Northern Italy Wines

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Northern Italy is home to three of Italy’s most important wine regions: Barolo, Barbaresco and the Veneto.


Barolo is similar to Burgundy in more ways than one, and it’s no coincidence that if you ask a Burgundian what his or her favourite region outside Burgundy is then many will say Barolo.

The first obvious parallel is the use of a single grape variety: Pinot for Burgundy, Nebbiolo for Barolo, and this parallel is amplified somewhat by the similarities between these two varieties, both of which have a delicacy and elegance of fruit that is peerless. The ‘easy’ similarities continue in that both regions are largely populated by artisanal winemakers, winemakers who have inherited vineyards and expertise from their fathers and grandfathers.

Barolo is also very much about terroir, though if you think that Burgundy is tricky, Barolo moves the bar. The region can very broadly split in two: the soils of Barolo, La Morra, Novello and parts of Castiglione Falletto are a sandy marl that produces a more feminine style of wine, whilst the older sandstone clay of Serralunga and Monforte generally give a more masculine, structured style. But this is facile, as the intricacies of the terroir here are hugely complex, not least because the variances of exposure are extreme – the vineyards here point in every direction.

Winemaking styles and quality in Barolo have moved dramatically in the past thirty years. There has been a revolution in the quality of the best Barolo, and revolution and counter-revolution in winemaking styles.

The more tenuous similarity is perhaps the most exciting one. There is a quiet revolution taking place in Barolo. After years of tradition, the winemakers are waking up to what they have been blessed with, and quality is on a very steep upward curve. The first wave of this velvet revolution took place in the late 1980s/early 1990s when a generation of young winemakers chose to break with tradition and embrace modern winemaking. Much money was spent on fermenters and new oak barriques, and a new style of Barolo was born, a style that seduced as many as it disappointed (should Barolo taste of terroir and Nebbiolo, or of gloss and new oak?).

Where we are now is at the second stage of the revolution. The excessive use of barriques has been reined in, though there is a pleasing difference in style throughout the region (which includes some staunch traditionalists and some equally staunch modernists). What is genuinely exciting is the number of young winemakers striving for the very best quality possible.

The top Barolo producers are many. In the traditional style the best Barolo producers include Giacomo Conterno, Bruno Giacosa, Bartolo Mascarello and Cavallotto. Top Barolo producers in the modern style include Sandrone, Roberto Voerzio and Aldo Conterno. FINE+RARE favourite Giacomo Grimaldi, based at the top of the village of Barolo itself, is an excellent source for excellent, well-priced Barolo.


Barbaresco

Just ten or so miles north of Barolo lies Barbaresco. If Barolo is the King of Piedmont, Barbaresco is the Queen. Both regions share the grape variety Nebbiolo and, whilst there are many similarities between the two, Barbareso has a character all of its own.

Much as the two regions are so close, the vineyards are noticeably warmer than those of Barolo, with a noticeable maritime influence, and the vineyards are at a lower altitude. This makes for earlier ripening and the wines are generally less austere and more forward than their Barolo counterparts.

Two top producers of Barbaresco have to be mentioned: Angelo Gaja and the Produttori del Barbaresco. Angelo Gaja was the first producer to put Barbaresco firmly on the vinous map in the 1980s. Gaja wines are exemplified by their purity, precision and remarkable ability to age and Gaja is one of the most important names in winemaking. The Produttori del Barbaresco is the region’s co-operative, though one that is more of a members’ winemaking club than anything else: membership is restricted, quality rather than quantity is key, and this is one of the top producers of Barbaresco.

Other exceptional producers of Barbaresco include Bruno Rocca and Bruno Giacosa. Top vintages for Barbaresco are 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2004.


Veneto

Veneto is situated in the north-east of Italy. Home to Prosecco and Soave, its most important wines from a quality perspective are Valpolicella and Amarone della Valpolicella. The top Veneto producer is generally considered to be Giuseppe Quintarelli, very much a FINE+RARE favourite.

Both Valpolicella and Amarone are made principally from Corvina and Corvinone. Whilst much of the production of Valpolicella is made for simple consumption, the best Valpolicella makes for truly fine wine.

Amarone della Valpolicella is made by drying the grapes for around 100 days following the harvest. The juice in the grape slowly evaporates, sugar increases and the dried grapes are pressed in the March following the harvest. The resulting wines are strong in alcohol, rich and dense.

