As wine writers, my colleagues and I taste thousands of wines every year. Most are made from popular and widely planted grape varieties.
Once in a while, an agent specializing in rare grape varietals graciously offers an opportunity to taste his wines.
Ken Hayden specializes in Italian and Spanish rare grape variety varietal wines.
Italy has indigenous varieties estimated to be well over 2000, of which sangiovese, cataratto, trebbiano, barbera, negroamaro, primitivo and malvasia are the most popular.
Recently we tasted many such wines and the following stood out:
(All recommended wiens are either consignment (deliverable in a few days), or special import ( it takes six to eight weeks). Prices are inclusive of all taxes except bottle deposit of $ 1.20 per Six-bottle case)
Celso 2011, Azienda Guerieri, Italy
Bianchello del matauro grows well in and yields a refreshing, off dry, golden coloured orange blossom smelling wine. The mouth-watering acidity, coupled with a little residual sugar balances the wine. Excellent for sipping and light lunches. 88/100
$ 22.50 (Consignment)
Vescovado, 2011, Santa Venere, Calabria, Italy
Guardavalle grapes thrive in Calabria’s hot climate. This smooth, “feminine”, honeyed, organic wine is dry with a pleasing and smooth mouth feel.
Enjoy with simply prepared fresh seafood, especially crustaceans, or as an aperitif. 88/100
$ 24.25 (Consignment)
Vespaiolo, 2011, cantina Col Dovigo, Veneto, Italy
The name vespaiolo originates from this grape’s aroma that attracts bees. It has a honeyed flavour, with a balanced sweetness. Full and rich in flavour with a long aftertaste.
$ 22.75 (private order)
Incrocio Manzoni 2.15, 2009, Azienda Conte Collalto Manzoni was one of t he most prolific hybridisers in Italy. Professor Luigi Manzoni of the School of Oenology in Conegliano, Veneto, crosbred the classic glera (used for prosecco) with cabernet sauvignon.
Deep purple in colour, aromatic, (black- and raspberry), smooth mouth feel, balanced with a touch of tannins. Richly flavoured and recommended with stewed rabbit, lamb or grilled guinea fowl, cold cuts, and medium cheeses.
89/100$ 22.25 (Private order)
Rosabianco – Incrocio Manzoni 1 – 50, Azienda Agricola Conte Collalto, Veneto, Italy
A cross of trebbiano x traminer aromatico (aka gewürztraminer (this is a floral wine that smells of roses. Excellent depth, flavour and appeal.
89/100 (Private order)
Cjanori, 2011, I Vini Di Emilio Bulfon, Friuli, Italy
Aromas of cherries and ripe stone fruits waft out of the glass. Pleasant, acid-driven, yet a well-balanced wine. Recommended with roast leg of lamb, lamb stews roast loin of pork.
$ 20.95 (Consignment)
Rmosceto, 2011, Cantina Ma.Ri.Ca Marche, Italy
The variety used for this dark red ad vibrant wine is lacrima di morro d’Alba.Smells of dark cherries, with an intense flavour and appealing after taste. Serve with cols cuts, prosciutto, pan-fried provimi veal or soft cheeses.
Serrapetrona, 2010, Alberto Quacquarini, Tuscany, Italy
Vinted using vernaccia near grapes that thrive in Tuscany. Vibrant ruby red, aromas of Morello cherries, full bodied, refreshing wine with a long aftertaste.
Serve with flavourful cold cuts, sandwiches, cold roast beef.
Don Rodrigo Piedmont Albarossa, 2010, Vinchio Vaglio Serra, Piedmont, Italy
A cross, developed by professor Giovanni Dalmassio in 1938. Deep and brilliant ruby red colour. Intense and complex bouquet of spices and tobacco. Powerful, balanced, deeply flavoured with a logn aftertaste.
Serve with roasts (beef, game, grilled steaks)
89/100 (Private order)
Sum, 2008, Torre Guacete, Puglia, Italy
Sussumaniello is a profuse bearing vine that thrives in Puglia. This wien smells of ripe cherries, has a good depth and a pleasant “grip”. A fine food wine.
Canaiolo, 2011, Tenuta Di Montecucco, Tuscany, Italy
Canaiolo is generally used in Chianti blends. This 100 per cent canaiolo, is powerful, with aromas of Morello cherries, full bodied, intense and well balanced. It finishes with a long and satisfying aftertaste.
89? (Private order)
Cornalin, 2010, Maison Vigneronne Freres Grosjean, Val D’Aosta, italy
The Val D’Aosta Valley between Piedmont and France is an appellation planted to indigenous grapes only. The population consists of individuals of French and Italian heritage, hence the name of this winery.
This deep ruby red coloured wine offers aromas of forest floor. On the palate, spice and tobacco flavours dominate.
Full bodied, with a good grip and persistent aftertaste.
89/100 (Private order)
To order any of the above contact
416 253 5987
Cell 416 993 1449