Italian Inspiration: Autumn Wines

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Tony Cox looks to Italy for refreshing drops to help him deal with a hot, humid summer.

Wow, what an amazingly long, hot, humid summer and I don’t know about you but when looking for refreshing wine that makes me salivate and want to come back for more, my thoughts instantly drift to Italy.

With a palate profile less focused on upfront fruit, the palate shape of Italian wines invariably starts off slow, building in stimulation across the mouth resulting in optimal impact with either bright acidity or the pleasant bitterness of phenolics, the result of controlled skin contact, to close.

A few bottles recently passed across the tasting table from differing regions of Italy, all designed to prepare the palate for the next morsel of food.

A personal favourite is Soave Superiore from the Veneto region in the northeast of the country and the 2022 Tenuta di Corte Giacobbe Runcata Soave Superiore is delicious. Grown at an altitude of 450 metres in calcium-rich volcanic soils fermentation takes place under a layer of inert gas to prevent oxidation with temperature control utilised to preserve the primary fruit flavours. Flavours of stonefruit and citrus are evident with the light fruit weight giving way to a gentle richness mid-palate closing with a subtle saline minerality.

Sicily continues to be one of the hot spots on the world wine scene and grillo is a versatile grape which delivers varying styles according to the soils in which it is grown. Clay-based soils can deliver a more generous, rounded wine. In contrast, grapes grown in sandy soils result in a lighter-bodied, more citrus-driven wine. The 2021 Avide Grillo Insolia ‘La’ Bianco is a blend of grillo and insolia grapes, both native to the island. With the insolia contributing freshness to the blend the resultant wine is light-bodied with citrus flavours and is ideal with simple seafood which is so abundant on the island.

Sticking with the island theme, Sardinia produces stunning some stunning vermentino.

The 2021 Sa Raja Vermentino di Gallura DOCG features fresh primary fruit with herbal nuances, feeding to a rounded mid palate with bright acidity and slight saline edge to close.

Grown at an altitude of 500 metres above sea level a healthy diurnal range provides the acidity on the finish. 100% stainless steel ferment keeps the focus purely on the fruit with lees contact keeping the wine fresh and providing texture.

To conclude, regional Italy has plenty to offer people looking for something a little off the usual path. When you consider that Italians rarely consume wine without food it goes without saying that the best way to enjoy them is to get active in the kitchen as well. Given there is nothing better than preparing food for friends and family, dust off the old recipe books, enjoy the feeling of hands working with your ingredients and wash it all down with delicious Italian wines.


About the Author /

After 25 years of sniffing, swirling, spitting and slurping various vinous temptations our wine writer has decided that his future lies firmly planted on the consumption and storytelling side. Tony not only still enjoys consulting about wine and other beverages but is now part of the successful Kate Cox Real Estate Team at Reed & Co. Estate Agents.

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