I haven't been here for a long time, mostly because of lack of time... Now I embarked on this quest to try and taste wines from all DOCG in Italy. A significantly different track than most of my Brunello/Barolo adventures! I've compiled a (long) tasting story of my notes of the past 3 months over on at the CT site. I thought some of you over here might be interested in this as well
Fair warning: it is a long story!
Somewhere late May this year when I was relocating a significant portion of my wine cellar I was digging a bit into my tasting note history. While doing that I discovered that I had taste wines from all 20 regions in Italy. Most of them from Tuscany and Piemonte, but some significant numbers in other regions as well.
Then I thought: "what would be a nice next target to explore?" and then I thought I should try and taste a wine from all DOCG in Italy. After a bit of research I concluded that out of the current 75 DOCG I had tasted only 25 yet. Mostly the obvious ones (Barolo, Brunello, Amarone) but also a few obscure ones (ever heard of the Elba Aleatico Passito?).
So I set out to try and find wines from the remaining 50 DOCG. My first step was to find some online in the Netherlands. This way I could quickly add another 4 to my list.
I also asked a friend, she works in a wineshop and could do a good search within their assortment. She found another 4 for me. so within 2 weeks that was down to 42!
Now things started to become a bit more complicated, for various reasons...
First, some are so unknown that you even can't find them here on CT! And they often never get exported out of Italy.
Secondly, some are actually quite famous but mostly for their serious lack of quality (Moscato d'Asti, Brachetto d'Acqui, Bardolino). So would it be possible to find wines that are actually worth writing about?
Thirdly, most of the missing wines where white, sweet and/or bubbly not a great perspective for a red wine lover!
Then I had a great opportunity to tackle all three issues at once: I was staying in Maremma/Tuscany for a few weeks. There is this Enoteca in a town nearby that I visit every year and highly respect: Il Bacchino in Massa Marittima. The owner, Magdy Lamei has always give excellent advise over the past years. And he didn't disappoint this time!
After sharing my story about the DOCG quest he promised that he would try and source as many of the missing ones as he could within the 2 weeks that were still left of my holiday. And he had a few already in his shop. This resulted in another 11 DOCG that I brought home with me.
I'm not done tasting all of them yet but I thought it would be interesting to make a tasting story about this quest. Even if it were only for my own memory to see how I made progress on this.
- 2018 Tenuta Cocci Grifoni Offida Pecorino Colle Vecchio - Italy, Marche, Offida Pecorino (11-6-2020)
Pale straw color. Aromas of ripe pear, lilly and citrus fruit with some hints of jasmine. Very smooth and rich on the palate. A long finish with some peppery undertones.
Will pair well with grilled white fish. (88 points)
- 2017 Terredora di Paolo Greco di Tufo Terre degli Angeli - Italy, Campania, Greco di Tufo DOCG (5-7-2020)
Apple, hazelnut and honey with some cirus and cinnamon hints. Remarkebly full bodied with an alomst red wine like tannin/acidity structure with silky smooth tannins. The finish is long with slight bitter twist to it.
This is a perfect match to some more aromatic chicken dushes (like the chicken wrapped in serrano ham and pesto dish we had) or veal.
I believe this wine might actually have some ageing potential but it is in great shape right now. (89 points)
- 2018 Giovanni Almondo Roero Arneis Bricco delle Ciliegie - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Roero (8-7-2020)
Pale light yellow with some green-ish hue. Bright and fresh aromas of citrus and grapefruit with a slight hint of jasmin and some pepper. Very fresh an lively on the palate with a great acidity balance and some spicy zing to it. Perhaps slightly lean but very persistent in its flavour profile from the initial aroma’s to the long finish.
My initial thought was: this smells like summer! Interestingly this wine matched quite well with a vegetable curry we had. I would have expected it to pale in combination with the spice-attack. But it gave and excitingly spicy-fresh support to the dish.
But we also greatly enjoyed it without any food.
I’m not a big white wine fan but a DOCG-discovery adventure that I’ve stepped into has nog given me a few highly enjoyable white wine experiences. Including this one and the Grecco di Tufo and Pecorino I recently had. (89 points)
- 2018 Donnachiara Fiano di Avellino - Italy, Campania, Fiano di Avellino DOCG (15-7-2020)
Light straw color. Fresh fruit and a slightly bitter (grapefruit-like) hint. Fresh acidity and some good minerality.
