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Decanter Italy

Decanter Italy 2019

Decanter Italy

United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
R 86,71

in this issue

4 min
carlo petrini

AGAINST A BACKDROP of alarm and increasing global urgency over climate change, Carlo Petrini, the pioneering founder of Slow Food, is determined that each of us can still make a difference. Petrini is uniquely placed to hold such an opinion: his movement – for that’s what it is – has spread from being an all-Italian association of regional food and wine lovers in the 1980s and ’90s to its current position as a global hub for food enthusiasts, activists and farmers in more than 160 countries. His grassroots Terra Madre network, begun in 2004, is at the centre of this support for sustainable indigenous agriculture. Community champion Slow Food-Terra Madre today lobbies against transgenic crops and monoculture, fights for the rights of small-scale farmers, food communities and fishing people, and helps save plants…

1 min
capalbo’s stars of the renaissance

Francesco Cirelli Cirelli, Abruzzo Francesco Cirelli bought this estate in 2003, high in the hills of Abruzzo. From the outset he envisioned an organic, multi-crop farm in which wine was just one element. Today, he makes non-interventionist wines in large clay jars from Montepulciano, Trebbiano and the local variety Pecorino. Giovanni Scarfone Bonavita, Sicily From his terraced vineyards in the northeast corner of Sicily, Scarfone crafts a low-intervention red and rosato from local varieties. ‘We are renewing a tradition that began here with the ancient Greeks in what had become a semi-abandoned part of the countryside,’ says Scarfone. Luca Faccenda Valfaccenda, Piedmont Producing wine in Piedmont’s less famous Roero hills, Faccenda focuses on two local varieties: Arneis and Nebbiolo. His fermentations are as wild as his mass of brown curly hair, and his approach is as refreshing as…

5 min
reimagining barbera

BARBERA IS THE perfect match for simple foods at Piedmont trattoria or osteria, but it’s not just the restaurant-going locals that have overlooked this grape – leading vintners in the region have regularly disparaged it too. Early in his career, Luca Currado, winemaker at Vietti, remembers his father telling him that Barbera was a good way of honing his skills, as few would even notice if he spoiled what was considered a lowly table wine. ‘Work on Barbera, so you can ruin your first wine,’ he quipped, only half-joking. But times are changing: producers in several districts in the region now treat Barbera with a great deal more reverence, as they craft ‘serious’ versions of this wine worthy of cellaring. Piedmont’s most planted variety remains the ideal partner for a humble…

1 min
best of barbera: nizza docg

In a sign of the times, Barbera’s rising star has led to the creation of a tightly controlled denominazione dedicated to the variety. The Nizza DOCG could perhaps be seen as the culmination of Giacomo Bologna’s early work, seeking the perfect place for Barbera in the Asti province. ‘Nizza is the grand cru of Barbera,’ says Stefano Chiarlo, winemaker at his father’s eponymous estate Michele Chiarlo. ‘In the future, it will be the third Piedmont appellation, with Barolo and Barbaresco, for ageworthy reds.’ At their best, the wines made under the Nizza banner are powerful. Despite the variety’s lack of tannin, these wines have the stuffing and structure to age for more than a decade. That’s likely down to tight boundaries and stringent regulations to qualify for the designation. High-density planting and…

2 min
hyland’s 10: top-quality barbera from piedmont

1 Pio Cesare, Fides, Barbera d’Alba 2015 94 £40 Laytons, Whole Foods Market Ideal ripeness, good acidity, moderate tannins and beautiful spicy notes of coriander and cardamom, with blackberry, black plum and grilled meat notes. Subtle oak provides an overall harmony and superb varietal character. Drink 2019-2026 Alcohol 14.5% 2 Braida, Bricco dell’Uccellone, Barbera d’Asti 2015 93 £55 Sommelier’s Choice A rather ripe example, characteristic of this vintage. A little flashy and opulent, yet well balanced with powerful aromatics reminiscent of black plum, molasses, clove and tar. Fine, medium-weight tannins. Drink 2019-2026 Alc 15% Michele Chiarlo, La Court, Barbera d’Asti Superiore Nizza 2013 92 £36.95-£45 Asset Wines, Exel, Great Wines Direct, Hallgarten & Novum Expressive and flavourful with aromas of red and black cherry, coffee bean and a hint of balsamic. It is ripe and powerful, balanced by good acidity…

7 min
the third way

A GROUP OF young rebels spark a revolution in a backwater town leading to violent clashes between the local Conservative and Liberal parties. The story in Gabriel García Márquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude centres on a fictional town in Colombia in the early 1900s – but in the 1990s and 2000s, there was another ideological tussle occurring in Piedmont’s Langhe hills. The so-called Barolo Wars pitched the modernists – interpreters of smooth, round wines – against traditionalists, faithful to a vision of the ‘king of wines’ as austere and firm. The former preached thinning of Nebbiolo bunches and brandished barriques to produce a rock-n-roll Barolo, while the diehards vigorously defended their lengthy macerations and refused to give up the blues of big barrels. As if in a kind of…