10 native Italian varieties worth seeking out

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Bellone

Famous in ancient Rome, this grape gives dry white wines of real density and complexity, but also outstanding late harvest wines (it likes noble rot) and interesting sparklers. Honeyed and laced with tropical fruit, its re-emergence is very good news for the region of Lazio.

Try: Marco Carpineti, Capolemole Cori Bianco, Lazio 2010

Lovely, ripe, yellow fruit aromas and a lightly waxy, glyceral mouthfeel typical of Bellone; Capolemole is a mainly Bellone blend with other natives included. The Collesanti (100% Bellone), even better, is unfortunately not imported. Carpineti’s wines are all certified organic. 16pts/20
Price: £10 Swig
Drink: 2012–2013
Alc: 13%