"Lib's Supper Club focuses on the Regional Wines of Italy"
Lib’s Supper Club Wine List
Villadoria D' Asti $29 Good definition and focus in its perfumed red berries. This refined, subtle wine offers good balance in an approachable, feminine style. WE 88 Nino Franco Prosecco di Valdobbiadene Rustico NV $35
A textbook frothy, fresh, pure, delicate and delicious sparkling white. While it may lack the stuffing of a great Champagne, it is the perfect crisp sparkling to wash down antipasto or to enjoy as an aperitif, Great with shellfish and antipasto. RP 90 , WA 90
Ferrari F.lli Lunelli Brut NV, Trentino-Alto Adige $45
A tremendous value in sparkling wine. This screams parties, especially weddings. This shows surprisingly elegant bead, and a long toasty finish with clean citrus fruit notes. WS 90
This is a brilliant wine from winemaker Mattia Bezzola. The reference point for brilliantly pure and elegant Italian sparkling wine. This offering can stand up to the finest Champagnes. This prestigious estate, created in the seventies by proprietor Vittorio Moretti, continues to fashion a bevy of dazzling sparklers‘. RP 91
Krug “Grand Cuvee” Brut Champagne $250
"A smoky, intense wine, with layer upon layer of coffee, roast nut, golden piecrust, ripe apple, honey and spice flavors. The richness is balanced by a focused freshness, perfectly poised like a high diver about to jump, standing above the crowd and showing the interplay of power and control in an elegant package WS 95
A beautifully fine mousse indicates the class of this finely crafted wine. It has some weight, flavors of green apples, with hints of fresh apricots. There is extreme freshness here, the style dry but rich. WE 94, WS 93, ST 91
Italian White Wine
Gavi, de Gavi Granee, Beni di Batasiolo, 2007 $30
One of the most important dry white wines of Piedmont from the wine producing area of Gavi. Soft characteristic aroma with scents of fresh fruit and white flowers.
Bongiovanni Arneis Lange 2006 $35
From the ancient native grape by the name, this delightful white is characterized by an elegant, floral bought eith intense notes of pears, distinct freshness on the palate, balanced acidity.
Ceretto Blange Arneis, 2005 $44
This 100% Arneis blend is aged for 6 months. A crisp and slightly effervescent palate with good body and ripe tropical fruit, apple, and pear concentration with a pale gold color. WS 90
Ca’Bolani Pinot Grigio 2010 $33
"This wine has a bouquet perfumed with fragrant acacia flowers, melon and subtle spice. Quite lush and smooth textured, with ripe apple, orange and honeydew flavors forming a broad base that is accented by just a hint of minerality and crisp, refreshing sweet lemon acidity."
Terlano Pinot Grigio 2008 $35
Intense aromas of peaches and cream lead to a full body, with bright aciditi and long finish. Very lively. WS 90
La Segreta Bianco, Planeta, 2006 $29
Straw yellow with greenish hue. The bouquet is broad and lively, combining citrus, litchi, pineapple, kumquat and peach. The palate is full and dry, balanced by the acidity, leaving a long finish. The wine is smooth and supple, with a satisfying aftertaste of mint. WS 88
Pieropan Soave Classico 2008 $33
90% Garganega and 10% Trebbiano di Soave, tank fermented. Quite a taut, dense herby nose with a freshing grassy edge. Fresh with good concentration of herb tinged fruit on the palate. Clean and crisp.
Delicate and nice, with a characteristic scent of almonds. A dry, fresh and velvety palate. Pairs well with seafood and pastas.
Tocai Fruliano Torre Rosazza, $35
From the eastern most region of Italy, this well structured crisp, fruity and dry wine offers a unique nuttiness and is perfect with fish, and pastas WE 91
Jermann Vintage Tunina 2007 $89 Really complex, with apple tart, apricot, lavender, hint of cream and toasty oak. Full body, with loads of fruit and character. Gorgeous Sauvigon Chardonnay, Ribolla Gialla, Malvasia and Picolit
Falanghia, Feudi di San Gregorio, 2006$34
“Vibrant acidity supports this wine’s rich flavors of melon and white peach. With a little air, and exotic spice character (white pepper? Dried sage?) emerges to balance the juicy plumpness of Falanghia. It finishes savory. Great with seafood and pasta. WS 90
Verdichio dei Castelli di Jesi “Umani Ronchi”, 2004 $28
A well made wine. Verdicchio Riserva Plenio ferments in part in barrique and ages for 8 months in cement tanks followed by 6 months of aging in bottle
Italian Red Wine
Dolcetto d’ Alba, Pio Cesare, 2006 $40
Very ripe aromas and flavors of black cherry, dark raspberry, smoke, mocha and espresso, with a suggestion of crystallized fruit. WS 87
Barbera D’ Alba Torriglione, 2006 Rento Ratti $33
Full flavored and very long on the palate. This is a wine suited to Peidmont’s hearty local dishes as well as refined meat dishes and aged cheeses.
