The new Gambero Rosso guide Vini d’Italia has just released its list of Special Award winners for 2012. These are the wineries, producers and wines that represent the best of the Italian wine world.
Red Wine of the Year
Sardus Pater, Carignano del Sulcis Superiore “Arruga” 2007
Sardus Pater is a quality-oriented cooperative winery located on the small island of San’Antioco, which is a short distance southwest of Sardinia proper. The cooperative emphasizes production of Carignano-based wines but also produces other quality wines such as Vermentino and Moscato. Arruga is made entirely from Carignano del Sulcis grapes from 80 year old, low-yielding Carignano vines. It is aged in barriques for 12 months and in the bottle for a further 12 months.
White Wine of the Year
Umani Ronchi, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore “Vecchie Vigne” 2009
Umani Ronchi is one of the most famous wineries of the Marche region in central Italy and one of the most prestigous in all of Italy. The Umani Ronchi Verdicchio del Castelli di Jesi Superiore is made entirely of Verdicchio harvested from 40-year-old vines. It is aged over a long period, first in concrete tanks in contact with the native yeasts and subsequently in bottle. It is year after year one of Italy’s most prestigious white wines.
Sparkling Wine of the Year
Ferghettina, Franciacorta Extra Brut 2005
Franciacorta wines are perhaps the best expression of Italian sparkling wines. The Ferghettina 2005 Franciacorta Extra Brut is produced with Chardonnay and a small portion of Pinot Noir and refermented in the bottle for 6 years.
Sweet Wine of the Year
Roeno, Cristina V.T.(Vendemmia Tardiva) 2008
This luscious, sweet wine is from the Roeno Winery in Brentino Belluno in the Veneto region.
Winery of the Year
Tasca d’Almerita has been the point of reference for high quality Sicilian wine for over 100 years. The estate has based their operations on quality, innovation and modern winemaking techniques. Rosso del Conte, the estate’s flagship wine was created in the early 1970’s, elevated the quality of the native Nero d’Avola grape and is today considered the model for high-end Sicilian wines.
Best Ratio of Price to Quality (Best Buy)
Gianfranco Paltrinieri, Lambrusco di Sorbara Leclisse 2010
Leclisse is the flagship wine of the Paltrinieri estate. It is an outstanding sparkling ruby-red wine produced entirely from the best, hand-picked Lambrusco di Sorbara grapes and produced using the Charmat method.
Grape Growers of the Year
Sergio Mottura runs the Mottura estate, a family-run vineyard in the northern Lazio region. It consists of some 325 acres and has been certified organic since 1996.
Giuseppe Russo, a trained pianist with a degree in Italian literature, has since 2004 managed Girolamo Russo, the Russo family estate on the eastern slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily. The Girolamo Russo estate is certified organic and produces some of Sicily’s most exciting red wines.
Up and Coming Winery
Mattia Barzaghi is a boutique wine producer located just a few miles from San Gimignano in Tuscany. Using biodynamic methods, Mattia Barzaghi produces award-winning 100 percent Sangiovese and 100 percent Vernaccia varietal wines.
Award for Sustainable Viticulture
The name Alois Lageder is synonymous for the highest standard of quality in viticulture and winemaking. Founded in 1823 and now managed by Alois Lageder, the winery practices a sustainable, holistic corporate philosophy and supports a wide spectrum of cultural and artistic activities. Some 125 acres of vineyards are operated entirely according to the guidelines of biodynamic agriculture.
September 29, 2011
For other reviews of award-winning Italian wines and producers see Italian Wine Reviews.