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An Introduction to Italian Wines Available at AQUA Forte – Part 1

Jul 25, 2019
Italian Wine

At AQUA Forte we are proud to offer a wide selection of Italian wines, including some of the best premium wines. All the wine on the list can be enjoyed by the glass, thanks to a special innovative technology that allows pouring the wine out of the bottle without opening it. So, guests can try different wines with different dishes or simply enjoy one glass of premium wine without ordering the full bottle.

Italian Wines and Wines Regions

Italy is one of the most famous wine producing countries of the world. Thanks to its climate and geographical position, virtually any part of Italy can produce wine and because of the variation of climate and territory from north to south, from mountains to seaside, the variety of wines found in Italy is one the largest in the world. Italy grows almost 400 grape varieties, about one third of the world total number of classified grape varieties.

Each region in Italy has its own native variety and style of wines and specializes on a few to reach outstanding quality and consistency. In the chart, all major wine regions of Italy and their most typical grape varieties are shown.

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AQUA Forte currently offers a selection of wines from 9 different Italian regions, including all the most important wine producing zones. On this blog, we’ll focus on the three most represented regions: Piedmont, Veneto and Tuscany. Our next blog will focus on the less famous but equally interesting wines and regions.

Piedmont Wines

Piedmont, most famous for its luscious reds, is the northern region of Italy which borders France and Switzerland and surrounded by the Alps. Due to its variety of climates, altitudes and soil types, the region produces other famous grapes too such as Arneis, Cortese, Moscato and Barbera. Some of the red wines produced in this region have consistently ranked among the best wines in the world. Barolo and Barbaresco for example, produced from the Nebbiolo grape, the most typical grape native to Piedmont region, are globally recognized. At AQUA Forte, we offer three of the region’s most famous wines which express the quality and character of the unique terroir.

Piedmont White Wines

La Scolca Gavi DOCG Valentino 2015

La Scolca Gavi DOCG Valentino 2015

Gavi is produced using a Cortese grape varietal; primarily grown in the Piedmont region, close to the Italian Riviera (Ligurian) border. The name ‘Gavi’ originates from a small town with the same name, located at the centre of this wine production area; approximately 100 km southeast of Turin. These white wines have a fresh and vibrant style. Gavi DOCG (Denomination of Controlled and Guaranteed Origin) has a faint straw colour with greenish reflections. Gavi has a delicate but tasteful scent of fresh fruits, white and flowers, with notes of citrus and bitter almonds, enriched by complexity and ageing mineral aromas. The wine has a dry and full taste which is cool, harmonious, refined and sophisticated.

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Piedmont Red Wines

Dezzani Barbera d’Asti 2016

Dezzani Barbera d’Asti 2016

Dezzani Barbera d’Asti is produced using a selection of Barbera grapes from the Monferrato, a well-known wine district. This ‘young-style’ wine is unique to its terroir. Barbera grapes are known for its dark colour and is the third in terms of popular wine grapes used. During the vinification process (the process of turning grapes into wine), they are fermented at a controlled temperature with a short maceration on the skins. The colour is bright ruby red, to the nose it presents a wide bouquet with hints of red fruits and apricot. With its characteristic flavour, highly intense and all-round, Barbera d’Asti is best paired with typical Piedmont appetizer Vitello Tonnato and pasta dishes.

Dezzani Barolo 2014

Dezzani Barolo 2014

Barolo, which takes its name from the small town in the Langhe area in Piedmont region, is one of Italy’s greatest wines and is considered to deliver the highest and most powerful expression of the Nebbiolo grape (Vitis vinifera ‘Nebbiolo’). It is often referred as “the king of wines and the wine of kings” due to its outstanding international reputation since mid-19th century.

