Italy has many native grape varieties - over 500 at last count. VINTAGES highlights only 11 of these grapes, and only 3 of the 17 wines are included among my wine recommendations below. If you prefer dry, floral and fragrant white wines, check out the Falanghina grape. Tuscany is synonymous with Sangiovese, but also goes by various other names within the region. The Salcheto Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is made with this grape, but goes by its local name - Prugnolo Gentile, while the Villa Cafaggio uses Sangiovese. Lastly, if you've ever tried some of the Zinfandels from California and found them too sweet, then check out the dry, earthy Primitivo (a.k.a. Zinfandel) from Puglia.
One other Italian wine is included in the magazine, but for some reason not part of the native Italian grape theme - a Pecorino from Abruzzo. The last Italian wine to be included below is a traditional Bordeaux blend from Poggio al Tesoro - 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, balance is Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
From the mini-feature, a total of 4 wines from Chile, Argentina and South Africa are worth your attention. Chile's winemaking power Concha Y Toro brings us a Carmenère that hails from a single block within a single vineyard, while Fabre Montmayou from neighbouring Argentina has a Malbec that comes from vines over 60 years old. Both wines from South Africa made my list of wine picks - a Chenin Blanc (the most widely planted white grape in the country) and a Shiraz (a.k.a. Syrah and rising in popularity in South Africa.)
In white wines, the Sancerre is a Sauvignon Blanc, while the wine from Switzerland is made using the Chasselas grape. Last, but definitely not the least, is a 9-grape, dry white wine blend from Austria that will be available only on VINTAGES Flagship stores.
Enjoy my wine recommendations from this release! Cheers!
- FEUDI SALENTINI LUPORANO PRIMITIVO DEL TARANTINO 2012 - IGP, Puglia, Italy (#395368) (XD) - $17.95
- VILLA CAFAGGIO CHIANTI CLASSICO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#176776) (XD) - $19.95
- J. LOHR SOUTH RIDGE SYRAH 2012 - Paso Robles, California, USA (#948240) (XD) - $19.95
- RUSTENBERG SHIRAZ 2011 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#399246) (XD) - $19.95
- FINCA LA CUESTA 2011 - DO Bierzo, Spain (#166702) (XD) - $19.95
- FABRE MONTMAYOU GRAN RESERVA MALBEC 2011 - Mendoza, Argentina (#279802) (XD) - $22.95
- SALCHETO VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO 2011 - DOCG, Tuscany, Italy (#685180) (D) - $29.95 reviewed here
- CONCHA Y TORO TERRUNYO PEUMO VINEYARD BLOCK 27 CARMENÈRE 2011 - Entre Cordilleras, Peumo, Cachapoal Valley, Chile (#562892) (XD) - $29.95
- HESS COLLECTION 19 BLOCK MOUNTAIN CUVÉE 2010 - Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, California, USA (#018879) (XD) - $49.95 reviewed here
- POGGIO AL TESORO SONDRAIA 2010 - DOC Bolgheri Superiore, Tuscany, Italy (#292391) (XD) - $49.95
- REICHSGRAF VON KESSELSTATT RK RIESLING 2008 - QbA Mosel, Germany (#733295) (M) - $15.95 reviewed here
- WEINGUT ZAHEL RIEDENCUVÉE GRÜNER VELTLINER 2013 - Wiener Lagen, Austria (#181594) (XD) - $16.95
- ECO PECORINO D’ABRUZZO SUPERIORE 2013 - DOC, Abruzzo, Italy (#395020) (XD) - $17.95
- OCONE FLORA FALANGHINA 2012 - DOP Taburno Falanghina del Sannio, Campania, Italy (#326694) (XD) - $18.95
- REDSTONE CHARDONNAY 2011 - VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#398966) (XD) - $18.95
- CAVES ORSAT FENDANT 2013 - AC Valais, Switzerland (#402669) (XD) - $19.95
- SIMONSIG CHENIN AVEC CHÊNE CHENIN BLANC 2012 - WO Stellenbosch, South Africa (#282772) (XD) - $25.95
- DOMAINE DE SAINT-PIERRE SANCERRE 2013 - AC, Loire, France (#170258) (XD) - $26.95
- WIENINGER NUSSBERG ALTE REBEN WIENER GEMISCHTER SATZ 2012 - DAC, Wien, Austria (#395640) (XD) - $37.00
- POULET ET FILS BRUT CRÉMANT DE DIE - Méthode Traditionnelle, AC, Rhône, France (#392555) (D) - $17.95
- TAITTINGER PRESTIGE BRUT ROSÉ CHAMPAGNE - AC, France (#993113) (D) - $89.95
- FONSECA QUINTA DO PANASCAL VINTAGE PORT 2001 - Bottled in 2003, DOP, Portugal (#402354) (S) (375 mL) - $39.95
- FEATHERSTONE SELECT LATE HARVEST CABERNET FRANC 2011 - VQA Twenty Mile Bench, Niagara Peninsula, Ontario, Canada (#210757) (S) (375 mL) - $19.95 reviewed here
The rest of the wines from this release can be found here.