Wine Reviews: Italian Selections

I hope you all are having a safe and happy holiday season so far. Winter is in full force over much of the U.S. at the moment, and a dangerous storm is affecting travel for millions, so I hope you’re in a warm place surrounded by loved ones — and hopefully some good food and wine.

I recently made my first lasagna of the season, which is a tradition for my family in the holidays, and I was happy to taste through some Italian wines and share some merriment with friends and family. And as travel and gift bills come due, I think it’s a great time to share some inexpensive options. So, to round out 2022, I have some Italian selections to share.

Even though it’s a frigid weekend for most everyone in the U.S. this week, I have a batch of mineral-driven Italian white wines. They’re all imported by Dalla Terra Winery Direct, sourced from estates across Italian regions. This represents a small snapshot of the diversity in Italian white wines and the value in here is something to get excited about.

I also have some interesting wines from Tenuta Sallier de la Tour. This Sicilian estate is owned by Tasca d’Almerita, and, earlier this year, began being imported by Dalla Terra. The price points are attractive, but more so the wines in the bottle. They offer a lot of classic Sicilian flavors, along with complexity and depth that outperforms their price tag. This was my first time trying this estate, and I’ll happily return to these wines when I’m looking for something fun and delicious from Sicily. (I’d be happy to see a bottle on a by-the-glass list for sure.)

These wines were received as trade samples. The white wines were tasted single-blind, while the rest were tasted sighted. Happy holidays to all!

2021 Garofoli Verdicchio di Matelica Supèra – Italy, Marche, Verdicchio di Matelica
SRP: $16
Brisk and bright on the palate, with chalk dust and sea salt sprinkled over lemons and green apples, tossed with mint, basil and white tea, and the mix is vibrant and delightful. The palate is racy and vibrant, a saline-infused stream of river stones and crushed shells runs underneath the green melon, kiwi and white peach fruit. Sports a crystalline focus, with plenty of white flowers, chalk, white tea, green herbal tones and fennel hints. Mouthwatering but complex, and a screaming value. Although the estate dates back to the 1870s, this is their first Verdicchio di Matelica DOC wine, and it’s a great start! (90 points IJB)

2020 Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco Versalto – Italy, Trentino-Alto Adige, Vigneti Delle Dolomiti IGT
SRP: $28
The nose pops with orange peels and white peaches, with some interesting notes of honey, walnut, ginger, some flinty, floral tones to unpack as well. Zesty acidity supported by a mild but pleasantly creamy texture, and the fruit is juicy and fresh: golden pears, white peaches, orange peel. There’s a lot of flinty, mineral-driven tones underneath that are really attractive. I’d love this with some oysters, raw or grilled. Cask-fermented and aged, this has a unique personality and is highly delicious. (90 points IJB)

2021 Fattoria La Valentina Pecorino – Italy, Abruzzi, Colline Pescaresi IGT
SRP: $18
This has a floral, fresh and spicy appeal, with lemons and crunchy green apples, mixed with basil, white pepper and honeysuckle. The palate is brisk and racy but shows a plush feel as well, with flavors of pineapple, pear, lemon and green apple fruit. Notes of honey, white and yellow flowers, with flinty, mineral appeal. Light and vibrant appeal but doesn’t lack flavor or depth. Interesting, complex Pecorino. (89 points IJB)

2020 Inama Soave Classico Vigneti di Carbonare – Italy, Veneto, Soave Classico
SRP: $30
The nose is fantastic, rich but perfumed, with juicy chunks of pineapple drizzled with lime and kiwi juices, mixed with yellow flowers, rushing mountain stream, some talc and saline, honey and almond skin, too. The palate has precise acidity and a mouthwatering vibe, balanced by…

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