Harvested manually in early October, the grapes follow the traditional vinification process. After a 40-day maceration at controlled temperatures and the malolactic fermentation, the wine ages in big oak barrels for a minimum of 2 years and a further 6 months in bottles. The colour is red garnet, the aromas are complex and elegant, ranging from ripe red fruits and spices, until toasty. This Barolo tastes gently tannic, full, austere, and velvety. This great wine perfectly complements rich first courses, game, roasts and hard cheeses, but it can also be an ideal post dinner treat.

Veneto Wines

Veneto is the famous home of Prosecco and Pinot Grigio (two of the most popular wines in the world), but there is much more that it can offer. Thanks to its geographical position, this region enjoys the influence of the Adriatic Sea and the Alps, with vast fertile plains and hills in between, with rich soil and warm humid summers, so it can offer wide range of wines from sparkling to dry whites, from medium and full body reds to sweet wines. Our selection covers most of these styles.

Veneto Sparkling Wines

Bottega Prosecco Spumante DOC and Prosecco Rosé DOC

Bottega Prosecco Spumante DOC and Prosecco Rosé DOC

Prosecco is the world’s most famous sparkling wine. The most common Prosecco Spumante DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) is made from Glera grapes (Vitis vinifera ‘Glera’), the Rosé from Pinot Noir variety. Prosecco and Rosé can be both enjoyed as an aperitif or can accompany any meal, especially starters or light pasta and risotto dishes. Rosé pairs perfectly with vegetarian and fish dishes, white meats and cheeses but can also be enjoyed after dinner.

Veneto White Wines

Bottega Pinot Grigio Veronese IGT 2017

Bottega Pinot Grigio Veronese IGT 2017

Pinot Grigio is a white grape that flourishes in the Veneto region of Italy where the climate and environment are ideal for the cultivation of this grape. With an elegant and refined bouquet, this Pinot Grigio evokes delicate floral notes of acacia and elderflower, coupled with fruity aromas of peach and pear, with notes of almond in the finish. The wine is dry, harmonic and fresh to taste, while the acidity is perfectly balanced with the smoothness and good structure of the wine. Pinot Grigio is known to be light, fresh and crisp, it is perfect as an aperitif and complements light starters from risotto and pasta to cured ham, white meat, fish and vegetables.

Bottega Soave Classico DOC 2017

Bottega Soave Classico DOC 2017

The wine is named after Soave, a small town in Veneto. Produced using Garganega grape (Vitis vinifera ‘Garganega’), the production area of this wine was limited by a decree in 1931 and is the first DOC-recognised wine in Veneto, when DOC ‘Soave Superiore’ was acknowledged. When produced in the original, ‘classical’ and most ancient part of the hills of Soave and Monteforte, the wine has the privilege of carrying the ‘Classico’ label. The wine offers a delicate, fruity bouquet particularly of apple and citrus fruits, and hints of white flowers and sage. The taste is harmonic, mineral, sapid, pleasant and elegant; characterized by acidity and a subtle note of almond. This wine can be enjoyed as an aperitif; it pairs well with starters, soups, risotto, eggs, fish, snail, white meat with delicate sauces or vegetable-based first courses.

Veneto Red Wines

Bottega Merlot IGT Trevenezie 2017

Bottega Merlot IGT Trevenezie 2017

Wines indicating ‘Trevenezie’ originates from ‘Tre Venezie’ or ‘Le Venezie’ area, a territory that includes Veneto and Friuli Venezia-Giulia regions and the province of Trento. Merlot (Vitis vinifera ‘Merlot’) is a dark blue-coloured grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines; it adapts well to any climate and soil but in Italy it finds its best expression in Veneto. The bouquet of this Merlot is full, mellow with hints of violet, blueberry, blackcurrant and classic notes of humus and undergrowth. Subtle fragrant spices like thyme and oregano develop into balsamic notes. The taste of this wine is vigorous, intense and persistent, with full-bodied yet velvety tannins, earthly and delicate herbal notes. The wine is best paired with a variety of dishes from pasta with a meat-based sauce, red/white meats like pork, rabbit, veal or poultry, and mushroom sauces, salami, spicy dishes or aged and blue cheeses.

