It’s a truth as stark as a cabernet stain on a white tablecloth: Wine quality is at an all-time high. Technology, advanced vineyard practices and global competition have raised the bar dramatically over the past half-century. But is wine getting more interesting? I suspect some of you would answer in the negative.
General interest in indigenous vines is “unparalleled in the history of wine,” they write. “In Italy alone, where we reckon there are currently about 380 different varieties responsible for wine in commercial circulation, there are initiatives all over the country to save from extinction and recuperate historic vine varieties that until recently have been known to perhaps only one or two farmers.”
Last week’s Vintages release in Ontario liquor stores features several premium Italian wines made from grapes that would, indeed, have remained local curiosities were it not for consumers’ increasingly adventurous palatesLucchetti Lacrima di Morro d’Alba 2011 (Italy) - SCORE: 88 PRICE: $17.95 The “Alba” here is not to be confused with the northern Piedmontese town associated with Barolo and white truffles. Morro d’Alba is a town in the Marche region, the hamstring of the Italian boot. According to the book Wine Grapes, co-authored by Jancis Robinson, lacrima do morro d’alba was near extinction in 1985, when the vine’s total plantings measured just 2.5 acres. By 2000, it had expanded to 252 acres. This is an usual and tantalizingly offbeat red, medium-bodied with scents of strawberry and talcum powder. On the palate, it delivers additional notes of chewy cherry, herbs and cracked pepper. Baked ham would be a fine match.Tabarrini Colle Grimaldesco Montefalco Sagrantino 2007 (Italy) - SCORE: 93 PRICE: $48.95Caruso & Minini Sachia Perricone 2010 (Italy) - SCORE: 87 PRICE: $13.95Selvanova Vigna Antica Aglianico 2009 (Italy) - SCORE: 91 PRICE: $15.95Jerzu Chuerra Riserva Cannonau di Sardegna 2008 (Italy) - SCORE: 90 PRICE: $15.95Enotria Ciro Rosso Classico 2010 (Italy) - SCORE: 87 PRICE: $13.95Apollonio Copertino Rosso 2007 (Italy) - SCORE: 83 PRICE: $16.95
Via Mariano Pallottini