Congratulations to Umani Ronchi, who picked up Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchieri AND Italian White Wine of the Year 2012 for their Verdicchio Vecchie Vigne 2009. One of my favourite white wines, we’ve just shipped a small amount of the 2008 to Australia (also a Tre Bicchieri winner) for the first time.
Verdicchio is, in my opinion, one of Italy’s best white grapes but remains unfairly underrated. Incredibly versatile, it can be made crisp and dry through to full-bodied and the best examples retain a racy freshness. Vecchie Vigne is made from old vines, planted in 1973, and the grapes are picked slightly over ripe. In the winery its hands-off winemaking; natural yeast, no wood, minimal malolactic fermentation and extended bottle age. When enjoying this at home with a simple pasta of prawns followed by a rib of pork, it benefits from some time in a decanter. I know it’s a little radical for white wine but, trust me, textural Italian whites benefit from some ‘air time’ as much as red wines do. VV has great tension between the ripe fruit – stone fruits, hazelnut and a little vanilla – and the firm, focussed palate, finishing long and complex. A very classy white wine at a great price, this will cellar well over the next six-eight years, if you can hold it that long.
Gambero Rosso’s Tre Bicchieri (three glasses) and The Italian Sommeliers’ Association (AIS) Cinque Grappoli (five bunches) are Italy’s two leading wine annual publications. The awards are highly regarded and highly coveted by both consumer and winery. To compare the status of these awards, in Australia you’d have to combine all the wine shows and wine guides and then you’d be about half way there. There are regional tasting panels for both that taste around 20,000 wines from 2000 wineries, resulting in a similar number of awards (in 2011 there were 402 Tre Bicchieri and 390 Five Bunches).
Interestingly, the results are quite different and the comparison fascinating. To compare this year from our portfolio, we had 18 Tre Bicchieri and 25 Cinque Grappoli. Of these, eight wines received the top accolade from both guides. In addition, a further six wineries had a different wine awarded from each guide. Congratulations to all our wineries on their 2012 awards.
2012 TRE BICCHIERI
Bellavista 2005 Gran Cuvée Pas Operé Boscarelli 2007 Nocio dei Boscarelli Brancaia 2008 Il Blu Conterno Fantino 2007 Barolo Sorì Ginestra Colle Massari 2008 Montecucco Riserva Costanti 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Elena Fucci 2009 Aglianico Titolo Fèlsina 2008 Maestro Raro Jermann 2009 W… Dreams 2009 Kuenhof 2010 Riesling Kaiton Pieropan 2010 Soave Classico Calvarino Poggio Antico 2006 Brunello Altero Ronco dei Tassi 2010 Collio Bianco Fosarin San Giusto a Rentennano 2007 Percarlo Santadi 2007 Carignano Terre Brune Speri 2007 Amarone Tenuta San Leonardo 2006 San Leonardo Umani Ronchi 2009 Vecchie Vigne
2012 CINQUE GRAPPOLI
Bellavista 2004 Vittorio Moretti Bellavista 2006 Gran Cuvée Boscarelli 2007 Nocio Dei Boscarelli Brancaia 2008 Il Blu Colle Massari 2007 Montecucco Riserva Lombrone Conterno Fantino 2007 Barolo Mosconi Elena Fucci 2009 Aglianico Titolo Fèlsina 2008 Fontalloro Franz Haas 2009 Moscato Rosa Fuligni 2006 Brunello di Montalcino Grattamacco 2008 Bolgheri Rosso Superiore Jermann 2009 Vintage Tunina Keunhof 2010 Veltliner Morgante 2009 Don Antonio Pieropan 2009 Soave Classico La Rocca Poggio Argentiera 2009 Capatosta Rocca di Montegrossi 2008 Chianti Cl San Marcellino Ronco dei Tassi 2010 Fosarin Santadi 2007 Carignano Terre Brune Santadi 2006 Latinia Speri 2007 Amarone Tenuta San Leonardo 2006 San Leonardo Umani Ronchi 2008 Maximo Villa Matilde 2006 Falerno Rosso Camarato Villa Russiz 2010 Sauvignon De La Tour