Veneto Dessert Wine

Poesie Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG 2013

Poesie Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG 2013

Poesie Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG is made using late harvested, semi-dried Corvina and Rondinella grapes, from the best Valpolicella-area vineyards. It goes through a brief cold maceration on the skins for 24 hours, then fermentation in stainless steel. The result is a ruby red hue and a fragrant scent of red roses to the nose; a wine that is extremely elegant, seductive; the palate is sweet and velvet smooth with a long, lingering finish. The wine pairs well with chocolate cakes, cream puddings, fruit pastries and confections containing nuts.

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Tuscany Wines

Tuscany requires no introduction, as it is globally famous (and rightly so) for its outstanding reds. Tuscany’s hilly interior are home of the most iconic imagery of Italian vineyards and produces some of the best wines in the world. Famous reds are both in the DOC and DOGC categories (mainly Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri) and in the Super Tuscan group, that includes exceptional high quality wines produced by blending classic grape variety of the region (above all Sangiovese) with international varieties (especially Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah). We propose four different reds to cover the different wine characters and styles that this fascinating territory can offer.

Tuscany Red Wines

Antinori Santa Cristina Rosso 2016

Antinori Santa Cristina Rosso 2016

A red hue with purple highlights, Santa Cristina offers notes of ripe cherries on the nose, which is a typical aroma of both Sangiovese (sanguis Jovis, “the blood of Jupiter” – the most widely planted grape variety in Italy) and Syrah (a world famous international grape variety), well integrated with the balsamic sensation of mint which characterises Merlot. Pleasurable sensations of coffee and vanilla complete the bouquet. Soft and ample on the palate with a fruity finish and aftertaste.

Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2016

Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico DOCG 2016

The Chianti Classico as the name suggests is from Chianti region in central Tuscany of Italy and expresses its historic grape variety with a full fruity, floral character. Ruby red in colour, the Antinori Peppoli Chianti Classico produces intensely fruity notes of red currants and cherries that dominate on the nose, along with combined hints of violet and a subtle touch of toasted oak. On the palate, it’s balanced, fresh and savoury with supple tannins, shows a finish and aftertaste which recall the sensations first felt on the nose.

Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC 2012

Le Serre Nuove dell’Ornellaia Bolgheri DOC 2012

In a terroir common for Sangiovese and Trebbiano wines, Marchese Mario Incisa planted Cabernet Sauvignon in his estate at the end of World War II. This was the start of the history of Bolgheri DOC. Bolgheri is a tiny town, located about 8 km inland from the Tuscan coast, however some of Italy’s most renowned vineyards lie just west of the town. Le Serre Nuove is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Combining the generosity and depth of flavour with a vibrant and engaging personality, this elegant wine offers a deep ruby red tone. The bouquet is crisp and clean edged, with definite notes of sweet violets and wild berry fruits and subtle hints of roast espresso bean and pungent spice. The palate is full bodied with a good weight, displaying a velvet-smooth glossy texture and up-front fruit. The wine ends on an intensely refreshing note, with a lovely vein of acidity driving a near-endless finish.

Antinori Tignanello 2015

Antinori Tignanello 2015

Tignanello is produced using Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc, and is recognized as one of the best wines in the world and has achieved many milestones in Italian wine history. It was the first Sangiovese-based wine to age in barriques, the first new red wine blended with untraditional varieties and one of the first in the Chianti region to not use white grapes in the blend. It was, along with Sassicaia Bolgheri DOC, the precursor of all modern Super Tuscan reds. The 2015 vintage has a very intense ruby color. The bouquet has notes of ripe red fruit, cassis and blackberries, well balanced with hints of licorice and chocolate. On the palate, the wine is vibrant, rich, ample and endowed with lively, silky tannins which offer a great complexity and important length to the finish and aftertaste.

 

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