Today I am writing to you, for the first time, from the train on my return from Vinitaly 2016. Partly to optimise time and partly to avoid finding myself in Edolo (I'm insanely sleepy...)! Indeed with the iPad, life as a blogger is much better! 😉

This article is entirely dedicated to #youngtoyoung16 initiative organised by journalists Marco Gatti and Paolo Massobrio de the Golosario promoted by Comunica Editore, in which I had the pleasure of participating this year for the first time. Young winegrowers met young bloggers, I would say, with the aim of introducing a new product to a fresh and enthusiastic audience, thus overcoming the barrier of the emblazoned producer by dwelling on the contents of the bottle, a mission that I enjoyed so much that I took part!

I wanted to be at yesterday's tasting as well, but 40 km of traffic jams between Brescia and Verona south prevented me from arriving in time, so to avoid missing today's tasting, I decided to come by train.

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In Verona everything worked perfectly: the shuttle was very comfortable and I did not wait a single minute! When I arrived at the turnstiles of the Vinitaly I was scared by a really long queue, so much so that I called Federico to warn him that I might be late, but I was pleased to discover that the press had a reserved entrance next to the main one and with my pass I got in straight away!

The tasting, on the first floor of Hall 6, began punctually, and the producers, after a brief presentation, told their story and that of their wines. The service from AIS was professional and impeccable, but you know, I am a bit biased when it comes to 'Mama AIS' 😉

But let's talk about wine...

The proposed wineries were (in order of presentation):

  • Jessica Pellegrini - Fattoria del Pino - Brunello di Montalcino
  • Nicola Oberto - Azienda Agricola Tre di Berri - Barolo Classico
  • Righetti - Azienda Agricola i Vigneti di Ettore - Amarone della Valpolicella

Jessica Pellegrini de The Pine Tree Farm She arrived a little late and was splendidly introduced by her companion Rosedio Rossetti, who managed to convey the passion of this 'crazy crazy' winemaker to the extent that she realises her oenological dream and spends more than 10 hours a day tending her vines... a very tiring job for a woman! That's why I hold Jessica in the highest esteem... and it's incredible to think of her soiled with mud on a tractor, so beautiful and elegant! The winery is very young: it is barely 6 years old and is Jessica's big bet. She comes from a different sector and now produces wine out of passion! Her company is located in the surroundings of Montalcino and produces very few bottles of Rosso di Montalcino and Brunello di Montalcino (about 6000) plus a base wine that I guess is the economic support of the company.

But let's talk about Jessica's wine... her partner has called her a fundamentalist and it shows! Jessica uses the traditional winemaking method and her wine has something ancient and noble about it. It is a beautiful garnet red, transparent and works well in the glass with close and regular arches that let me imagine a good alcohol content. An intense nose, with notes of plum and black pepper are slightly covered by a slightly annoying note of solvent (like acetone for removing nail polish), perhaps due to the over-developed esters. In the mouth it enters decisively, and I found a great nose-mouth correspondence: it enters intense, graceful despite slightly green tannins due to its youth. Overall, an elegant wine, which should be left uncorked for at least an hour or so to allow the esters to dissipate in the air (I kept it there until the end and it had definitely improved, although in this bottle the esters were still very present). This wine retails at €45.

He followed a guy who is nothing short of extraordinary, and who made me realise how much the evaluation of the person also affects the judgement of the wine. Nicola Oberto, of the Tre di Berri winery, is, as he puts it, one of the many Obertos who populate the bell towers of La Morra, a land he loves madly and feels! He says he lives in the most beautiful place in the world, and I was there even in February #WineDiary: 2 days in Barolo with Mr Art & Wine I can only agree. When a blogger asked him what he dreams of in the future, Nicola replied that he is lucky because he already has everything: he has the most beautiful job in the world, he lives in the most beautiful place in the world and he has the most beautiful girlfriend in the world whom he can't wait to snatch from finance to take her with him to the basement and marry her. I was genuinely moved by the love I read in his eyes when he spoke of these three things, the calm and happy timbre of his voice and the passion (he was afraid of talking too much) with which he spoke of his land, even showing us the map with the sub-zones of Barolo!

His wine is the one I liked best and, frankly, the one I would buy with absolute certainty among the 3 tasted today. Garnet red with the first orange reflections, it is about to become the perfect Barolo shade, that of the bricks of the Alba cathedral. A wonderful image, sweet and nostalgic as only the Langhe can be. The nose is complex with tertiary hints of toast, dried flowers and morello cherry jam. On the palate, the tannin is still green, and this gives me hope: a ready-made Barolo 2012 is not a true Barolo in my opinion! This wine will be at its best in at least 10 years, and that is an incredible added value for a young producer! It enters the mouth however soft and silky and I also sensed an above average residual sugar. Retail price 27 €, well spent. I also stress how Nicola did the maths perfectly when asked why the price of the wine is so 'low': you can see that he too has a background in finance!

Lastly, Ettore's grandson, Gabriele, who represents his grandfather for the company Le Vigne di Ettore. We are in Valpolicella and he tells us the story of his grandfather, who has always been in the wine business where he had a brilliant career in the Cantina Sociale di Negrar, where he joined as a scullery boy and retired as president! Gabriele is about to graduate in oenology, and with his fresh schooling and his grandfather's experience, the product that emerges is a brilliant wine, perhaps a little simple, but with great promise! It is an impenetrable ruby red, which leaves colour in the glass where it forms very close bows due to the high alcohol content typical of Amarone. The tannin is still a little aggressive, but this is normal given the wine's youth. Here the marasca cherry has become under spirits, but the strongest scent on the nose is definitely the roast coffee. In the mouth, the alcohol content is tempered by a nice freshness, which gives me hope for its ageing potential. Retail price 30 €, a good price for an Amarone della Valpolicella of this quality.

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 In short, this day ended very well... thank you for inviting me.

At this point, see you tomorrow at lunchtime to decide which blogger has won this #youngtoyoung16 contest. For me, there will be no winners or losers, just guys united by a great passion and, perhaps, the same dream.

A hug,

Chiara

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