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Frecciarossa Riesling Gli Orti 2012 750ml
Country : Italy
Subregion/Appellation: Oltrepo Pavese
When Dr. Mario Odero acquired the estate of Frecciarossa following World War I, his intent was to hone international recognition of the Oltrepò Pavese zone, with his estate’s wines serving as one of the primary conduits of this particular area. Upon graduating from Milan University with a degree in Agricultural Science, Mario’s son, Giorgio, assumed responsibility for all aspects of the business, including the marketing initiatives necessary to accomplish his father’s international aspirations.
What is it about Oltrepò Pavese that Dr. Odero felt the world needed to know? After all, isn’t OP involved in mass production, a substantive proportion of which is base wine for Pietmontese sparklers and bulk wine for the Milanese quaffing population? While it’s true that OP does work for these audiences, Odero’s belief in the zone’s potential to cater to a far more discerning genre of wine drinker has proven to be a prescient one. Oltrepò Pavese has demonstrated particular virtuosity with Riesling (referred to as Riesling Renano, a synonym for Riesling proper), producing strikingly aromatic versions that exude heady peach and floral aromatics. In the red category, Oltrepò Pavese has become one of very few Italian regions to establish a reputation for high-quality Pinot Noir, a grape that is notoriously difficult to work with, let alone produce to demonstrative effect. Appropriately enough, Oltrepò Pavese was one of the first Italian regions to establish a relationship with Pinot Noir and may, in fact, have inaugurated the affair. Outside of this notable accomplishment, OP has come a long way with its lesser known native inhabitants, particularly Barbera and Bonarda. This duo is effectually heading up the zone’s reinvention, with both realizing a distinct attitude shift. Barbera is fleshing out the austere persona characterizing its earlier appearances, while Bonarda has developed a serious dimension, moving away from its dismissive frizzante days. The two often work together, especially in Oltrepò Pavese’s Buttafuoco and Sangue di Giuda DOCs, where they are joined by Uva Rara, Ughetta, and Pinot Nero. Both may be vinified across wine’s stylistic spectrum (encompassing dry, sweet, still, and sparkling versions). Pinot Nero, however, is turning the most palates at present, finding the necessary support to maintain its delicate balance in Oltrepò Pavese’s continental climate.
Odero has come a long way as well, though it’s had a history of notable successes on the international front, including serving as the official supplier to both the Viceroys of the Indies and the Italian royal family. It is also significant to note that Frecciarossa was one of the first Italian wine labels to be exported to the US. The modern era of the estate commenced in the 1980s under the direction of Giorgio Odero’s daughter, Margherita, and her husband, Carillo Radici. In 1996, the winery pursued concerted efforts to return to one of its defining objectives, namely, recognition on an international level through a portfolio of wines dedicated to the vines of the region. Of particular interest is the Sillery bottling, which is a pure Pinot Nero vinified as a white. Its work with Uva Rara, the grape in question, is also unique, given that Uva Rara rarely makes solo varietal appearances. This bottling makes us wonder why, given its engaging disposition, marked by red cherries and bright acidity. Uva Rara literally means “rare grape,” but this bottle should become a regular on your table.
Breakdown of Varieties: Riesling
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