Michele Chiarlo Barbera d’ Asti La Court, 2006$58
Brilliant ruby-red wine with an intense yet airy, vinous bouquet and a medium-bodied, bone-dry robustness that is exceptionally pleasant on the palate.
Luigi Einaudi Barbera Del Piemonte 2008$60
Among the most esteemed of Poderi Einaudi, a superb Barbera, which encloses all the qualities of a historic wine cellar. Wine of great character, elegant and balanced, that lends itself to a good ageing.
Barbaresco Marcarini Cru, Petinace, 2004 $62
A single vineyard, Cru Barbaresco, from the Nebbiolo grape. Deep ruby red colors, spicy and full bodied, a wine of great character which will match with rich pasta dishes and grilled meat. WE 92
Setti Ponti Oreno 2007 $120
Subtle and classy on the nose, with flowers, blueberry, dry cherry and currents. Full-bodied and very polishe, with tannins, pretty fruit and a light vanilla and coffee aftertaste. builds on the palate. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese WS 95, WE 96 WA 92
Tenuta San Guido Sassacaia 2007 $220
This iconic Italian wine from Bolgheri's landmark Sassicaia vineyard (Characterized by little rocks or "sassi") offers an elegant bouquet comprised in equal measures of mineral, fruit and spies nuance. The wine consists of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc and the finish is long and smooth and very fine WS 93, WE 95, RP 96
"From one of Barolo’s most celebrated and historic estates, this elegant Cannubi expression offers toasted notes of hazelnut, vanilla, cherry and chocolate over a lean, streamlined mouthfeel. The intensity of this wine and its endurance on the palate is remarkable." WS 93, WE 93. RP93
Barolo Tortoniano Michele Chiarlo, 2005 $73
An attractive ripeness supported by firm, yet well-balanced tannins, with an added touch of sweetness from the oak.
Barolo Marcenasco, Renato Ratti, 2006 $73
Smooth, balanced, elegant and faithfully reflects the typical characteristics of the La Morra sub zone. A bouquet with traces of licorice and tobacco. Full flavored, full-bodied and elegant. Goes well with red and white meat dishes.
Marcarini Barolo Brunate 2004 $83
Single-vineyard. The Brunate cru is one of the most famous in the Barolo region – apparently celebrated as early as the 1300s! Expresses the elegance of La Morra to perfection. Elevate is at least 2 years in 20/40-hl. barrels of Slavonian oak, followed by a third year in bottle. WE 93
Gaja Sito Moresco 2006 $90
Sito Moresco combines complexity and longevity with refinement and accessibility. 35% Nebbiolo, 35% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Ruby. Pure nose with aromas of small fruit finish with very fine silky tannins. WE94
Rento Ratti Barolo Mercenasco Conca 2007 $125
"The 2007 Barolo Conca is a deep, structured wine loaded with dark fruit, spices, menthol and licorice. This is a huge style for a Barolo from La Morra but there is plenty of underlying structure to balance the fruit pound for pound. RP 94, WE 94, ST 92
Villadoria Barolo 2007 $55
"Fresh and plump, with juicy flavors of cherry, raspberry, licorice, menthol and oak spice. The oak doesn't intrude, and this ends with an aftertaste of black cherry, tar and mineral notes. Only 6000 cases made. WS 92
"Ripe black cherry, raspberry and plum aromas and flavors highlight this fruity red. The tannins are dense and enmeshed in the rich texture, giving this a lush, but not soft, feel WS 94, WA 93, IWC 92
Pio Cesara Barolo 2006 $100 A classic Barolo. RP 94
Fonterutoli Poggio alla Badiola, 2005 $32 by the glass $8 Castello di Fonterutoli is one of Italy’s most prestigious estates and it has been in the hands of the Mazzei family for 24 generations. A blend of 75% Sangiovese and 25% Merlot and probably represents the best fusion of old and new world. Goes well with all foods. IWC 87
Pomino Rosso, Castello di Pomino Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi, 2003 $43
Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Rich, ruby-red, from the best Frescobaldi vineyard.
