When thinking of Italian wine, Amarone, Barolo and Chianti may be what most readily springs to mind, but Richard Baudains reveals a treasure trove of original yet overlooked wines just waiting to be discovered. See his pick of 10 wines from the most exciting Italian terroirs here...
Unchartered Italy: Sangiovese di Romagna DOC, Emilia-Romagna
7. Sangiovese di Romagna DOC, Emilia-Romagna
Sangiovese di Romagna suffers from its image as the poor relation of Chianti Classico, with which it shares the grape variety but none of the glamour. Also, the wines from the Adriatic side of the Apennines are frustratingly inconsistent, and this weighs negatively on their reputation as a whole. On the plus side, Romagna producers have been much less seduced by international blending varieties than their Chianti counterparts, which means the region offers a pure, direct expression of Sangiovese – including the rough edges. Acidity can be strident, tannins tough, and when producers cut back on the yields, alcohol levels can be decidedly generous. But there is the dark fruit, the classic iris aromas, the grip and the underlying earthiness of the real deal; intense and juicy when young, mellow and spicycomplex in the riserva styles.
La Berta 2010
Super nose of cherry, iris and white pepper. Fresh, zippy, nervy palate with texture, lovely expression, and long fruit and almond finish. Superior in its class. 17.5pts/20
Price: £7.90–£9.95 Astrum, Caviste, Theatre of Wine
Fattoria Zerbina, Ceregio Superiore 2010 18
Sweet, soft, ripe cherry nose, delicate floral notes, very pure and precise. Lovely, fluid, supple palate with gentle fruit, light tannins and a long, violet finish. Perfect for uninhibited glugging. 18pts/20
Price: £10.99 Bentley’s
Other recommended producers:
Balìa di Zola, Stefano Berti, Calonga, Castelluccio, Giovanna Madonia, Podere dal Nespole, Fattoria Paradiso, San Patrignano, Tenuta Pennita, Villa Liverzano, Villa Trentola