Francesco Ricasoli at his estate vineyards with the Castello di Brolio in the background
Picture © Tom Hyland
As usual, there were lots of exceptional Italian red wines launched this year from north to south, be they sparkling, rosato, white or red. Here are a few of these white wines I thought about the best launched in 2022.
Ca’ del Bosco Annamaria Clementi 2013 (Franciacorta Riserva)- Called for the late mom of owner Marizio Zanella, this cuvée is probably the finest made in Franciacorta. A mix of Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco and Pinot Noir, with zero dosage, this is a powerful white wine with outstanding harmony and intricacy. Enjoy this over the next 5-8 years, although it might age longer.
Cavallieri Blanc de Blancs Nature “Zodiac” (Franciacorta) – Cavallieri is regularly amongst top tier of Franciacorta producers, yet the winery does not often received the appreciation it is worthy of – perhaps this brand-new cuvée will open some eyes. Fantastic Chardonnay purity, vibrant level of acidity and outstanding complexity with noteworthy vibrancy. Enjoy over the next 4-6 years.
Ettore Germano Alta Langa Blanc de Noirs “Pas Dosé 2015 – Alta Langa reaches new heights with this cuvée; outstanding harmony and complexity; this will consume well for 5-7 years.
Ballabio Oltrepò Pavese “Farfalla” Zero Dose – 100% Pinot Noir; impressive harmony and intricacy with significant perseverance and finesse. The finest Oltrepò Pavese sparkling I have actually ever tasted. Peak in 4-5 years.
Barone Pizzini Franciacorta Brut Nature 2015
Ferghettina Franciacorta Rosé Brut 2017
Ferghettina Franciacorta Satèn 2017
Tenute Rubino “Otremé Rosato 2021 – 100% Susamaniello, a native range of Puglia. Currant and strawberry flavors; excellent complexity, significant consistency and an abundant, prolonged, dry finish with excellent persistence.
Francesco Cirelli Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2020 – Matured in amphorae, this is a deeply flavored rosato with impressive intricacy and harmony. An action above a lot of other examples of roast, this will consume well for three to five years.
Ciavolich Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo “Fosso Cancelli” 2020 – Also vinified in amphorae, with significant depth of fruit and incredible intricacy; this need to consume well for four to 5 years. (Rosato of the Year)
Pieropan 5 Calvarino – From one of the best manufacturers of Soave, an unforgettable white wine that is a blend of 5 vintages – 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 of their single vineyard Calvarino in the Soave Classico zone. Tremendous complexity, typicality and harmony, this is a spectacular red wine that shows remarkable freshness and must drink well for a minimum of another 5 to 7 years. A particular declaration about the impressive quality of Soave Classico at is finest. (Gewurztraminer of the Year)
Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca 2020 – La Rocca is a single vineyard Soave Classico that is aged in large wood barrels. Each vintage is impressive concerning its depth of fruit and intricacy, with this 2020 being off the charts. Quite effective, this has a complex set of fragrances with notes of orange peel and anise, while there is vibrant acidity and a lengthy surface. Tasting just like a top-notch Mosel Riesling, this is a terrific Soave that will easily cellar well for 10-12 years.
Fiano vineyard at Montefalcione, province of Avellino, Campania (Fiano di Avellino DOCG)
© Tom Hyland
2021 Campanian whites – 2021 was an impressive vintage in Italy for both whites and reds. A few reds have actually been launched from this vintage, while the majority of are two to 4 years from release. As for the whites, there are shining examples from numerous areas, especially from Campania, where Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino are the most crucial white wines. 2021 was a year that produced white wines of such great varietal pureness together with dynamic level of acidity and stunning texture.
Amongst the finest examples of Greco di Tufo and Fiano di Avellino from the 2021 vintage were the following:
Donnachiara Greco di Tufo Riserva “Aletheia”
Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo “Cutizzi”
Benito Ferrara Greco di Tufo “Terra d’Uva”
Colli di Lapio Greco di Tufo “Alexandros”
Terredora di Paolo Greco di Tufo “Loggia della Serra”
Colli di Lapio Fiano di Avellino
Mastroberardino Fiano di Avellino “Radici”
Passo delle Tortore Fiano di Avellino “Bacio delle Tortore”
Pievalta Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore “Dominè” 2019 – If you’ve ever wondered why Verdicchio is so well-known, this wine, with its lush mid-palate, stunning aromatics and lengthy surface, will address your questions.
Santa Barbara Stefano Antonucci Castelli di Verdicchio Riserva “Tardivo Ma Non Tardo” 2018 – One of Italy’s most complicated white wines, the 2018 is as fine a variation as I have actually tasted. Aromas of persimmon, guava and almond, this is full-bodied with a powerful finish.