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Northern Italy, Italy

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2006 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

2006 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£3,294.00
£3,294.00
£275.00
£549.00

2005 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

2005 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£2,770.00
£2,770.00
£1,386.00
£232.00

2004 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

96.0

2004 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

96.0
£3,429.00
£286.00

2001 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

2001 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£3,551.00
£296.00

1998 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

92.0

1998 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

92.0
£4,848.00
£403.00
£807.00

1997 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

97.0

1997 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

97.0
£5,513.00
£919.00
£1,884.00

1995 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1995 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£5,040.00
£420.00
£840.00

1991 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1991 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£7,599.00
£633.00

1990 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1990 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£7,357.00
£613.00

1989 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1989 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£6,980.00
£581.00

1988 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1988 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£6,860.00
£571.00

1983 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1983 Alzero Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£5,234.00
£436.00

2006 Alzero (2016 Release) Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

2006 Alzero (2016 Release) Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£2,575.00
£1,288.00

2005 Alzero (2016 Release) Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

2005 Alzero (2016 Release) Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£5,363.00
£2,680.00
£2,680.00

2001 Alzero (2016 Release) Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

2001 Alzero (2016 Release) Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£6,078.00
£1,013.00

2003 Amabile del Cere Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

2003 Amabile del Cere Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£2,702.00
£2,769.00
£2,702.00

1979 Amabile del Cere Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1979 Amabile del Cere Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£4,617.00
£384.00

2010 Amarone Capitel Monte Olmi Tedeschi Northern Italy

2010 Amarone Capitel Monte Olmi Tedeschi

£589.00
£295.00

2008 Amarone Mater Domini Veneti Northern Italy

2008 Amarone Mater Domini Veneti

£1,051.00
£1,051.00

2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Allegrini Northern Italy

2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Allegrini

£525.00
£263.00

2000 Amarone della Valpolicella Allegrini Northern Italy

2000 Amarone della Valpolicella Allegrini

£3,186.00
DP £266.00

2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Bertani Northern Italy

2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Bertani

£766.00
£766.00

2003 Amarone della Valpolicella Bertani Northern Italy

2003 Amarone della Valpolicella Bertani

£1,057.00
£1,057.00
£91.00

1959 Amarone della Valpolicella Bertani Northern Italy

1959 Amarone della Valpolicella Bertani

£3,066.00
£256.00

1964 Amarone della Valpolicella Bolla Northern Italy

1964 Amarone della Valpolicella Bolla

£737.00
£64.00

1962 Amarone della Valpolicella Bolla Northern Italy

1962 Amarone della Valpolicella Bolla

£737.00
£64.00

2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

£2,361.00
£1,180.00

2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

£1,988.00
£1,988.00
£995.00
£168.00

2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

£2,340.00
£2,340.00
£1,170.00
£197.00

2008 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

96.5

2008 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

96.5
£2,741.00
£2,741.00
£1,371.00
DP £1,371.00
£230.00

2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

93.0

2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

93.0
£3,294.00
£3,294.00
DP £1,646.00
£1,646.00
£275.00
£1,125.00
£1,875.00

2004 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

2004 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

£3,806.00
£317.00

2002 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

94.0

2002 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

94.0
£2,279.00
£191.00

2001 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

97.0

2001 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

97.0
£5,054.00
£2,527.00
£421.00

2000 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

2000 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

£3,635.00
£3,635.00
£303.00

1999 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

1999 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

£4,471.00
£372.00

1998 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

1998 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

£3,611.00
£301.00

1996 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

99.0

1996 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

99.0
£9,186.00
£765.00

1993 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

1993 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

£3,743.00
£312.00

1991 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno Northern Italy

1991 Amarone della Valpolicella Dal Forno

£3,683.00
£307.00

2008 Amarone della Valpolicella Ferragu; Carlo Northern Italy

2008 Amarone della Valpolicella Ferragu; Carlo

£545.00
£273.00

2007 Amarone della Valpolicella La Dama Northern Italy

2007 Amarone della Valpolicella La Dama

£327.00
£165.00

1971 Amarone della Valpolicella Masi Northern Italy

1971 Amarone della Valpolicella Masi

£862.00
£74.00

2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£2,387.00
£2,387.00
£200.00

2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

97.0

2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

97.0
£2,188.00
£2,188.00
£184.00

2004 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

2004 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£2,812.00
£235.00
£468.00

2003 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

94.0

2003 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

94.0
£2,896.00
£242.00

2000 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

96.0

2000 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

96.0
£3,489.00
£1,743.00
£291.00

1998 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

93.0

1998 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

93.0
£3,357.00
£280.00
DP £280.00

1997 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

94.0

1997 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

94.0
£6,653.00
£3,327.00
£554.00
£1,108.00

1993 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1993 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£3,806.00
£317.00

1988 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1988 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£6,471.00
£539.00

1986 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1986 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£5,587.00
£465.00

1979 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1979 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£5,172.00
DP £5,172.00

1978 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1978 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£14,449.00
£1,202.00

1977 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe Northern Italy

1977 Amarone della Valpolicella Quintarelli; Giuseppe

£5,818.00
£494.00

2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Tedeschi Northern Italy

2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Tedeschi

£305.00
£154.00

2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Tedeschi Northern Italy

2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Tedeschi

£279.00
£141.00

2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Viviani Northern Italy

2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Viviani

£294.00
£294.00
£149.00
£28.00
£52.00

2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Zenato Northern Italy

2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Zenato

£273.00
NEW
£138.00

2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Zenato Northern Italy

2011 Amarone della Valpolicella Zenato

£391.00
£391.00
£36.00

2008 Amarone della Valpolicella Zyme Northern Italy

2008 Amarone della Valpolicella Zyme

£932.00
£932.00
£234.00
£80.00

2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Zyme Northern Italy

2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Zyme

£956.00
£82.00
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