Gambero Rosso, the global authority on Italian wines and publisher of the annual Vini d’Italia (Italian Wines) guide will be coming out with their wine guide in October. The result is a carefully curated selection of wines celebrated for the skilled craftmanship of their winery and the impeccable wines they produce. The most coveted wines are awarded “Tre Bicchieri”.
During this era of virtual tastings, I had the opportunity to taste 12 exceptional wines via the first-ever Tre Bicchieri Web Show. This interactive and rare experience was hosted by Gambero Rosso with Lorenzo Ruggeri as the moderator and commentator. The tasting was one of a kind experience with representatives from each winery present.
Gambero Rosso Wines – Tre Bicchieri Web Show
Panizzi Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019 (SRP $18)
Panizzi is celebrating its 30th vintage with this 2019 bottling. Vernaccia is the historical grape of the region and was widely popular with the King’s court during medieval times. Today, thanks to Giovanni Panizzi’s pioneering efforts, Vernaccia is having a modern-day renaissance. At Panizzi they are researching, exploring, and studying the Vernaccia grape variety, creating a wine that is evocative of their territory.
Wine Notes – The 2019 Panizzi Vernaccia di San Gimignano has all the special characteristics of Vernaccia. It is chalky with a nice intensity of white flowers, peaches and citrus fruits. It is an easy to drink wine yet complex. The wine is bright and lively. There is a rich mouthfeel that has a deliciously long finish.
Boccadigabbia Colli Maceratesi Ribona Le Grane 2018 (SRP $18)
The Boccadigabbia is a historic estate that was once operated by descendants of Napoleon Bonaparte. The estate is located close to the Adriatic coast with significant climatic influences of the sea. The soil is sandy and rich with clay, this imparts minerality and salinity to the wines. Boccadigabbia produces an exceptional Ribona, a rare and unique variety grown in the province of Macerata in the Marche region.
The wine is made with very special care, with an ancient process known as Le Grane. Soft pressing and fermentation take place for approximately 12 days. At the end of the first fermentation, overripe grapes are added to the must. This second fermentation lasts an additional ten days and allows the extraction of flavors and aromas, creating a highly structured and unique wine.
Wine Notes – The Boccadigabbia Colli Maceratesi Ribona Le Grane 2018 has aromatic herbs on the nose. The wine has pronounced spicy notes of ginger and white pepper. Salinity is distinctly expressed on the palate. It is a bold, structured white wine that is rich and full-bodied. The finish is energetic and dense with a high concentration of fruit. This very special Ribona has aging potential and will evolve with time in the bottle.
Zorzettig FCO Pinot Bianco Myò 2018 (SRP $27)
Zorzettig is a family-owned winery for five generations with more than 120 years of history. Annalisa Zorzettig manages the family winery with an emphasis on nature, authenticity, and quality. Located in Spessa di Cividale in the heart of the Colli Orientali del Friuli, is an ideal place for viticulture thanks to its unique terroir and microclimate. It is an area that benefits from the winds of the Adriatic sea while being protected by the Alps in the north. Zorzettig makes an elegant expression of Pinot Bianco that is of the highest quality and very food-friendly.
Wine Notes – Zorzettig FCO Pinot Bianco Myò 2018 expresses purity and freshness of the fruit with vibrant notes of lemon zest and orange peel. This wine is a very fragrant expression of Pinot Bianco. On the palate, it is rich and supple with a beautiful texture and long finish. This is a very impressive and elegant wine, one that will age up to 10 years.
Casalfarneto Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Cl. Crisio Riserva 2016 (SRP $30)
Casalfarneto is located in the Marche region, in the Classico area of Verdicchio. Their mission since the beginning in 1995 is to produce the highest quality Verdicchio. They started with three styles in 1995 and now they have 10 styles of Verdicchio. They are located on the northern border of the appellation, an area that gives their wines freshness, acidity, minerality, and complexity.
Wine Notes – Casalfarneto Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Cl. Crisio Riserva 2016 is a very unique wine with layers of complexity. This is a lighter more elegant Verdicchio, more Chablis-like, due to three harvest selections. The wine express notes of dried fruits, raisins, hazelnuts, as well as green notes from the early harvest pickings. There is also a level of juiciness that is inviting. Casalfarneto is producing terroir-driven wines, elevating Verdicchio to a new level.
Velenosi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Prope 2017 (SRP $15)
Velenosi Winery is located in Marche. Angela Velenosi is the woman behind Velenosi Wines. Over the years, Angela has become the biggest proponent of Marche wines and has become an ambassador of the region. In recent years, Angela crossed the border of Marche and went to Abruzzo to make Montepulciano d’Abruzzo because she is originally from Abruzzo. Angela wanted to return to her roots.
Wine Notes – Velenosi Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Prope 2017 has a rich aromatic profile. This is a very traditional style of Montepulciano and it is very well done. The mouthfeel is rich with texture and complexity. There are notes of ground coffee, dark fruits, and black pepper on the palate. The acidity is the key factor in this wine, and it keeps you coming back for more. This is a very food-friendly wine that will pair deliciously with grilled meats.
Conte Leopardi Dittajuti Conero Pigmento Riserva 2016 (SRP $38)
The history of Conte Leopardi is associated with a long lineage of Leopardi counts with very ancient origins. They arrived in Italy from Byzantium, with the Teuton knights, in the mid-fourth century AD. Today Count Piervittorio Leopardi Dittajuti is at the helm of the winery. The winery is located near the Adriatic in the Marche region in the province of Ancona. The climate is typically Mediterranean and is influenced by the sea and frequent breezes.
