(2021) From the super-Cooperative cellar, CAVIT, a range-topping Pinot Grigio cropped very low (45hl/ha) from high altitude vines with an average age of 15- to 30-years. It's an elegant and yet concentrated wine, unoaked, and showing a distinct salts and minerals edge to ripe pear fruit - not pear drops, but fully ripe fruit. In the mouth it has texture and a little sense of grippiness, very dry, a nice bitter endive twist to the finish where good acidity also pushes through.
(2020) Masi makes this wine for the Bossi Fedrigotti family, who ancient vineyard estate has been around for more than 300 years. 30% of the grapes were given a light appassimento - the drying technique used for Amarone - and the components blended and aged in barriques for six months. Deep, vibrant crimson colour, the nose has the lift and lightly ash and incense quality so often found in such wines, with cherry and a touch of vanilla. In the mouth firm, juicy fruit, cherry again and taut, just ripe plums, edged with liquorice and blueberry tartness, a savoury, rather firm finish.
(2019) A wine from Trentino, further west than Valpolicella and closer to the Austrian border. The Conti Bossi Fedrigotti family has 600 years of history on the estate, making wine for more than 300 of them, and today, like Serego Alighieri, Masi takes care of winemaking and commercialisation of the family's wines. Mostly Chardonnay with Traminer, it's not quite as aromatic as I expected, but there is a trace of floral character that blossoms on the palate. The oak is discreet and gently oatmeally, but the crisp orchard fruit, just edging towards exotic, balances with nicely judged, dry and lightly saline acidity.
(2019) A blush- coloured Pinot Grigio (though normally vinified as a white wine, the skins of this variety turn a deep pink, even red as it ripens), this fresh and forward rosé has pretty rose-hip and raspberry aromas, a touch of nettle or elderflower in the background, then a palate if crisp, small red berry fruits with a cleansing lift of acidity. Easy drinking and fresh.
(2019) Trentino's super co-op, CAVIT, produces an awful lot of wine, and an awful lot of Pinot Grigio, but that does give them the vineyards and the resources to add very high quality strings to their proverbial bow. This Pinot Grigio comes from some of their highest altitude and lowest-yielding vines from just north of Lake Garda, aged 15- to 30-years old. There's a creamy suggestion of density on the nose, soft leafy green herbs meet apple and something a little more honeyed. In the mouth it is a dry, zesty and linear style, serious and restrained, staying focused and pure with a hint of saltiness in the finish. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2018) Nothing remarkable about this Prosecco from The Wine Society, and nothing objectionable either: pre-requisite fresh pear, lemon and icing sugar aromas, a lively and sherbetty palate, and it is Brut, so a bit drier than your average supermarket label, which is for the good. Very decent quaffing Prosecco.
(2018) Nosiola is a native grape of Trentino in the far north of Italy, often harvested late to make sweet Vin Santo wine. But here Bottega Vinai (a brand of the super-coop of the area, Cavit) has made a crisp, fresh and dry Nosiola with broad appeal. The variety takes its name from nocciola, the Italian word for hazelnut, the grape said to have a nutty flavour, and indeed, there is a nuttiness here, as well as firm pear and gentle spices, before the palate reveals its bright, focused and juicy fruit, licked with salts and finishing with a dry lime peel lick of precise acidity. A lovely grown-up wine that has broad sipping and food-matching appeal. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2017) CAVIT is a super-cooperative (a co-op made up of other co-ops with over 1000 members) that totally dominates the Trentino region as I discovered on a visit way back in 2004. Bottega Vinai is a selection of the very best plots, in this case of Pinot Grigio from 30- to 60-year-old vines. There is a lovely delicacy to this wine, white flowers and the most gentle blossom and apple perfume. In the mouth it is dry, with pear and apple core acidity, and very good concentration. There's a saltiness too, in a crisp, decisive and characterful white wine.
(2016) The alpine twin of Sassicaia, this is a Bordeaux blend from the far north of Italy, and an estate owned by Marchese Carlo Guerrieri Gonzaga who spent time at Sassicaia and employed the same consultant to oversee this wine, winner of 13 consecutive 'Tre Bicchieri' awards from Gambero Rosso since its first vintage in 1982. At six years old it is still intense and youthful, a firm liquorice and bloody-edged keen black fruit on the nose. In the mouth the suppleness is impressive, with dry, fine but grippy tannins around a ripe fruit core. Balanced, with an elegant cherry freshness to the acidity, that does not detract from the seriousness and very Bordeaux-like combination of authoritative structure and yet hints of a charm that will unfold over 10 to 15 years.
(2011) 12%. From the north of Italy in the foothills of the Dolomites, there's a faint apple and dry, underripe melon character, but it is subtle. On the palate this has a nice medium-weight and a fine, juicy personality. It is dry and restrained, the fruit having some real ripeness and sweetness, but in that understated and food-friendly white fruit style, with fresh acidity.