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Beyond Piedmont & Veneto: Northern Italy’s top red wines

Northern Italy is home to some of the best-known and highest-quality red wines in Italy. While Piedmont and Veneto are arguably the most recognisable regions, beyond them there is much more to be discovered.

Tasted and rated by our expert judges at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020 last August, here you can explore the competition’s top-scoring red wines from Northern Italy’s perhaps less familiar regions…


Co-Chair Andrew Jefford on the judging process

Keeping track of all the changes which are constantly underway in the wine world is something all of our judges love to help with – via the DWWA judging process. Nothing stands still with wine, remember. Our judging system – including re-tasting of all Golds, with the possibility of promotion to Platinum – is something of which we are very proud. When consumers see a DWWA sticker on a bottle, be it Platinum, Gold, Silver or Bronze, they can be reassured that the wine in question has been judged by regional experts and specialists before receiving its medal. We discuss, we argue, we fight it out… that’s all part of the judging fun. Even with social distancing! But that’s also how you get the results which have made the DWWA a benchmark of international wine.


Trentino-Alto Adige/Sudtriol

K Martini & Sohn, Maturum Riserva Lagrein, Alto Adige 2017

97 points, Best in Show
£29.90 (2018) Independent Wine
Lagrein always seems to appeal on the basis of both exuberance and a kind of charming rusticity. That’s what this hugely characterful wine does. The nose is almost piratical: high-toned and swashbuckling, with wild hedgerow fruits, leaves and acorns and even a whiff of roast meat. The palate is lively, deeply fruited, with vivacious acidity and a pronounced, cleansing, fruit-charged bitterness on the finish. Once tasted, never to be forgotten. This excellent and now semi-mature example makes a great place to start your Lagrein education. Alcohol 14%

Tiefenbrunner, Toren Cabernet Sauvignon, Alto Adige 2016

97 points, Platinum
N/A UK www.tiefenbrunner.com
Ripe, lightly smoky cassis nose with sweet oak and a hint of spice. Full and harmonious with integrated oak and a plush textured palate which is pretty and stylish; appealing varietal and still very fresh. Alc 14%

Kellerei St Pauls, Passion Riserva Pinot Noir, Alto Adige 2017

96 points, Gold
N/A UK www.stpauls.wine
Lovely fragrant nutty, red fruit aromas with hints of liquorice. Flavours of punchy red berries and a long spicy woody finish; compelling and will age well. Alc 13.5%

Peter Zemmer, Vigna Kofl, Riserva Pinot Noir, Alto Adige 2017

94 points, Silver
£31.96 Independent Wine
Spicy forest-fruited nose with flashes of chocolate and pepper, then a luscious palate with rounded fruit and infused oak and spice. Alc 13.5%

Lombardy

Mamete Prevostini, Valtellina Superiore Riserva 2015

97 points, Platinum
N/A UK www.palazzonadimaggio.it
Beautiful perfumed red fruit with vanilla, liquorice and aniseed hints. Complex, full summer fruit pudding flavours with carefully judged oak and an extra layer of spice; well-made wine that will continue to improve. Alc 14%

Rivetti & Lauro, Uì, Valtellina Superiore Riserva 2015

96 points, Gold
N/A UK www.rivettielauro.it
Rich yet elegant, savoury nose with spiced plum jam, violets and tobacco stretching to the impressive structured palate; a great example of old-style Nebbiolo. Alc 13.5%

Triacca, San Domenico, Sforzato di Valtellina 2016

96 points, Gold
N/A UK www.triaccavini.eu
Charming and enticing spicy nose with concentrated dried fruit, chocolate and leather. Big, structured tannic palate with plump cherry fruits and a sweet but fresh, long finish. Alc 14.5%

Rivetti & Lauro, dell’Orco, Sforzato di Valtellina 2015

94 points, Silver
£38.50-£39.99 Italy Abroad, Lekker Wines
Deep forest fruit jam and chocolate with smoky, oaky aromas. Full and juicy dried fruit flavours, lively acidity and ripe tannins. Alc 15%

Nino Negri, Sfursat Carlo Negri, Sforzato di Valtellina 2016

91 points, Silver
£34.99 Carson & Carnevale
Dark cherry and plum with some floral scents. Rich and ripe dark-fruited palate with fresh acidity and a lovely tannic structure. Alc 16%

Pratello, Torrazzo, Valtènesi 2018

91 points, Silver
£12.70 Drinks & Co
Pretty perfumed plum jam, cherries and roses. Light and juicy with fresh acidity and generous red berry flavours; full of charm. Alc 13.5%

Valle d’Aosta

Grosjean, Echelette Syrah 2018

90 points, Silver
N/A UK www.grosjeanvins.it
Full and smoky nose, showing spicy blackberry aromas and hints of butterscotch. Good palate depth of black fruit flavour and oak. Alc 13%

La Source, Cornalin 2016

90 points, Silver
£17.42-£18.10 Shelved Wine, Tannico
Spicy and rustic red berry aromas with clove and pepper touches; fresh and juicy berry jam palate with fair length. Alc 13%

Rosset, Syrah 2017

90 points, Silver
N/A UK www.rosseterroir.it
Mature, spicy and smoky Mediterranean nose followed by a big, ripe juicy cherry palate with leather and tobacco character and a spiced finish. Alc 14.5%

Emilia-Romagna

Palazzona di Maggio, Dracone Riserva, Colli di Imola 2011

95 points, Gold
N/A UK www.palazzonadimaggio.it
Nose of jammy black plums and currants along with clove spice and earthy notes. Concentrated, dense fruit with firm yet supple tannins. Alc 14.5%

La Collina del Tesoro, Roserosse Vintage, Romagna 2016

94 points, Silver
N/A UK www.lacollinadeltesoro.com
Aromas of red cherries, a hint of clove and notes of dried mushroom. Tacky tannins and crisp acidity combine with savoury flavours. Alc 14.5%

Torre, Vigna 1922, Sangiovese di Romagna 2017

92 points, Silver
N/A UK www.torre1921.it
Aromas of red cherries, dried rosemary and a little mushroom. Very pure fruit character on the palate with oaky notes. Alc 13.5%

La Sabbiona, Centesimino, Ravenna 2018

91 points, Silver
N/A UK www.lasabbiona.it
Has a pronounced intensity of aromas of fresh-pressed wild strawberry and raspberry coulis, with hints of rosemary. Soft, supple tannins, juicy fruit. Alc 14.5%

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

Perusini, Cabernet Franc, Colli Orientali del Friuli 2016

93 points, Silver
£21.95 StarmoreBoss
Appealing and intense nose of summer fruit pudding and tobacco following through to a palate of generous fruit and spice notes. Alc 12.5%

Borgo Conventi, Merlot, Collio 2017

91 points, Silver
N/A UK www.borgoconventi.it
Smoky oak and dark fruits with liquorice and earthy scents. Juicy fruit flavours on the palate with integrated oak, notes of treacle and dried fruits. Alc 13.5%

Pierpaolo Pecorari, Tao Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso, Venezia Giulia 2016

91 points, Silver
N/A UK www.pierpaolopecorari.it
Wild and savage nose of black fruits with strong spicy notes. Smoky palate with concentrated fruit, caramel, chocolate and coconut inflections. Alc 13.5%


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