Wine Notes – Conte Leopardi Dittajuti Conero Pigmento Riserva 2016 is a project Piervittorio started in 1992. The wine is made by world-renowned winemaker, Riccardo Cotarella. Made with 100% Montepulciano, they produce only a small production of Pigmento, 8000-9000 bottles a year. The wine spends 2 years in French Oak and 2 years in bottle. There are notes of cherries, cocoa, tobacco, and herbs. The tannins are highly integrated and evolved. This is a very special wine that can age for at least the next decade.
Conte Emo Capodilista La Montecchia Colli Euganei Cabernet Sauvignon Ireneo 2016 (SRP $30)
Conte Emo Capodilista has belonged to the same family since the Middle Ages. Its main activity is viticulture in the Euganean Hills in Veneto. The vineyard rises up on the gentle slopes of the historic place, La Montecchia hill. Owner Giordano Emo Capodilista purchased this special cru specifically for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wine Notes – Conte Emo Capodilista La Montecchia Colli Euganei Cabernet Sauvignon Ireneo 2016 is 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, with a touch of Merlot and Carmenere. This is a single vineyard cru wine. The nose is highly expressive, with notes of black currant, dark chocolate, and balsamic aromas. The palate is restrained and austere. This is a bold yet elegant wine and will age wonderfully. Ireneo is a wine where the quality of the terroir is apparent.
De Stefani Colli di Conegliano Rosso Stefen 1624 2015 (SRP $120)
Alessandro is the fourth generation of the De Stefani family. The De Stefani family originates in Refrontolo, a little hilly village in Veneto Italy, as evident in historical documents of 1624. Alessandro’s great grandfather started the vineyards in the hills between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene in a small village of Refrontolo, where they produce DOCG Prosecco Superiore. T
Stefan 1624 is a wine that is grown in the heart of the Conegliano-Valdobbiadene area, made from the Marzemino grape, which was known to be Mozart’s favorite grape. Stefan was the ancient surname of Alessandro’s family and is also the name of the vineyard.
Wine Notes -De Stefani Colli di Conegliano Rosso Stefen 1624 2015 is intense and aromatic with notes of fruit, floral and spice. On the palate, this is a high intensity, full-bodied wine. The purity of the fruit is breathtaking. It is lively, fresh and dynamic. A lot of concentration but also great elegance.
Tenuta Monteti Caburnio 2015 (SRP $21)
Tenuta Monteti was founded in 1998 by Gemma and Paolo Baratta. Located in southern Tuscany in Maremma. In this small valley, 15 km from the sea and 145m above sea level, the fields are protected by the Monteti Hill from which the estate takes its name. The landscape is wild, and it is a very special place, full of flavor, vibrant life and energy. The Monteti wines describe the landscape of the area and tell the story of the different aspects of this landscape.
Wine Notes – Caburnio is a blend that varies vintage to vintage. The 2015 is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon(50%), Merlot(25%), and Alicante Bouchet(25%). The wine is fresh, in spite of it being from a hot area. Caburnia has power yet control and is a wine that is simply joyful. Some are notes of saffron and tobacco on the nose. This is an impressive wine coming from the rustic and wild side of Tuscany.
Coppi Gioia del Colle Primitivo Senatore 2015 (SRP $30)
Now we head south with this wine from Puglia in the province of Bari. Puglia is the land of Primitivo. Coppi Winery has been producing wine for over 40 years, but the family has been devoted to viticulture for more than 100 years. This wine is dedicated to Senator Antonio Michele Coppi, founder of Coppi winery as well as the winemaker.
Wine Notes – Coppi Gioia del Colle Primitivo Senatore 2015 has notes of dark cherries, blood orange, and subtle spicy notes. Earthy notes with crunchy fruits and a touch of balsamic. The wine is easy to drink with a nice dry finish. An exceptional and elegant Primitivo that displays the passion of the family.
Còlpetrone Montefalco Sagrantino 2012 (SRP $30)
Tenute del Cerro was founded in 1978, with forty years of wine history. With the acquisition of prominent estate over the years, each vineyard boasts a glorious past. Starting from Montecorona, which has a thousand years of history with the Camandolian Abbey and it was also the former property in the 40s of the tenor Beniamino Gigli.
Wine Notes – The Còlpetrone Montefalco Sagrantino 2012 has violet, citrus, and spicy notes. This is an elegant yet powerful Sagrantino with ripe tannins. There is a concentration of spice that is the signature of Colpetrone Sagrantino. The finish is longlasting. This is an 8-year-old wine, but the tannic structure is strong. It is an austere and complex wine that is made for the long term.
Tenuta Sant’Antonio Amarone della Valpolicella Campo dei Gigli 2015 (SRP $75)
Armando Castagnedi along with his brothers Tiziano, Paolo, and Massimo share a single passion that originated amongst their father’s vineyards at San Zeno di Colognola ai Colli, in Valpolicella where the famous Veronese Amarone is made. Campo dei Gigli is Tenuta Sant’Antonio’s most important vineyard. The vineyard name means “field of lilies,” the flower symbol of the winery.
Wine Notes – Tenuta Sant’Antonio Amarone della Valpolicella Campo dei Gigli 2015 is a classic Amarone, one that is elegant and balanced. The Campo dei Gigli is an Amarone with a sense of place. There is an intense smoky character, with barbecue notes, cinnamon, cardamom, and licorice. The limestone soils give the wine a spicy peppery note. An exceptional Amarone made with great passion, determination, and dedication.