Terrabiana Campaccio 2005 $45
Ample,intense and elegant,with berry fruit, chocolate and roasted almond notes that continue on the palate, sustained by superb structure and depth. The Reserve is deep ruby with garnet hues,superb nose,unbelievable richness, complexity and plenitude on the palate. WA92
Toscana Red, Villa Puccini, 2004 $27
“A ruby color with a complex bouquet of violets and cherries. A dry taste with nuances of plums and black pepper and a long finish“.
Vitanza Rossa di Montalcino 2009$34
Bright on the red fruit with dark cherry characteristics most prevalent, a touch of green, a bit of spice. Medium bodied, nice acidity, good fruit, had that sour "thonk" that kinda compliments the acidity, a bit light, almost watery, on the finish.
Polizano Rosso Montepulciano 2006 $34
From one of Vino Nobile’s leading producers, this Saniovese comes from a 20 hectare vineyard near Montepuliano. It has some rather lean, stony-feral fruit on the nose. The palate shows a little more richness and there is ripe tannin and a nice tannic grip at the end.
Rosso di Montalicino, Banfi, 2005 $40
The bouquet is of red fruits, raspberries and cherries, but also with sweet hints of cream. On the palate, it has good structure and well developed tannins, soft yet powerful at the same time. A very well balanced and harmonious wine. “3 grappoli su Duemilavini Award”
Tenuta San Guido, Guidaberto (2nd label of Sassicaia) 2006 $68
Sassicaia could be described as Italy’s answer to Bordeaux, but we prefer to see it as Italy’s answer to the world! We think Sassicaia is one of the greatest wine creations of our century. It also happens to be a simply marvellous drink. WA92
Brancaia Toscana “Tre” 2005 $41
Blend of Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet. The grapes are carefully selected from our three estates Brancaia (Castellina), Poppi (Radda) and Brancaia in Maremma (Morellino di Scansano). TRE is a wine full of character giving you drinking enjoyment already at young age. WS 93
Sette Ponti, Toscano Crognolo 2008 $125
Beautiful aromas of dried cherry, plum and blackberry, with hints of dark chocolate. Full-bodied, with soft, silky tannins and a fruity finish. Balanced and delicious. According to the Wine Advocate: The 2007 Crognolo is an opulent wine packed with ripe red fruit, sweet toasted oak, spices and flowers. WE 93
AntinorSolaia, 2001 $320 "...a classic example of central Tuscan Cabernet at its best..." -Wine Advocate WE 96, WS 93
Branacaia il Blue 2006$110 The top product of the Brancaia brand is the Brancaia IL Blu, (Super Tuscan), highly acclaimed by the international wine press. Since 1997, this wine has been awarded with the Tre Bicchieri by Gambero Rosso. RP 95, WE 94
Sant’ Antimo Summus, Castello, Toscana$90
Robert Parker scored this wine: WP 94
Antiniori Tignanello 2006 $150
"Thanks to its excellent quality and universal appeal, you can count on Tignanello to make an excellent impression with any elegant meal…The wine delivers an interesting power play that pits cherry fruit against vibrant spice. It is tight and firm in the mouth with a slightly sweet or soft note on the close." WE 94 RP 92
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, La Braccesca, 2004 $44
This Antinori owned estate produces a noble wine that was the choice of royalty in ancient Italy. Soft and full bodied with hints of vanilla from oak aging. Wonderful with game dishes, red meats, and sharpe cheese. WA 91
Modus, Tenementi Ruffino, 2005 $45
This Sangiovese based wine is a blend with equal parts of Cabernet and Merlot. Elegant and flavorful with a luscious mouthful, grilled and roasted meats, pasta and game. WE 90
Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino 2007 $140 Dark cherry and raspberry aromas follow through to a full body, with loads of chewy tannins and rich fruit. The fruit concentration is inpressive, yet is balanced and in form. WS 92
Morellino Di Seansano, Morellino La Mozza, 2006 $27
“The 2006 Morellino di Scansano I Peruzzi is an especially sexy, juicy Morellino loaded with fruity, underbrush, smoke and licorice nuances that emerge from its generous plump frame. It should drink beautifully over the next few”. RP 90
143 Rocco Di Montemassi la Focaie Sangiovese 2010 $33
Rocca di Montemassi's Sangiovese has a very pleasant nose, with aromas of cedar, spices, cherries and raspberries. Light on the acidity.
