So far I’ve worked my way through a pretty impressive set of wines that would make for some splendid gifting. I’ve covered Cabernet, Pinot Noir, the wines of France and today I turn my attention towards Italy. Without a doubt my favorite wine producing country; Italy is home to more variety and styles of wine than anyplace else on the planet.
As much as i would love to run through all of those wines today, the truth is that gift giving will generally focus on but a handful of famous wines. This of course makes perfect sense, gifting being about buying something that someone might not buy for themselves or buying something that is particularly noteworthy and special. With this in mind I will spread my attention a bit more liberally throughout the country. I've got my suggestions for Nebbiolo and Sangiovese of course but there are simply so many noteworthy and special wines being produced in Italy today that to ignore them would do a disservice to them and to you, our potential gift giver.
I will however start here with Nebbiolo, my favorite grape and when placed in the hands of one of the top producers, a grape capable of producing wines that marry power and elegance. At once hugely structured, yet so aromatic with delicate perfumes of violets and roses, leather, tar, red fruits and licorice all wrapped up in an age worthy package that can evolve for decades. Barolo and Barbaresco, they are two of the world’s greatest wines. Dare i say the greatest? Having said that they also generally require a fair amount of cellaring, which can pose a problem for pouring whatever vintage is on the shelves at this moment. Here is a very brief rundown of vintages to help guide your purchasing.