Well made but not particularly exciting. Would probably have fared better with some food. (87 points)
- 2017 Pio Cesare Gavi - Italy, Piedmont, Gavi (2-8-2020)
Pale yellow with some green hue. Citrus aromas and some hazelnut and mineral hints. Full and creamy on the palate, fresh and a little spicy. The finish is medium-long and nicely fresh.
A great companion to the salad with smoked chicken and avocado we had. (89 points)
- 2019 Il Colombaio Di Santachiara Vernaccia di San Gimignano Selvabianca - Italy, Tuscany, San Gimignano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano (5-8-2020)
Pale yellow with some green hue. Citrus, green apple and some wet earth and porcini. Fresh and mineral on the palate with some dusty tannins and spicy/fresh acidity. (86 points)
- 2018 Capichera Vermentino di Gallura Vign' Angena - Italy, Sardinia, Vermentino di Gallura DOCG (26-7-2020)
Straw/yellow color. Aromas of apple, citrus honey and hazelnut with some distinct minerality. Full and creamy on the palate with balance fresh acidity and a persistent mineral backbone, some silky tannins and a long finish that echoes the initial impressions.
It might improve a little more in 1-2 years but I wouldn't hold on for it too long. Drink now - 2024.
Impressive Vermentino, and a very serious white wine in general! (89 points)
- 2019 Cantina del Vermentino Monti Vermentino di Gallura Funtanaliras - Italy, Sardinia, Vermentino di Gallura DOCG (19-7-2020)
Pale straw. Apple, apricot and some roasted hazelnut and hints of jasmine/lily/marzipan(?) lychee!. Creamy texture, a hint off-dry, but with some fresh acidity at the same time. Long and persistent with a fresh dry finish.
Perhaps needs a little more time to balance out. Drink 2021 -2024.
More flowery than the Tuscan Vermentino that I’m more familiar with. (87 points)
The category that is right in the heart of my wine preference: classic red wines from Italy. Most of the discoveries here are from the the most Northern and Southern parts of Italy. In this case I knew various areas/designations already and I am sure that I actualy had some of these wines already (e.g. Valtellina Superiore). But apparently I never made a tasting note.
One of the remarkable discoveries here is the Val di Cornia - Suvereto DOCG, this place is literally just 15 min drive from the Agriturismo where we spend our summer holiday for already 18 years!
- 2010 Terredora di Paolo Taurasi Pago Dei Fusi - Italy, Campania, Taurasi DOCG (14-6-2020)
Ripe currant and cherry with some plum, red licorice and hints of cranberry and sage. Full bodied with silky, dusty, mouth coating tannins some balanced acidity and ripe fruit. The finish is long and extending seamlessly with a dusty tannic feel to it.
Very expressive, smooth and balanced. It is my first encounter with this wine but I believe it is at its peak right now. It just feels utterly balanced and expressive! (92 points)
- 2015 AR.PE.PE. Valtellina Superiore - Sassella Stella Retica Riserva - Italy, Lombardia, Valtellina, Valtellina Superiore - Sassella (21-6-2020)
Light ruby color. Typical Nebbiolo profile with bright cherry, tar and datk chocolate with some floral hints. Medium-full bodied with balanced acidity, refined tannins and fresh fruit. The finish is medium long and remains fresh.
This is a very nice, somewhat lighter/fresher expression of the Nebbiolo grape. I mostly know this grape by the Barolo, Barbaresco and Langhe Nebbiolo. This Valtellina certainly has its own charm. It is less bold but certaily as expressive as the big ‘B’s. I like the freshness! (89 points)
- 2009 Nino Negri Sfursat 5 Stelle - Italy, Lombardia, Valtellina, Sforzato di Valtellina (16-7-2020)
I bought this wine as part of my quest to try and taste all DOCG classified wines. I’ve had several wines from the Valtellina region before bit not from this DOCG.
And what a great pleasure it is to be finding such great wines like this one along the way. As opposed to some questionable stuff that I also had recently ( see some notes of the past week...). Also the fact that I could buy a nicely aged bottle. I found it at Il Bacchino in Massa Marittima, where I found so many great wines over the past years when I visit it during summer holiday.
Light ruby color with some amber at the rim. Beautiful aromas of cherry, roze petals and leather evolving towards sweet tobacco and a hint of toast/smoke. On the palate if gives mouth coating super silky tannins with a balanced support of fresh acidity and some sweetness of fruit. A nicely lingering finish that is slightly drying.