Capezzana Barco Reale Di Carmignano 2009 $33
Soft, voluminous, ample with sweet tannins of medium density in good balance with the acidity. Fruity, sweet, longlasting finish.
Renzo Masi Chianti 2009 $27
This Chianti bursting with power. On the nose aromas of currants expressive, soft fruit and jammy overtones. On the palate, expressive, and also dominated by velvety tannins aroma. Masi at his best.
Chianti Classico Peppoli, Antinori, 2005 $45
“ A ripe, fruity red with black currant, damson and hints of coconut and chocolate. Very powerful, with a silky medium body and a fruity, chocolate-coated finish.
Castello di Monsanto Chianti Classico Riserva 2006 $42
The estate's 2006 Chianti Classico Riserva is delicious. Black cherries, herbs, tobacco and spices come together in a dark, brooding expression of Sangiovese framed by big, massive tannins. RP 91
Barons Ricasoli Chianti Classico, Castello di Brolio 2006 $125
Wine Spectators Top 100 wines 2009 WS 96
Marchesi Di Frescobaldi Montesodi Chianti Rufina 2006 $85
This impressively deep, powerful Chianti finishes very long, with bright acidity and a captivating floral element. Should go down as one of the best Montesodi vintages ever. WE 93, WS 92
Brunello di Montalcino, Banfi, 2003 $100
Wine spectator Review: “Impressive nose for the vintage with loads of ripe fruit and beautiful flowers. Full-bodied and very velvety, with beautiful tannins and great fruit.
Brunello di Montalcino, Caparzo, 2004 $70
Tuscany’s most famous wine made from 100% Sangiovese Grosso, grown in mountain vineyards. This aristocratic red oak aged for 3 years, warm, full bodied and intensely rich. This is the wine to have with a perfect steak. WA 92
Luce, Mondavi / Frescobaldi, 2005 $110
Sangiovese dominated “Super Tuscan” blend with 10% Merlot. Producer‘s note: “the bouquet shows great intensity of ripe fruit, with clean and attractive aromas of dark cherries, dried plums, soft spices and a hint of vanilla. WS 91
II Poggione Rosso di Montalcino 2007 $44
Medium bright red. Light red berry and plum aromas with a whiff of flint on the nose. Sweet and poised, showing impressive delicacy to the redcurrant and plum flavors. This impeccably balanced Rosso has a pretty, straightforward, moderately long, mineral-driven finish. WA 90, IWC
Valpolicella Superiore Capitel De Nicalo, Tedeschi, 2005 $33
Tedeschi is one of the most respected family owned wineries in Italy. This wine has a nice cherryish nose with a herby edge. It is full flavored on the palate with a dry finish and a herby, slightly bitter character that is quite appealing.
Masi Costasera Classico Amarone, 2004 $83
Clean, very powerful and complex on the nose with good alcoholic backbone anid the sweet aromas of dried prunes and raisins. Goes well with red meats and strong cheeses. WN 95
Campofionrin Ripasso, Masi, 2002 $32
A specialty of this famous producer, this is a Valpolicella made with partially dried grapes that has a rich cherry fruit with notes of tobacco and brown spice backed by an elegant finish. This works well with antipasto to to roast pork to chicken marsala.
Castellani Amarone Cingue Stelle 2004 $150
95 points and Highly Recommended by the Wine Spectator: "Tight on the nose, offering just a hint of the clean black fruit and coffee-stained oak character that forms a solid bead on the palate. Full-bodied, with lots of tightly packed tannins that carry the crushed fruit flavors through the long, long finish. Very intense--almost closed--but super-clean and fine. A beauty.
Cannonau di Sardegna Riserva, Sella e Mosca, 2004 $27
From the Island of the western coast of Sicily, produced only in the best years and aged 3 years in Slavonian oak. Sardegna’s most famous red wine is ripe, full bodied and supple with soft tannins. Enjoy with tomato based dishes and pasta.
