Richards Walford      Importers of Wine  
Italy

Previous Reports
- click on report to download in full

Italy Report - July 2011
Italy Report - June 2010
Italy Report - May 2009
Italy Report - May 2008
Italy Report - May 2007
Italy Report - May 2006
Italy Report - May 2005
Italy Report - June 2004
Italy Report - June 2003
Italy Report - June 2002

Italy Report - June 2012
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Introduction

We’re in a double-dip recession. Many are convinced the Euro is doomed. Any day of the week there are some pretty horrific things going on when we open up the newspaper, but… if you have been sent this report there is a very good chance you are gainfully employed in an enviable trade, summer is upon us (any day now), and the ‘noughties’ plus 2011 have afforded us an unprecedented amount of classic vintages, meaning there is a lot of good wine out there just waiting to be drunk. You could say that really we are having our cake and eating it, but I much prefer the Italian expression told to me by Filippo dal Bianco of Massotina – “having the wife drunk and the barrel full”.

I’m reminded of a popular t-shirt/bumper sticker/mug/pair of boxer shorts often seen in America: “Italians do it better.” If ‘it’ is life, I am now inclined to agree. Good conversation is more important than being on time. Everyone’s mother’s cooking is sublime. Carbs are not the enemy. Nearly everywhere seems to have breathtaking panoramic views thanks to a penchant for building everything on hills. Grass is intentionally left long, as at Monte Bernardi, to avoid mowing down the poppies. The method of choice for spotting oidium before it attacks the vines is to plant roses. Selling wine is important, but perfecting, sharing, and enjoying it is what really matters.

Enjoying is not difficult. There is incredible diversity to be found in grape varieties and styles, and we didn’t even venture south of Tuscany. 2008 and 2010 are looking great across the board, with freshness and elegance, but also plenty of stuffing. 2009 and 2011 were trickier but not catastrophic, with ‘09s generally being voluptuous and commercial if a little on the boozy side, 2011s fresh but variable. Labelling laws seem to change as often as the seasons, so it’s quite possible that not only does the wine vary from vintage to vintage, but probably the name as well. A unique experience every time; what’s not to love about that?

Madeline Mehalko

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