This wine is probably at its peak now but will last for several more years. Drink now - 2025. (93 points)
- 2012 Nicola Nobili Sforzato di Valtellina il montescale - Italy, Lombardia, Valtellina, Sforzato di Valtellina (16-7-2020)
Not as impressive as the Nino Negri I had yesterday, but stil a great wine!
Light ruby color with some brick at the rim. Full aromas of cherry, rose petals tar and some hints of tobacco. Medium full bodied with chewy smooth tannins cherry fruit and balanced fresh acidity. The finish keeps on lingering, has a fresh zing to it and remains fresh throughout.
This wine is nicely balanced already quite integrated but the structure suggestsa bit of room for further development/improvement. Drink now - 2025. (90 points)
- 2015 Garesio Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza - Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d'Asti Superiore Nizza (19-7-2020)
Deep ruby color with hints of purple at the rim. Aromas of cherry and blackcurrant with some red liquorice and a hint of rose petals. Medium bodied with lively acidity some chewy tannins and fresh fruit. Medium-long finish that remains fresh. Not a lot of structure to further develop. Drink now - 2023. (87 points)
- 2012 Terre de la Custodia Sagrantino di Montefalco Duca Odoardo - Italy, Umbria, Montefalco, Sagrantino di Montefalco (28-7-2020)
Deep ruby/red color.
Full aroma’s of cherry, blackcurrant and some leather and a hint of chocolate. Full bodied with big, smooth and mouth coating tannins and some fresh acidity and ripe fruit. A long finish with a spur/spicy zing to it.
A classic mouth full of a Sagrantino!
It has some further ageing potential but I’m not sure it will actually improve. Drink now - 2027.
My experience was quite different from an other note here on CT. This bottle didn’t have any (sweet/caramelised) Amarena and it clearly had some good freshness of acidity that made it lively.
Maybe that bottle was cooked?
I bought my bottle at a supermarket in Maremma/Tuscany. I assume it comes straight from the producer. (90 points)
- 2015 AR.PE.PE. Valtellina Superiore - Sassella Stella Retica - Italy, Lombardia, Valtellina, Valtellina Superiore - Sassella (31-7-2020)
Light ruby color. Beatiful aroma’s of cherry, freshly crushed berries and distinct floral aromas of roze petals and violet evolving with some hints of hay and sweet tobacco. Medium-full bodied with silky/dusty tannins and a great acidity and fruit balance. A long and fresh finish that echoes some of the fruit and floral impressions.
This wine is an object lesson in refinement and complexity. A great example of that distinct floral-fruit Nebbiolo character.
It is only the boldness and structure that can be found in a good Barolo or Barbaresco that I’m probably missing a little. Although... for any fan of complexity and refinement this wine maybe even deserves a few notches up. (92 points)
- 2016 Rigoli Val di Cornia Testalto - Italy, Tuscany, Val di Cornia (1-8-2020)
Medium ruby-red color. Aromas of ripe black fruit, licorice and sweet tobacco and some hints of garam massala. Full bodied with grippy-smooth tannins, fresh acidity and ripe fruit. A long finish that is slightly drying.
Nicely balanced already but has enough structure to develop for quite some time to come. It might even improve a notch up. Drink now - 2030.
Another nice encounter as part of my DOCG discovery quest. This time from an area that I was vaguely aware of, but never actually had any wine from. This area is literally within 20 minutes drive of the place we always stay during our summer holiday for more than 18 years now. Apparently there are still new things to discover!
There could hardly be a bigger difference between my previous note on the Valtellina Superiore and this wine. This wine is ripe and bold, maybe almost overwhelming, while the Valtellina is all about floral signatures, refinement and complexity. (90 points)
- 2012 Società Agricola Nativ Taurasi Rue 333 - Italy, Campania, Taurasi DOCG (11-8-2020)
The first glas right after popping the cork had nice aromas, comparable to the notes below, only a lot more emphasis on the smokey character (almost Islay whiskey like!). But was a bit disjointed and almost lean on the palate. We decided to leave the bottle for the next day. This was a good decision!
The next day the aromas had evolved a little but the biggest change was noticeable on the palate. A big jump from a ‘okayish’ 86pt to a solid 91pt in my book!
Yet another interesting discovery on my DOCG exploration path.
Very deep ruby color, almost black at the core. Full aromas of cherry, ripe blackcurrant, smoke and some cedar. Full bodied with grippy-smooth mouth coating tannins, ripe fruit and balanced acidity. The finish keeps on lingering and has a spicy-bitter zing to it.
