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Italian Beauty from North to South with Nals Margreid, Le Macchiole, and Ferrari!
July 12, 2018
A Note from Sergio

Squeezed into the mountains between Austria and Switzerland, Trentino-Alto Adige could be Italy's best-kept winemaking secret. Despite being a craggy, vertiginous mountain zone, Trentino-Alto Adige's winemaking predates 15 BC, making it one of Europe's oldest wine-growing sites. And though Trentino-Alto Adige is tucked into the northernmost corner of Italy, it boasts rich winemaking traditions, privileged microclimates, and a heady blend of Roman, German, and Austrian heritages. It's also a much-contested land, changing hands from the Romans to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and back to the Italians, which means that its winemakers have collected a potpourri of traditions and techniques. Basically, Trentino-Alto Adige explodes with unique grape varietals and compelling terroir--and each wine has its own individual style.

Not much of Alto Adige's wines hit America. The area's high altitudes, steep terrain, and pockets of micro-vineyards mean that many producers don't make much wine. Alto Aidge's winemakers solve this tiny vineyard problem by creating collectives, but even with collectives such as Nals Margreid or Terlano behind them, the wine has a hard time finding its way here. For these reasons, when I can snag some low production Alto Adige wine, I do, and today, I'm overjoyed to present Nals Margreid 2016 Sirmian Pinot Bianco. This white has a salty mineral edge that's almost razor sharp, but its fruit is honeyed and rich--it's a mind-bending combination, and I think you'll love it!

From the tippy-top of Italy, we move to its middle, Toscana, with a wine that you truly need to experience, Le Macchiole's shining, brilliant 2016 Bolgheri Rosso. Toscana is Italy's most famous wine region, and Super Tuscans are among the area's most important wines. Le Macchiole is a boutique winemaker that specializes in mono-varietal wines, but the estate's entry-level blend is stunning in 2016. I managed to score a few magnums of this wine, which will make your dinner parties extremely happy. Finally, we'll dip into the "heel" of Italy, Puglia, for today's last wine, Ferrari's 1959 Solaria Jonica. For lack of a better term, Jonica is a dessert wine, but that designation doesn't convey the full, savory, complicated, and utterly mesmerizing scope of this Puglian gem. It's a drop-dead gorgeous wine, and you owe it to your palate to drink it at least once in your life.


Today's Featured Sections Include:

1. Spotlight on Excellence: Lip-Smacking, Stony Nals Margreid '16 Sirmian Pinot Bianco
2. Only At IWM: Le Macchiole's Radiant, Approachable '16 Bolgheri Rosso--in Magnum!
3. Time Sensitive Offer: Ferrari's Drop-Dead Gorgeous '59 Solaria Jonica
4. Wine Events: Upcoming July Wine Tasting Events

My Best,

Sergio Esposito
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Antonio Ferrari Solaria Jonica 1959 500ml
Antonio Ferrari Solaria Jonica 1959 500ml
Price: $159.00

The product of the hottest summer on record in Puglia, the skills of Piemonte-born Antonio Ferrari, and sheer luck, the ’59 Jonica lands somewhere between a Recioto and a Port, but it’s far more complex and surprising. Notes of plums, berries and cherries dance with chocolate, earth, tobacco, black walnuts, caramel, spice and licorice in this dizzyingly layered wine. Though the Jonica has about six decades of age, it remains remarkably vibrant and nervy, hanging its myriad flavors on a sturdy tannic spine and energizing its thick palate with bright acidity. Rich, luscious, concentrated and warm, this wine needs to be tasted to be believed and sipped slowly to be appreciated. A mono-varietal Primitivo grown on old vines, this wine matured in botti for a decade and refined in concrete for an additional 35 years before being bottled. more info