months.

One reason for the rise in Italian output is simply that the 2014 harvest was particularly bad due to the weather.

Despite this year’s overall good conditions some vineyards were forced to use emergency irrigation in the July heat.

But thanks to a cooler September, the 2015 Italian harvest is set to yield what one producer described as a “pretty good vintage”.

source: euronews

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Prosecco Shortage? Bubbles…

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Sales of Prosecco have overtaken Champagne for the first time in UK. The sales numbers rose by 72% in the last year, ahead of its French rival. With total sales of £250m, Champagne is trailing behind Prosecco, according to retail analysts IRI. It’s the third year in a row sales growth of the sweeter tasting, cheaper-priced Prosecco have surged ahead of the classic bubbles.

And might not have an easy way to say that, but it sounds like there’s going to be a global shortage of Prosecco this summer! Apparently, last year’s harvest of the Glera grape was “very poor” – down by as much as 50 per cent in some parts of the region.

That’s according to Robert Cremonese, the export manager of Prosecco brand Bisol, there is a very real possibility of a global shortage.

font: http://www.cityam.com

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Piedmont Beyond Barolo

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There are much more in Piemont than the usual Barolos, Barbarescos and Barberas!


In addition to its (Nebbiolo) notable scent, the wine has a great amount of acidity, mouth-drying tannins and earthy flavours.

Piedmont, or Piemonte in Italian, is Italy’s most distinguished viticultural province. The region combines Alpine and Mediterranean zones, and houses more DOCGs (Denominazione d’Origine Controllata e Garantita) than any other Italian wine region.

Barolo and Barbaresco, which are made from Nebbiolo grape, can only be made in a few villages in the region of Piedmont, but Nebbiolo is grown all over the region, not just in the villages that use it to create the high-end wines.

One of the most beautiful aspects of Nebbiolo is its scent — the wine actually smells of roses. In addition to this notable scent, the wine has a great amount of acidity, mouth-drying tannins and earthy flavours.

You might look for Dolcetto di Dogliani – also labelled simply Dogliani – for a more serious wine. Recently elevated to DOCG status, these wines are low-yielding, latepicked, super-selected, concentrated, (almost always) barrel-aged with a weight and structure foreign to other Dolcettos. Its dry austerity can often be mouth puckering, then you’ll need to add cellar time them. The result is a satisfying, rich, chunky, vigorous wine that opens a new and unsuspected window on the Langhe.

Other important, yet lesser known red varieties include: Grignolino (a red grape with intense flavors, brisk acidity and notable tannin and light body), Ruché (a rare aromatic red grape which offers intense aromas and flavours of nutmeg, cinnamon, lavender, peony and dark red cherries), Pelaverga (produces bright and perfumed wines, with accents of roses and violets, medium bodied and very fresh), Vespolina (bright with hints of sour red berries, violet and white pepper) and Freisa (perfumed, tannic and acidic – perfect for hearted dishes as stews and saussages)

White wines are slightly less famous, but equally distinct, food friendly, and versatile. Grapes like Arneis (complex with a soft bouquet of fresh flowers, ripe fruit and hazelnut), Cortese (moderate acidity and light, crisp flavors, medium bodied with notes of limes and greengage), Erbaluce (dry with noticeable acidity and apple aromas and flavors) and Moscato (elegant floral aromas and notes of peach, apricot and fresh grape juice) will give you a true taste of Piedmont whites.

While Barolo and Barbaresco are the stars, the number one grape planted in Piedmont is Barbera, and its most famous expressions come from the southeast neighboring communes of Asti and Alba. Barbera is crowd-pleasing with typically juicy black and red berry fruit, high acid, medium alcohol and soft tannins. The second most planted variety is Dolcetto, which generally offers more delicate fruit and lighter body, often benefiting from a light chill before serving.

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Sartori Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2012

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Appearance: Clear medium ruby.

Nose: Clean, medium pronounced aromas of cooked fruits, jamminess.

Palate: Dry, medium+ acidity, -medium tannins, medium+ alcohol, medium body, medium intensity, flavours of cooked fruits and spices. Medium+ finish.

Conclusion: For me Ripasso wines are made to please, you can’t go wrong with it. This is no exception: well balanced and very structured, is a fantastic wine for many occasions, ready to drink. For the “locals”, Supervalue offers it for 12€ this week, reduced from 19.99€, they say.

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Tasting Paolo Rodaro Friulano 2011

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I opened a bottle of Paolo Rodaro Friulano 2011 last night for refreshment, but I have to confess I was not much impressed… we took it with some chilli cheddar cheese – maybe this was the problem – and apart from the freshness, nothing else came to my attention which would worth blogging…

The day after, putting some left-overs together for a quick brunch, we decided to try it again, with a lovely & improvised stir fry king prawns… and I have to tell you, the wine was almost like another one! Lovely fruity aromas came instantly as I poured it into the glass, mainly apricots and peaches. Then the palate the fruits again, with some spices (white peppers, sweet spices) and hints of minerality as well.

Undoubtedly, this Paolo Rodaro Friulano 2011 is my “the day after” wine!

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Tasting Monterucco Riesling 08

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The Wine:
Produced by Monterucco, this 2008 wine is made from Riesling Italico, a high-yielding grape in northeast Italy. In most cases, it produces fairly bland wines. At its best, it delivers light wines with pronounced flowery aromas. It’s produced in the DOC Oltrepò Pavese, It has 12,5% alcohol.

In the eye:
Nice goldish-yellowish color, quite different from the regular Rieslings.

On the nose:
Pineapple pops-up almost immediately, followed by compote, honey, floral, and something veggie – lovely!

On the mouth:
Low tannins and less acidity then it should be, but the pineapples and the green apples are all there! It got a bit sour in the end, but even though it just highlighted a subtle honeyed after taste.

I found this an interesting wine, with such complexity on the nose and mouth. Very good, if not outstanding when considering the QPR. EM90/100!

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Tasting Cantina Parroco Dolcetto d’Alba 2011

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Azienda San Michele

Leia em Português

The wine:
Cantina San Michele is a winery farm founded in 1973 by the archpriest Don Giuseppe Cogno, Pastor de Nieve, along with three other producers from Nieve, in the heart of Barbaresco area, one of the greatest Italian red wines. The vineyards occupy six acres at one of the best “cru” areas of the commune. This 100% Dolcetto from D.O.C. Dolcetto d’Alba can be consumed now or kept till 2014.

In the eye:
A clear, dense, deep, very lively and inviting ruby.

On the nose:
Intense aromas, with predominat fruits (red and black berries), flowers (violet, rose) and toffee.

On the mouth:
A pleasant taste, very enjoyable, quite warm and moderate tannins with good freshness

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Tasting Girlan St. Magdalener 2010

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This is another wine I brought from Italy to some friends, and I’m posting my impressions even before they’ve tried the wine! Sorry guys, but I couldn’t wait to try this one: after so many unexpected events they eventually arrived!

This wine is made from Schiava grapes, a reference in South Tyrol viticulture, and it charms by its freshness and bright ruby red colour. It’s lightly tannic, low in acidity and slightly alcoholic – 12,5%. With delicacy, comes aromas of red berries on the nose, intense strawberries, and a hint of cherry, gooseberry and floral, and a discreet persistence. It goes divinely with cold meats and smooth cheeses.

Aged in barrels of cement, it’s ideal for the end of summer / beginning of autumn season. Made to be consumed fresh, could be served between 14ºC and 16ºC.

So if you are not feeling like Summer anymore – definitely not here in Ireland! – you can keep it until next year, but it would pleasure you equally if you drink it now!