Already well integrated but still some good structure left to perhaps develop a little more complexity. Drink now - 2027
Probably just a little short on complexity right now to reach truly great territories in my book. But if you like them bold and grippy, give this wine some timein the bottle after popping the cork, or give it a good decant, and you will be rewarded with a great wine! (91 points)
- 2014 Nino Costa Roero Gepin - Italy, Piedmont, Alba, Roero (18-8-2020)
Medium ruby color. Cherry, leather with some hints of dried herbs and violets. Full bodied with dusty layered tannins lots of ripe fruit and fresh acidity. The finish is very long and persistent.
This is a much bigger wine than I expected based on its price-tag. Maybe just a bit short on complexity but this might develop over time. There is certainly plenty of structure left to age for a long time to come.
Drink now - 2030.
Another addition to my DOCG list. It is actually quite weird: I have had so many Nebbiolo based wines but never a Roero. And this particular one proves that I have been missing out on something! (91 points)
- 2017 Fattoria La Rivolta Aglianico del Taburno Terra di Rivolta Riserva - Italy, Campania, Aglianico del Taburno (27-8-2020)
Initially quite closed and almost astringent after popping the cork. I decided to open another wine. Then we forgot about the bottle and left it in the wine cooler under vacuum. Then 3 days later: hmm, this is actually a really nice wine!
Ruby color with a slight purple hue. Full aromas of blackcurrant, some cherry and boxwood and hints of green pepper and vanilla. Full bodied with chewy-smooth tannins and fresh acidity. The finish is long and fresh with a slight bitter/drying twist.
This wine is still very young and might benefit from a decant but certainly needs some time to show its full potential. Probably better to leave it alone for a few more years. Drink 2022 - 2030. (90 points)
- 2015 Il Cascinone Barbera d'Asti Superiore D'Annona - Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Barbera d'Asti Superiore (16-8-2020)
Initially a bit muted. Nicely opened up on the second day.
Dark ruby color wirh purple at the rim. Aromas of dark plum, cherry and boxwood with hints of sage and cinnamon. Full bodied and smooth on the palate with lots of fresh fruit and acidity. A long and spucy finish.
Can probably improve a little with a few more years cellar time. But I don’t expect it to be for long haul. (89 points)
- 2017 Roberto Ferraris Nizza Liberta - Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Nizza (25-7-2020)
Dark ruby with some purple. Explosive aromas of cherry, cassis an tea leaves with some vanilla, cedar and cinnamon. Full bodied with lively fresh acidity, chewy-smooth tannins and fresh fruit. A long, spicy-fresh, finish that eventually turns slightly bitter.
A big and vibrant wine, perhaps a bit too young and fragmented still. Leaning towards over-oaked to my taste but the lively acidity provides enough counterbalance to keep my attention. This is probably the highest points I’ve given to a wine with such a strong oak base.
It will benefit from a few more years ageing and needs to harmonise a little more. I do think it has enough structure to develop for many years to come, although I'm not sure how the wood/fruit/acidity balance will work out and if it will actually have enough refinement to become a truly excellent wine. Drink 2022 - 2030 (+?) (92 points)
- 2015 Bulichella Val di Cornia Suvereto Coldipietrerosse - Italy, Tuscany, Val di Cornia Suvereto (22-7-2020)
Dark ruby/red colour, almost black at the core. Full aromas of blackberry and cherry and a hint of raspberry, with some liquorice and smoke. And even a whiff of that enticing Tuscan West Coast eucalyptus when you give it some time in your glass. Medium-full bodied with chewy-smooth tannins a layer of fresh acidity that firmly leaves that Italia/Tuscan touch to it, and a solid core of fresh fruit. The finish is long and has a nice fruit/spice balance to it.
This wine is still rather young and will probably develop some nice tertiary aroma’s over (a long) time. But I think it’s real quality is in the solid/fresh balance it provides now when it is still relatively young.
Drink now - 2030.
Initially I had this ‘oh no, not again this over-oaked stuff’ response. But after a few hours it gave a much more balanced and refined showing.
It will probably benefit from some decanting if you want to enjoy soon after opening the bottle. I have entirely stopped decanting by now because it does more harm than good to most of my preferred wines (classic Italians). I rather take my time and let it evolve in the glass. (91 points)
The sweet & bubbly
This is probably the hardest category for me. We don't drink sweet or sparkling wine that often.