Nero d’ Avola, Cusumano 2008 $28
It is on the easy drinking side of the spectrum of Nero d'Avola production as a fruit driven offering with light spice and creaminess on the finish. Its unmistakable personality is a combination of black cherry and strawberry preserves and juniper berries on the nose
Montepulciano Riserva, Zaccagnini, 2006 $31
Dark ruby with purple highlights, moderately light body reminiscent of cranberry, raspberry, cherry with some pleasant tannins on the palate.
II Bruciato Tenuta Guado al Tasso, 2006 $54
A New World style blend of cabernet, Merlot and Syrah from one of the most famous estates in Tuscany. Intense flavors of red cherry, with hints of licorice and vanilla. A truly magnificent wine which will match perfect with steaks and pork dishes. WS 90
Antinori Tenuta Guado Al Tasso Bolgheri Superiore 2006 $225
This wine is impressive on all levels in terms of intensity, personality and persistency. It's rich and luscious with smooth tannins and lasting flavors of blackberry and spice. WE 97 WS 95
Guado al Tasso , Antinori, 2004 $140
Ruby red in colour. Fruity, with hints of toast, coffee and dark chocolate. Finely structured and complex; balanced, with soft tannins and a lingering finish. Displays unmistakable varietal flavor while retaining strong regional character. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Syrah. WE 97, WS 95
Ornellaiai, Tenuta dell’ Ornellaia 2006 $235
The main characteristic of Ornellaia 20066 is without a doubt its lush depth and “exuberance”. Here ia a powerful, concentrated wine whose intensity is immediately obvious. Its complex, rich bouquet is complemented by sweet, dense-packed tannins and lively acidity, and all of its components are admirable harmony creating a very elegant wine. WS 95
Rubesco, Rosso di Torgiano, Lungarotti, 2004$45
A sangiovese-canaiolo blend from the eastern neighbour to Tuscany. Soft, maturing leather, dried herb and a touch of sweet chocolate. Mid-weight, quite supple texture. Fine, soft tannin; very good length W&A 93
Raymond Somnelier Select Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $33
The winning blend was replicated on a larger scale to create our 2009 Sommelier Selection Cabernet Sauvignon, which is a full-bodied elegant wine brimming with dark red fruit with clove accents.
Argyle Pinot Noir Nuthouse 2005 $80
Vibrant in flavor and silky in texture, with blackberry, currant and green tea aromas and flavors in intriguing balance, mingling enticingly as the polished finish rolls on. This one has depth to go along with its finesse. “It is a home run for the vintage“. -RP 94
garnet color. Core aromas are dominated by dark fruit; black cherry and plums. Inviting flavors, redolent of dark fruit, crushed stone and delicate orange peel provide a finish that is long and luscious. W&S 94
Beaulieu Vineyard Napa Cabernet Sauvigon 2006 $39
Dark ruby-black color. Lovely herbal, black cherry, plum, cassis and dark chocolate aromas. Medium full-bodied, with lush berry, anise and jam flavors, balanced by sweet lush fruit and supple tannins. WE 92
Joseph Phelps Cabernet Sauvignon, 2006 $130
A classic Bordeaux both in aromatics and flavor. A rich bouquet of cinnamon, spice, licorice, graphite and caramel are followed by integrated layers of cherry, currant, fresh cream and balance sweet tannins, all of which contribute to a youthful, bright, multi-layered wine. WS 90
Hess, 19 Block Cuvee “Mt Veeder” 2006 $54
Very nice blend, with several varietals showing through. More of the Cab currant flavors up front, with some subtler floral Merlot flavors and earthy Syrah behind. Soft tannins, just a touch of oak, and a nice acidity balancing the fruit. WE 92
The 2005 Rudd Oakville Estate Proprietary Red covers the broadest spectrum of flavors to date, combining dark, blue fruits such as black currant and dark berry aromas, and cedar on the nose. It ably carries Rudd tradition of producing wines with exceptional power, depth and clarity. RP94, ST 93
Two Hands Coach House Block Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $200
Ripe and aromatic. A big, fleshy Cabernet, with gorgeous currant and cherry fruit, picking up a strong minty note as the finish expands and becomes more expressive WA 95
Chimney Rock Tomahawk Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $160
Chimney Rock Winery is proud to introduce Tomahawk Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. This wine offers the fruit intensity and elegance appreciated by lovers of Stags Leap District Cabernet Sauvignon. WE 92
