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The season's best Italian wines

by Elena Guarneri last modified 2008-06-20 15:11

Autumn in Italy means one thing - wine. We asked the experts what to expect from this season's new wines.

The season's best Italian winesSeasons of mist and mellow fruitfulness . . .How can we let Autumn pass by without dedicating a few lines to the Fruit of the Vine? Inspired by the success of our article Divine Wine we decided to consult the experts and bring you this selection of Italian wine merchants where you can find the tipple of your choice online.
Our wine buffs all work in different wine shops, one dealing in wine from all over Italy and the other two specialising in wine from their area.: Andrea Gaetano Gatti from, Alberto Squilloni from (Tuscany), Clemente Terribile from (Apulia).
IP: What is your best-selling wine?
It's hard to single one out. All the Tuscan and Piedmont reds sell well, especially those in the middle price range (around LIT 20,000). I suppose Chianti and Pinot Nero are particular favourites.
It's hard to pinpoint one wine although our best-selling range is without doubt the Super Tuscan label.

Buyer's Guide
We asked Filippo Ronco, owner of the wine portal (soon to become for some advice on how to bluff your way through the world of wine.
Great discoveries
I don't like to talk about "great discoveries". Each wine has its own particular history including good and bad points. How can we pick one out as a so-called 'discovery'? I'd prefer to think of discovering great producers, people who live up to your expectations each year and who work to maintain and improve their existing standards.

Reds-Whites: 1-0
The way I see it is that even the best white (in terms of structure and balance) will find it hard to beat an equally good red for bouquet, nose, taste and finish.

Whites for newcomers – reds for wine lovers
Whites - usually lighter, often sparkling and drunk chilled - are often easier for the newcomer to drink. However, having said that, there are some very prestigious white wines. Some of the whites in the extreme North and South of Italy are quite raisiny and have a high alcohol content.

A must-have wine?
Anything you want to buy again (if it lives up to expectations).
Anything you can still remember months after you've drunk it.

Last word...
Let your curiosity guide you: it's good for the wine world if everyone doesn't stop at the usual big names.
And taste, taste, taste - It's the one sure way of learning about wine.
C.Terribile: We specialise in wines from Apulia so any Apulian wine sells well. Patriglione di Taurino is always in demand.

IP: Red or white?
Reds any day. Especially medium-bodied reds.
A.Squilloni: Reds. Tuscan reds are particularly popular, but good quality Vin Santo can hold its own, too. Although don't confuse it with low quality imitations with "Vino liquoroso Vin Santo" on the label. They may cost much less but you can taste the difference.
C.Terribile: We certainly sell more reds although whites are beginning to catch up. I don't really like breaking wines down into reds and whites - I'd prefer to talk about good and dodgy wines.

IP: What was this year's harvest like?
Average quantity but good quality.
A.Squilloni: The quality of the wines will be good. I can't really predict what the market will be like after the tragedy of September 11th. A terrible event like that could have a negative effect on quality product such as wine.
C.Terribile: Every year I listen to experts making predictions that never come true. I prefer not to commit myself . . ..

IP: Do you sell much abroad?
Around 86% of our orders are from within Italy with the remaining 14% from abroad. Yet international sales make up some 73% of our turnover for a grand total of LIT 340,000 against LIT 170,000 from Italy.
A.Squilloni: Up until now we've only done business in Italy. Before the terrorist attacks of September 11th we had enquiries from the US but they seem to have fallen through now.
C.Terribile: We sell about 15% of our wines outside Italy, mostly in the EU.

IP: A bottle for a special occasion?
In the high end I'd choose Sciacchetrà delle Cinque Terre, which is very popular with foreigners, too.
A.Squilloni: Pinot Nero Villa di Bagnolo. There are only a few thousand bottles produced each year.
C.Terribile: There are plenty to choose from. The last wine I drank was Opus One ’97 from Mondavi-Rothschild. It's got a rich ruby colour with a cherry and blackberry bouquet with a robust taste. All in all an excellent wine.

Links - - a virtual wine shop where you can discover and buy a wide selection of quality Italian wines and food. - - wines and other specialities from Tuscany. - - top wines and oils from Apulia. The shop also includes a good selection of international wines. - - an informative portal dedicated to wine (in Italian only).

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