Although I've had some great Franciacorta experiences, I've mostly had utterly disappointing encounters with sparkling wines from Italy. My preconception: they are too sweet, one dimensional and sometimes more of a soda than a wine.
I do have some fond memories of sweet wines I had in Italy (the Vin Santo 1995 from Fattoria Petrolo immedeatly comes to mind!). But I find it difficult to find the good ones because often it is just a 'side business' of the top notch producers.
I was actually very surprised with what I found in this DOCG quest. It might actually be that the sweet wines were the most consistent performers.
- 2016 Tenuta La Chiusa Aleatico Elba Passito - Italy, Tuscany, Elba (6-6-2020)
Cherry and ripe blueberry with some hay, dried herbs and slight hints of eucalyptus.
Sweet, but not jammy, on the palate with enough acidity and smooth tannins to keep things interesting. (89 points)
- 2016 Cantina Valpantena Recioto della Valpolicella Terre di Verona - Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella, Recioto della Valpolicella (10-7-2020)
Dark ruby-red color. Evolving aroma’s of cherry, smoke, liquorice, leather and some ripe mango and Indian spices. Full bodied with a sweet balance and some silky tannins. There is just enough acidity to keep it lively. The finish is silky sweet with a distinct smokey touch.
In a way this reminds me of a good vintage port but it offers some smokey, almost animal, notes that I’ve never encountered with vintage port.
It was a great match with some semi-aged (belegen) Dutch cheese we had. (90 points)
- NV Alasia Brachetto d'Acqui - Italy, Piedmont, Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG (15-7-2020)
This is more of a semi-sweet fruit juice with some fermented/bubbly twist to it than something that I would call wine.
I wonder how this should qualify under the highest classification that Italy has (DOCG).
I tasted this wine as part of my quest to have tasted all DOCG and this was an easy pick in a local supermarket in Italy. I gather from other TNs here on CT that there actually very impressive versions of Brachetto d'Acqui. I'll keep on searching for them! (75 points)
- 2012 Marenco Brachetto d'Acqui Pineto - Italy, Piedmont, Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG (13-8-2020)
So there you have it: I found a Brachetto d’Acqui that I can actually apreciate as a realy good wine.
During my quest of the past few months to complete my list of DOCG wines I’ve tasted several Brachetto d’Acqui that I couldn’t possibly classify as wine (see my notes here on CT). This was all stuff found in supermarkets in the Netherlands and Italy.
While staying in the Maremma for a few weeks this sumer I visited Il Bacchino in Massa Marittima (for many years one of my favourite enoteca in the area). Magdy Lamei, the owner, alwas has excellent suggestions when I’m searching for something specific. I shared my story about trying to complete my DOCG list. He promised to source some wines that would meet his quality standard. I asked “even for a Brachetto d’Acqui or a Moscato d’Asti?” He answered “maybe even those ones”.
Bright red with Amber at the rim. Ripe aromas of raspberry, rozes, cinnamon and dark chocolate with a basalmic hint. Fresh and full on the palate with a great sweetness/acidity balance and some smooth tannins. The finish is long and fresh. It has nothing of the stickyness that I found with all the others.
I probably have tasted this wine with longer than regular ageing but it still is vibrant and fresh.
Not sure what to say about ageing potential, I would guess there is none. I’d say: drink now.
So Magdy did succeed, just like he did with with the Moscato d’Asti (see my note on the Prunotto).
This is not a place to review wine shops but I would give him a solid 100 pt! (89 points)
- 2018 Alasia Brachetto d'Acqui - Italy, Piedmont, Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG (20-8-2020)
I’ve recently published a few notes that might seem a bit like Brachetto-bashing. But most of them are imo simply not worth of the label ‘wine’. This one is a bit more convincing in that respect.
And very different from the NV one I had a few weeks back.
Light red/pink colour. Cherry and raspberry aromas with some cinnamon. Sweet and fresh on the palate with some light tannins and just enough acidity to keep it from getting boring.
One of the better efforts I’ve encountered among the various Brachetto I had over the past weeks. Although not nearly as good as the Marenco I had last week. (84 points)
- 2009 Ronco Vieri Ramandolo Verduzzo Friulano - Italy, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Ramandolo DOCG (12-8-2020)
Medium amber/straw colour. Full aromas of dates, citrus and hints of lychee. Smooth, medium bodied, with a nice sweet/acidity balance. It reminds me a bit of some of the best Vin Santo I had, only a bit less concentrated.