Diamond Creek Volcanic Hill Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 $275
"Very tight and dense, with firm loamy earth, dried berry, cedar, tobacco and sage notes that are all well-proportioned, an often underappreciated aspect of Diamond Creek's Cabernets WE 93, WS 91
Opus One, Mondavi, California, 1991-1995$225
Groth Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 $105
"Dazzling. Easily the best Groth Cabernet in many years, dry, full-bodied and crazily rich in blackberries, cherries, tobacco and new oak. The ripe, sweet fruit is held in check by brisk acidity and firm tannins, resulting in an exciting tension. Beautiful now, and should develop gracefully throughout the decade WE 94, JS 92
Conchay Toro Don Melchor Cabernet Sauvignon $120
A dark, muscular style, with black currant, braised fig, maduro tobacco, bittersweet cocoa and loam notes that all roll together through the dense but polished finish. There’s impressive power for the vintage, along with precision and balance.” Que bueno. RP 96, WS 94
Haras de Pirque Character Cabernet Sauvignon 2006 $36
Character Cabernet Sauvignon has excellent fruit concentration, ripe black berries and dried fruits in the mouth combined with a complex and elegant attack. This wine presents a spicy final withtoffee and chocolate and is a great performer of Upper Maipo Valley. W&A 93
Graham’s Vintage Port 2003 $60
This opulently jammy wine assaults the palate with powerful yet soft layers of oily, candied red fruits as well as notes of tar and hints of mocha. A highly concentrated effort, it is creamy textured, suave, and reveals an admirably long finish filled with additional layers of dark fruits intermingled with spices WE 96, W&A 96, RP 95
Gramham’s 10 Years Old Tawney Port $50
Graham's is known for its rich, elegant house style. This 10 Year has a full, nutty bouquet, the classic Graham's richness and a soft lingering finish. WE 92, WS 92
Fonseca Vintage Port 2007 $150 WE 96, WS 95, RP 94
Taylor Fladgate Vintage Port 1994 $225
Perhaps the greatest Taylor ever. WS 100
Local New York State Wines
Dr. Frank Chardonnay, 2006 $29
The floral and fruity personality of this wine with mineral and toasty elements is in harmony with this style of Chardonnay. The soft aromas of melon and oak on the nose give way to a supple texture with great fruit concentrations, vibrant acidity and a long finish.
Dr. Frank Riesling, Semi-dry, 2006 $29 This light yellow wine opens with a light lime and petrol like bouquet. On the palate, this light bodied wine is nicely balanced, mouth watering, with slightly tart lime like flavors wit a touch of minerality. WS 89
Italian wine regions, from northern Veneto and Piemonte, to Tuscany, Campania, Apulia and the islands of Sardinia and Sicily.
Abruzzo Abruzzo produces just one DOCG and three DOC wines that, though they carry brand names, used to be little known abroad and misjudged as cheap, generic, supermarket varieties. This is changing though, as of much of southern Italy the region is undergoing a gradual transition from bulk-wine production to bottled, boutique wines. In other words, a transition from a strictly industrial wine culture to one in which a limited and cared-for production that can bring commercial success and prosperity to the local residents.
Aosta Valley The Aosta Valley grapes and wines are primarily determined by the characteristic predominant soil composed of a rocky, gritty, semi-fertile mixture and by high altitude. Overall, the region’s wines are as singular as its dialects and traditions. The Institut Agricole Régional has catalogued thirteen grapes considered native to the region and most of them are used as blends in the majority of local DOC-labeled wines. The most widespread among the “indigenous” grapes are the red Petit Rouge, or Little Red in French, and the Fumin, a somewhat meatier, Syrah-like grape anticipated by some local vintners as the future number one native red.
Apulia Apulia produces more wine than any other Italian region usually making up around 17% of the national total. It also competes with Sicily for first place as grape producer. For a long time much of the wine made here was shipped north to Turin were it was used to make Vermouth, or to France where it was used to give structure to French wines when the local harvest was either poor or insufficient.
In recent years, Pugliese vintners have changed their views and tastes and are pursuing wines that effectively balance sweetness, acid, alcohol content and density.
