This year's Decanter World Wine Awards International Trophy for the Best in Show Red Italian Varietals over £15 went to Pianpolvere Soprano, Bussia 7 Anni, Barolo Riserva, Piedmont, Italy 2007 (14.5%)
- Duca di Salaparuta, Duca Enrico, Sicilia, Italy 2009
- Rivetti & Lauro, Uì, Valtellina Superiore, Lombardy, Italy 2010
- Urla Sarapçılık, Nero d’Avola-Urla Karasi, Aegean Coastal Region, Turkey 2012
This Trophy (and the Under £15 Italian Varietials) is open to any wine made from Italian grapes, anywhere in the world. And while Italy dominated the contenders here, there was a excellent wine from Turkey in the mix. In the end, the victor came from one of Italy’s most famous regions, and the wine – a clear winner – was praised for its classic style, great structure, wonderful texture and rich cherry fruit, tobacco, chocolate and sweet spice.
The Nebbiolo grapes that go into this Trophy-winner come from one of the most important vineyards for the production of Barolo – Bussia, in the commune of Monforte d’Alba. The name has links all the way back to the 18th century when Napoleon built a powder magazine on the land, although this was eventually seized by the church. In the 1800s the land was taken over by the Italian state, and was eventually sold off bit by bit in plots of various sizes.
Today Pianpolvere Soprano is a nine-hectare estate, with 7ha under vine, producing about 10,000 bottles a year, the first vintage being 1999. The owners think the location of their vineyards, combined with the affinity of the Barolo climate and Bussia terroir to the Nebbiolo grape, is a combination that guarantees quality – clearly evident here in this Trophy-winning wine.
According to the rules of the Barolo DOCG, the wine must be aged for a minimum of three years before being released onto the market – 18 months of which has to be in barrel. If the wine is aged for a minimum of five years, then it is marked out as a Riserva. As suggested by this wine’s name, this producer goes a little bit further: this Riserva is called 7 Anni as that’s how long it thinks it takes to age the perfect Barolo before release.
Written by Decanter