Monte del Frà Custoza Superiore Bonoma Sexaginta 2020
Surrau Vermentino di Gallura “Sciala” 2021
Palmento Costanzo Etna Bianco Contrada Santo Spirito 2020 – An extraordinary wine, the finest Etna Bianco I have ever tasted.
Skerlj Malvasia 2018 – From Friuli, an enchanting orange red wine with incredible perfumes of candied orange and clementine, backed by vibrant level of acidity. There is impressive persistence and charming charm.
Cantina Terlan Terlaner 2021 – An outstanding blend of Pinot Bianco Chardonnay and Sauvignon; excellent concentration, unique notes of basil and apricot, structured for a minimum of a decade of aging.
Cantina Terlan Pinot Bianco Riserva Vorberg 2019 – Probably the finest Pinot Bianco from Italy, these 2019 version provides outstanding harmony and exceptional varietal pureness; peak in ten years or more.
Winemaker Cecilia Leoneschi in the vineyards at Castiglion del Bosco
Picture thanks to Castiglion del Bosco
Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2016
Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino “Cerretalto” 2016 – Not only impressive, however truly a legendary Brunello di Montalcino
Bolgheri Superiore 2019 – 2019 was an outstanding vintage for Bolgheri Superiore, leading to red wines of deep color, exceptional concentration and notable cellar capacity. Here are a few of the finest:
Tenuta San Guido “Sassicaia”
Grattamacco (Gratttamacco Bolgheri Superiore)
Michele Satta “Pistraia”
Donna Olimpia 1898 “Millepassi”
Campo alla Sughera “Arnione”
Ornellaia “Le Serre Nuove di Ornellaia” 2020 – As full-bodied, complex and magnificently structured as Bolgheri Rosso as is produced today. You get the quality and stylings of a Bolgheri Rosso Superiore with this wine at far less money. To me, this is the worth of the year in Italian wines.
Alessandro Campatelli, Riecine
Picture © Tom Hyland
Chianti Classico Gran Selezione – This was a category that was irregular a years back, however as more manufacturers have embraced this designation, there are lots of first-class examples that combine exceptional Sangiovese pureness with outstanding structure. Among the finest launched in 2021 were:
Ricasoli 1141 Ceni Primo 2019
Ricasoli 1141 Colledila 2019
Ricasoli 1141 Castello di Brolio 2019
Riecine Vigna Gittori 2019
Aldo Conterno Barolo Gran Bussia 2013 (A Barolo of remarkable typicity and intricacy, one that must consume well for more than twenty-five years – connected for red wine of the year).
Barolo Riserva 2016 – 2016 was an impressive Barolo vintage, among the best of the past two decades. These are red wines that show exceptional harmony, lovely sense of terroir and lengthy aging prospective Here are a few of the very best:
Cavallotto Bricco Boschis “Vigna San Giuseppe”
Paolo Scavino Rocche dell’Annunziata
Elvio Cogno “Vigna Elena”
Ettore Germano Lazzarito
Poderi Oddero Bussia Vigna Mondoca
Bruno Giacosa Falletto Rocche Riserva (Remarkable power, outstanding expression of terroir – tied for red wine of the year)
2018 Barolo – The very best examples of Barolo from the 2018 vintage display significant sophistication, thanks to excellent natural level of acidity; they also offer outstanding varietal purity. These are not powerful wines, but ones that show a degree of grace and skill not often discovered in young Barolo.
Giovanni Rosso Vignarionda “Ester Canale”
Paolo Scavino “Carobric”
Aldo Conterno Bussia Romirasco
Aldo Conterno Bussia Cicala
Luciano Sandrone “Aleste”
Elio Grasso Gavarini Chiniera
Trediberri “Comune di La Morra”
Barbaresco 2019 – Among the best vintages for Barbaresco in the years of the 2010s. Effective red wines that offer deep fruit concentration and prolonged aging capacity.
Bruno Giacosa Asili
Cascina delle Rose Rio Sordo
Poderi Oddero Gallina
Paitin Barbaresco Serraboella
Rizzi Barbaresco Pajoré
Albino Rocca Ronchi
Bruno Giacosa Nebbiolo d’Alba “Valmaggiore” 2020 – From the popular vineyard in Roero. Superb varietal purity and harmony; better than lots of Barolo at a much greater cost.
Rivetto Langhe Nebbiolo 2019
Santa Barbara “Pathos” 2018 – From Marche, a barrique-aged blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. Full-bodied, with excellent ripeness, notable determination, and silky tannins.
Cantina Tollo Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cagiòlo 2014
Francesco Cirelli Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2019
Di Majo Norante Aglianico del Molise Riserva Cantado 2016
Petilia Taurasi “450 V” 2015
Palmento Costanzo Etna Rosso “Prefillossera”2019
Rocca di Montegrossi Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2011
Castello di Volpaia Vin Santo del Chianti Classico 2018