Basilicata Although Basilicata produces only one DOC wine, the quality of it is such that it ranks at the forefront among the best known and appreciated Italian reds. Aglianico, the name of the original grape, is a corruption of the word "Hellenic" or Greek. In fact, as there are no native grapes in this region, the plant was brought over by the Greeks when they settled there in pre-Roman times. The result is that this grape was made into wine long before many native varieties in the northern regions.
Calabria As in other southern areas, the Greeks were the first to introduce many grape varieties and winemaking techniques to Calabria. The indigenous people became so adept in the art of vine cultivation and fermentation that soon the wines produced in the colony were considered better than the ones made in Greece. The area was called Enotria or Land of Wine, a definition that later was extended to much of the Italian Peninsula. The Cremissa, a wine from Kremisi, a center between Sibari and Crotone, was used to toast the victorious athletes at the ancient Olympic games
Campania Records show that wine making has been going on in this region since the 13th century B.C. As much else in this region, traditionally wines are intended for immediate pleasure and consumption. This has led many to consider the local wines as second-class products, a thought strongly expressed by Burton Anderson in his 1990 "Wine Atlas of Italy", where he bluntly states that the noteworthy winemakers in the region could be "counted on one’s fingers".
Emilia-Romagna The strongly individual characteristics of Emilia-Romagna wines make them northern Italy's most eccentric. They are different, on the whole, from the wines of their neighbors.
The best Emilian wine is perhaps Lambrusco, a sparkling, joyous red made from grapes grown on high trellised vines in four DOC zones in the Modena, and Reggio Emilia provinces. Lambrusco is made for consumption within the year and very few consumers abroad have tasted the wine in its authentic dry style. Most exported Lambrusco is sweet and 'amabile'. Though both types count in historical traditions, the dry variety is considered the best match for the area's rich cuisine.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia Though the wines produced in this region represent only two percent of the Italy's production, to some they are comparable in quality to wine produced in Piedmont and Tuscany, the two most celebrated wine producing regions of Italy. The main difference between the regions is that Friuli- Venezia Giulia wines are mostly white, though some exceptional red can be found as well.
Latium Grape growing and wine making were well known to the Romans who produced excellent wines since Imperial times. The whites are the predominant variety — out of 25 DOC wines produced in the region, 20 are white.
Mostly Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes and, in lesser quantity, Sauvignon Blanc Chardonnay and Voigner among the white and Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, Merlot, Cesanese, Syrah, Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and Montepulciano, ripen along the volcanic slopes of the Colli Albani and other areas with soil rich in phosphorous and potassium salts.
Liguria At a first glance, the steep slopes of the Liguria coast does not seem very hospitable to most agriculture, including vines. Yet about one hundred different varieties of grapes are cultivated in this small strip of mountainous land sandwiched between Piedmont and the Mediterranean, bordered by France to the north and Tuscany to the south.
Lombardy Although most agricultural areas in Lombardy focus on food production rather than grape growing, and its grapes and wines have a difficult time when compared to the surrounding regions of Piedmont, Veneto, and Trentino, Lombardy is a respectable wine producing area.
Marches In this little known region the amount of red and white wines produced are almost equal.
The main regional white is the excellent Verdicchio, a dry characteristically flavored exceptional white, made from at least 85% of the grape with the same name. Both the Verdicchio di Jesi and the Verdicchio di Matelica DOC wines complement perfectly local dishes such as the Lumache alle Nove Erbe, snails cocked with nine aromatic herbs, and the Brodetto di Pesce, a bouillabaisse-like rich seafood stew that, though found all over the Adriatic coast, reaches its best expression here.
Molise There are only three DOC wines produced in Molise — the Biferno, Molise and Pentro.
The Biferno, which comes in red, white and rosé, is made around Campobasso.
The Pentro, which comes in red, white and rosé as well is made at Isernia.
The Molise comes in red and white varietals and is made almost all over the region.
Piedmont With 46 different DOC and four DOCG areas, Piedmont is the region that produces the largest number of best known, noble, and world-appreciated prize-winning wines, such as Barbera, Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Grignolino, Malvasia and Asti Spumante among others.
Another distinguished characteristic of Piedmont is that most of its wines are produced on family estates made up of relatively small parcels of land.
