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Central Italy’s Best-Kept Secrets

featured, Italy: Center & South

Eric Guido, Jun 2020

Sangiovese is most often associated with Tuscany, where it is the variety that informs virtually all of the region’s top wines. What if I told you that by staying within the confines of Tuscany’s top DOCGs of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile, you were missing out on some of the most interesting and value-oriented Sangioveses being produced today? It’s time to discover some of central Italy’s best-kept secrets.

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Cellar Favorite: 2004 Guastaferro Taurasi Primum

cellar favorite, Cellar Favorites, Italy: Center & South

Eric Guido, May 2020

Knowing when to open a Taurasi is always tricky. We all hear that the wines can age on their balance of fruit, tannin, and elevated acidity but capturing a bottle in that magic moment is the challenge.

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Latest Releases: Calabria, Basilicata, Puglia and Sardinia

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Feb 2020

Southern Italy offers many excellent and often inexpensive wines for those willing to venture outside their comfort zone. Although there are underachievers, if you stick to the producers I recommend here, you won’t be disappointed, for there are a myriad of wine grapes, styles and estates worth discovering.

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Gulfi Nero d’Avola Nerosanloré: 2001-2015

featured, Verticals & Retrospectives, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2020

Gulfi was the first winery in Sicily to believe in single-contrada Nero d’Avolas. Today, Gulfi makes four such wines that highlight the extraordinary diversity of these sites, all of them so well-suited to showing the potential of Sicily’s indigenous Nero d’Avola. This vertical spanned a representative selection of the Nerosanloré - arguably the most elegant of the wines.

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Tiberio Pecorino Colline Pescaresi 2005-2018

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Jan 2020

Tiberio’s Pecorino has fast become a gold standard for the variety, delivering aromas and flavors and a relatively rich glyceral texture that are archetypal of the cultivar, but with more refinement than most wines made with this trendy Italian native grape.

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Campania 2018: Early Appeal And Accessibility

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Nov 2019

Readers who have followed my writings over the years know I am a huge fan of Campania. The whites are some of Italy’s greatest and most ageworthy wines. The best Campania whites are terroir-driven and full of varietal character. With some notable exceptions, Campania's red wines are unfortunately less consistent because of the combination of overripe grapes and too much oak. For that reason, it pays to be especially selective when it comes to the reds.

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Vinous Table: Terrazza Bosquet, Sorrento, Italy

Vinous Table, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Oct 2019

Terrazza Bosquet is perhaps Sorrento’s most “in” restaurant at the moment. It boasts an amazing view in a gorgeous hotel that has been the haunt of many a famous name. An intimate menu and an excellent wine list make for a dining destination that tries hard to avoid falling into the tourist-trap cooking of similarly storied seaside hotels.

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Vinous Table: Osteria Veglio, La Morra, Italy

Vinous Table, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Sep 2019

Over the last few years Osteria Veglio has upped their game, and is once again one of best and most reasonably-priced restaurants in the Langhe. Authentic traditional Piedmontese food, an improving wine list and a beautiful setting make for a terrific dining experience.

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Abruzzo and Molise: Another Brick in the Wall

featured, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Sep 2019

Estates in Abruzzo and Molise continue to slowly claw their way to the top, although a big gap still exists between the region’s best wineries and all the others. That said, the better 2018 whites and 2017 reds show that Abruzzo and Molise are (mostly) on the right track.

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Vinous Table: Piazzetta Milù, Naples, Italy

Vinous Table, Italy: Center & South

Ian D'Agata, Aug 2019

Piazzetta Milù has the potential to become one the top dining destinations not just in Campania, but in all of Italy. The food, wines and sleek décor are already top-notch, so this dining establishment run by a young, passionate team is well worth keeping a close eye on.