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Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

Antinori’s Architectural Labor of Love

New home in Chianti Classico demonstrates the family's commitment and connection to the land

Posted: April 21, 2014  By Robert Camuto

After seven years of work, nightmarish construction problems and a budget that ballooned 170 percent to more than $130 million, Marchesi Antinori’s flagship property opened in 2013 on a hillside in Chianti Classico zone of Italy. The Tuscan winery was immediately praised for its audacious environmental design and has already attracted thousands of visitors. The facility includes a 129,000-square-foot winery, the company headquarters, an auditorium, boutique, restaurant, museum, olive oil mill and a facility for producing sweet Vin Santo.

“The idea was to bring the heart of the company back to the countryside where the wine is produced,” says the trim, energetic Piero Antinori, who represents the family wine business’s 25th generation.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Will Chianti Classico’s Gran Selezione Designation Guarantee Quality?

The new Gran Selezione designation promises stricter quality standards. At Agricola San Felice, the new bottling is the result of years of research

Posted: April 16, 2014  By Bruce Sanderson

The Consorzio of Chianti Classico introduced its new designation—Gran Selezione—in 2013. It represents the pinnacle of a quality pyramid whose base are the Chianti Classico annate and mid-tier riserva. The goal is to have stricter standards to drive quality and inspire consumer confidence in the wines of Chianti Classico.

Currently, there is a lot of confusion between Chianti, which can be produced from a large area in central Tuscany, bottled by a company that doesn’t grow any grapes and sell for as little as $10 and estate grown and bottled wine from the Classico zone in the heart of the entire Chianti area.

Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

The Heart of Lambrusco

Italy's fizzy red is worth your attention once again

Posted: April 7, 2014  By Robert Camuto

Trattoria La Busa, on the southern outskirts of Modena, is a window onto Emilia-Romagna's traditions: Italy's fastest cars, fantastic food and its most misunderstood wines.

Ferrari-racing memorabilia cover the walls, platters of melt-in-your-mouth salumi lap around the dining room, and the kitchen turns out delicious handmade pastas drizzled with thick traditional balsamic vinegar. And dominating the wine list is fizzy red Lambrusco. This Lambrusco is not the sweet red fizz that became Italy's most exported wine in the decades after the 1970s. It's the good stuff: dry, not-quite-sparkling, easy-drinking wine crafted from select grapes and offered at reasonable prices.

News & Features  :  News

Eataly New York Will Close Wine Shop for Six Months

Liquor license suspended after state complains Batali and Bastianich store was selling Bastianich wines

Posted: March 25, 2014  By Mitch Frank, Thomas Matthews

Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

Free Beppe

How Italy’s new cru labeling rules stifle Barolo traditionalists

Posted: March 24, 2014  By Robert Camuto

Giuseppe Rinaldi has always danced to his own tune. A producer of great old-school, cask-fermented Barolos, Rinaldi has been guided by his own gut and local tradition—not others' rules or expectations.

Now, Italy's wine authorities have hemmed in the maestro and provocateur at the age of 65 with a new law dictating how producers blend and label designated crus. Since the death of his father 22 years ago, Rinaldi has bucked the modern, French-influenced trend of single-cru Barolos in favor of a traditional approach of blending from different vineyards.

Blogs  :  Robert Camuto: Letter from Europe

Avant-Garde Meets Tradition on the Plate

A visit with the Italian culinary master every wine connoisseur should know

Posted: March 10, 2014  By Robert Camuto

If there were a Nobel Prize for Parmigiano cheese, Massimo Bottura would certainly be its first laureate.

For more than 20 years, Bottura, Italy's most acclaimed modern chef, has worked to perfect a signature dish founded on the belief that this famous aged cheese made near his native Modena wasn't getting the respect it deserved. "Why did we only use this incredible cheese—this symbol of our land—just to grate on pasta?" The 50-year-old Bottura, clad in chef's jacket and jeans, is nearly shouting.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

14 Diverse Wines from Italy’s Northeast

New reviews of high-quality bottlings from the Trentino-Alto Adige region

Posted: March 7, 2014  By Alison Napjus

Feb. 28, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Rueda, Vermentino, White Bordeaux

Posted: February 28, 2014  By Thomas Matthews

Feb. 28, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Cru Beaujolais, Etna Reds, Soave

Posted: February 28, 2014  By Bruce Sanderson

Feb. 28, 2014 Issue  :  Features

Valtellina, Campania Whites, Bandol

Posted: February 28, 2014  By Alison Napjus

Blogs  :  Harvey Steiman At Large

The Man Who Turned Against Cabernet

Antonio Mastroberardino changed more than his own region in Italy

Posted: January 31, 2014  By Harvey Steiman

He did not seem like a revolutionary when I met Antonio Mastroberardino, who died this week at age 86, nearly 30 years ago. He carried himself with almost a regal bearing. Quiet-spoken, he matter-of-factly explained why he chose to focus his family's vineyards and wines on grapes hardly anyone on this side of the Atlantic knew: Fiano, Greco and, especially, Aglianico.