Very nice with mixed ripe fruit dessert! (88 points)
- NV Borgoluce Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore - Italy, Veneto, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG (17-7-2020)
Very pale yellow. Light green apple and jasmine aromas with a hint of bread doe. Medium acidity with some tart notes and apple. The finish is initially fresh but has a slight bitter twist to it.
I see this as a pretty good example of a classic Prosecco with its light and fresh aroma's and enough acidity to keep it lively. This Borgoluce is a well made wine in general. Maybe only the slight bitter twist on the finish lets it down.
However, it exactly this kind of profile that makes me not care too much for Prosecco. Although there are other interpretations out there that do capture my interest (see my note on the Santi Prosecco). (86 points)
- NV Cinzano Brachetto d'Acqui - Italy, Piedmont, Brachetto d'Acqui DOCG (16-7-2020)
Barely worth the name 'wine'. It rather tastes like strawberry/soda drink with a slightly fermented twist.
I think I would actually prefer a strawberry-soda! (70 points)
- NV Corteaura Franciacorta Rosé - Italy, Lombardia, Franciacorta DOCG (27-7-2020)
The fact that we had this as apperetivo at the beachclub in Maremma/Tuscany/Italy before dinner must have played a role in my opinion but: what a lovely Franciacorta Rosé this is!
Strawberry and cherry with some hints of green apple and a very fine mousse. Fresh and balanced acidity. Nice! (89 points)
- 2018 Bellussi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry - Italy, Veneto, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG (17-7-2020)
This bottle comes under the label of the COOP supermarket in Italy. I've added it under this wine because the name (incl. the 'extra dry') is the same, the label has the same design and the bottle has the same characteristic indent just below the label.
Anyway, I don't know why I spend so much time on this note.... I don't think this is a very good Prosecco.
It has a pale colour. Mostly Apple aromas and a hint of honey. On the palate it is distinctly off-dry, almost sweet.
It is still well made with no technical flaws but there are better options out there and I'm not sure why Coop attaches their 'Fior Fiore' label to this mediocre product. (83 points)
- 2019 Santi Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Brut - Italy, Veneto, Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG (17-7-2020)
Now this was something special in the Prosecco line-up that I had on this lovely evening during my summer holiday!
I'm not a big fan of Prosecco (read my note on the Borgoluce for more on this) but this bottle was actually very enjoyable and a Prosecco that I would love to have once more!
Pale yellow. Interesting aromas of apple, petrol and hints of citrus acacia honey and lychee. Medium-high acidity and a good balance of fresh fruit with a slight spicy zing to it.
The aroma's remind me a bit of Riesling from the Mosel area. Much more exciting than most Prosecco I’ve had. (89 points)
- 2019 Prunotto Moscato d'Asti - Italy, Piedmont, Asti, Moscato d'Asti (31-8-2020)
So there you have it: I found a Moscato d'Asti that is actually worth writing a TN on!
Or rather, Magdy Lamei from Il Bacchino in Massa Marittima found it for me as part of his help on my quest to try and taste all DOCG of Italy.
This wine has a pale light yellow/beige colour. Fresh aromas of citrus, apple and lychee. A soft mouse on a sweet core that is nicely balanced out by some fresh acidity.
This wine made me think: "so once Moscato d'Asti actually seemed like a good idea". (86 points)
I've learned a lot of things in this process. Probably too many things to mention here. Just a few short ones in pretty much random order:
It is great to have some friend to help out on a quest like this. And people with know-how and connections to the right suppliers are key to find some good wines in otherwise pretty mediocre wine regions.
Several DOCG only were allocated in the last 10 years. Several of them were upgraded from DOC to DOCG status in the past 2 decades (like the Elba Aleatico Passito), some are a sub region from an existing DOCG (like Nizza).
When considering that the DOCG label is supposed to be the highest denomination in Italy some of the regions produce mostly just very questionable quality. I don't understand what the industry is trying to achieve here. And I fully understand that some of the highest quality producers have chosen to use lower classifications like IGT to just get rid of the DOCG restrictions and bad quality image.
Many Italian wine specialists are even not aware of all 75 DOCG. Probably because they are just not worth remembering.
The common wisdom that Italy doesn't produce great white wines is simply not true. During this journey I have encountered some truly great white wines from regions that I had never heard of before.