Sardinia It's well-known that soil composition and climate play an important role in grape growing and wine production. Such a favorable combination of such elements contributed to making the Vermentino di Gallura one of the only four Italian DOCG white wines. The Vermentino, with its delicate aromas of fruit and hint of almonds in the finish, is a wine to be drunk young. In addition to being the perfect complement to all kinds of seafood recipes, from shrimp salads to elaborate seafood platters with vegetables and smoked cernia or swordfish, this wine is delicious as an exciting aperitif for all occasions. The Vermentino di Gallura DOCG finesse comes from the combination of ongoing quality control, the richness of the granite decomposition of soil and the microclimate where the original grapes are grown.
Sicily Sicily has more vineyards than any of the other Italian regions competing with Apulia for first place as the largest wine producer. Yet, Sicilians consume less wine per capita than any other Italian.
Many grapes are made into raisins, used in local cooking, and Sicilian grapes also play a large role in creating dessert wines, which require a higher concentration of grapes and are consumed in smaller quantities. In fact, in the world of international wine, Sicily is renowned for the many outstanding dessert wines, such as the world-famous Marsala.
Though dessert wines account for about 90% of the total DOC production, we shouldn't disregard the several good reds and whites that are produced all over the island by both large producers such as the Conte di Salaparuta, which makes the well-known Corvo, Regaleali and Rapitalà, and the smaller estates such as Donnafugata, Consorzio Agrario Provinciale di Trapani, and Fontanarossa among others.
Trentino- Alto Adige Pane e vino fanno un bel bambino or "bread and wine make a beautiful baby". This saying tells a lot about the importance and consideration given to wine in this Alpine region. The expression reflects the widespread belief that bread and wine are fundamental sources of nourishment and growth, both physically and emotionally. That said, consider that Trentino-Alto Adige produces less than 1% of the national wine production, but accounts for about 10% of grappa production. Grappa is a vodka-like traditional Italian drink, made from the leftover skins and seeds of grapes used for wine — try some and you may find yourself uttering pane e vino fanno un bel bambino.
Tuscany Tuscany's winemaking industry counts on one of the most noble and ancient traditions that predates the universally known Chianti wine that often springs to mind when this region is discussed. The hilly soil and the weather conditions of Tuscany are ideal for grape growing and, with the passing centuries, the numerous types of grapes grown gave rise to some rare and much loved varieties. Nowadays, the most grown variety is the noble Sangiovese, which is often combined with small amounts of locally grown Cabernet Sauvignon, Canaiolo, Ciliegiolo and other grapes into wonderful blends such as the Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano, Carmignano and, of course, the signature Tuscan wines, the Chianti and Chianti Classico, which probably are the best known Italian wines in the world. Other grapes grown here are the Mammolo, Malvasia, Colorino, Raspirosso, Gamay, Grand Noir, Barbera, Moscatello, Aleatico and Vernaccia, among others.
Tuscany accounts for over thirty DOC and half a dozen of DOCG wines. In addition to the great, well-known and appreciated reds, the local production includes a few distinguishable whites, the most notable among them being, without doubt, the Vernaccia di San Gimignano. Other delicious whites include the Bianco d'Elba, from the Elba Island, Bianco di Bolgheri, Vermentino, Bianco di Pitigliano and Bianco di Val di Nievole. (Bianco in Italian means, "white").
Umbria Though the wine production in Umbria is limited the quality is outstanding and includes the Orvieto DOC, one of the best known and appreciated Italian whites produced around the city with the same name. It is a blend of four to five grapes, primarily Procanico, known also as Trebbiano Toscano (40% to 60%), Verdello (15% to 25%), Grechetto, Canaiolo Bianco, known also as Drupello, and/or Malvasia Toscana for the remainder. It is mostly found in the dry variety but, if you travel to the town of Orvieto, be sure to taste the Abboccato or “semi-sweet” variety.
Veneto Veneto is among the foremost wine-producing regions, both for quality and quantity. The region counts over 20 DOC zones and a variety of sub-categories, many of its wines, both dry and Spumanti, are internationally known and appreciated.
The three most well known DOC's are Bardolino, from the town with the same name and surrounding the shores of Garda Lake, Valpolicella, and Soave. Other noteworthy wines produced here are the white Bianco di Custoza, the excellent sparkling Prosecco, the Breganze, and the Amarone (a rich and powerful red from the Verona province). If you travel to the Treviso area, look for the little-known Clinton, a wine that is banned from distribution because it does not conform to the DOC standards, but is produced in limited quantities for local consumption.