His son Carlo, who was with him on a tour of the U.S., really did look like a firebrand, intense, vigorous, single-mindedly pushing the notion that his region's historic grape varieties could and should stand on their own. It's difficult to underestimate the importance of that approach.

Blogs  :  Mixed Case: Opinion and Advice

6 Tips for Becoming an Expert on Piedmont Wines

A game plan for getting started

Posted: January 21, 2014  By Jennifer Fiedler

Gianpaolo Paterlini, wine director of Wine Spectator Grand Award-winning Acquerello in San Francisco, lays out a game plan for understanding Italy's Piedmont region.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Roberto Voerzio: Making a Difference in the Vineyards

Roberto Voerzio and his son Davide have invested in great vineyards. Their 2010 Barolos show their dedication to viticulture

Posted: January 3, 2014  By Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson is blogging on his recent trip to Italy's Piedmont region, where he visited growers and tasted the new vintages that will be released in the United States in 2014. In this installment, he tastes the Barolos and more at Roberto Voerzio. Here are his notes.

Dec. 31, 2013 Issue  :  Columns

My Wines of the Year

Posted: December 31, 2013  By Matt Kramer

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

A Taste of Barbaresco and More

Pio Cesare, La Spinetta and Cigliuti reveal the charms of Barbaresco, young and mature

Posted: December 10, 2013  By Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson is blogging from Italy's Piedmont region, where he is visiting growers and tasting the new vintages that will be released in the United States in 2014. In this installment, he tastes the Barbarescos and more at Pio Cesare, La Spinetta and Cigliuti. Here are his notes.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

A Day in Serralunga d’Alba

Tasting the latest vintages at Giovanni Rosso, Schiavenza and Rivetto

Posted: December 4, 2013  By Bruce Sanderson

Wine Spectator senior editor Bruce Sanderson is blogging from Italy's Piedmont region, where he is visiting growers and tasting the new vintages that will be released in the United States in 2014. He spent a day in Serralunga d'Alba to taste the most recent vintages at Giovanni Rosso, Schiavenza and Rivetto. Here are his notes.

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

Raising the Bar at Oddero

More than a decade of fine-tuning is paying off with a fine range of 2010 Barolos

Posted: December 2, 2013  By Bruce Sanderson

My first stop in Piedmont was at Oddero (I last visited here in November 2010), where Maria Cristina and Isabella Oddero are at the helm, along with enologist Luca Veglio. This is a very traditional house, with firm, long-lived Barolos, an elegant Barbaresco from the Gallina cru in Neive, a fruity Langhe Nebbiolo and two Barberas, one from Alba and another from Asti.

Since Maria Cristina took over from her father in 1997, she has been observing the vineyards carefully and, along with moving toward organic farming, has changed some small details, both in the vines and in the cellar.

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

14 Delicious Reds from Italy

New reviews of versatile Piedmont bottlings for everyday enjoyment

Posted: November 15, 2013  By Bruce Sanderson

News & Features  :  Tasting Highlights

20 Diverse Italian Reds

New reviews of impressive bottlings of the indigenous and lesser-known grapes of Italy

Posted: November 8, 2013  By Alison Napjus

Blogs  :  Bruce Sanderson Decanted

17 Vintages of Bruno Giacosa

A vertical tasting of the master’s Barbaresco and Barolo riservas illustrates a transparency that reveals vintage and vineyard character

Posted: November 4, 2013  By Bruce Sanderson

Bruno Giacosa is an icon of Piedmont. A guardian of the traditional style, he has made benchmark Barbarescos and Barolos since 1961. I recently had the opportunity to taste 17 vintages of Giacosa’s Barbaresco Asili Riserva, Barolo Falletto Riserva and Barolo Le Rocche del Falletto Riserva spanning the years 2008 to 1967.

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