Just as wine is an intrinsic part of Italian culture, Italian wines from the following producers are an integral part of any well-curated collection. Elena Walch is a force in the north, known for her intense whites from the foothills of the alps in Alto-Adige; legendary Valpolicella producer, Quintarelli, is without a doubt one of the most celebrated names in the country; and finally, Frank Cornelissen is a wildly popular (check the list at any wine bar) and rebellious winemaker with a deep respect for his volcanic terroir on Mount Etna. These unique bottles from some of the most renowned producers are certainly not to be missed!
2 bottles each of:
Name: Elena Walch 2018 Gewurztraminer ‘Kastelaz’
Elena Walch is one of the best white winemakers in northern Italy. Today, she manages the spectacular sixty-acre estate with the help of her two daughters. This benchmark Gewurztraminer is from a grand-cru tier parcel of land; vines cover south-facing slopes at 300m above sea-level, surrounded by Cypress trees and overlooking the picturesque town below. This wine is concentrated, aromatic, and elegant. It is golden hued, with a rich and complex bouquet of lime, melon, lychee, jasmine and white pepper. It is structured with ample acidity, lingering minerality and a long finish.
Golden-tinged straw. Smoked bacon fat, papaya, mango, orange oil and grapefruit nectar on the nose and in the mouth. Smooth, rich and ripe, with good finishing cut and clarity, not to mention a hint of alcoholic warmth. Lovely, big wine that will have every Gewürz lover swooning at first taste. 92 Points Vinous
Name: Quintarelli 2018 Bianco Secco
The Quintarelli estate in the Veneto has meticulous attention to detail and is responsible for creating some of the most complex wine in the entire country. The late winemaker, Giuseppe, was considered the “godfather of Amarone”; his prowess has been passed on and is also exhibited by the two whites in their portfolio. The Secco is impressive not only for its unique blend of white grapes, but for the breadth of aromas and flavours it delivers on the palate (notes of white flowers, apricot and peach). This naturally cultivated wine is lees-aged, which provides an underlying structure to its freshness, minerality and persistence.
Pale straw-green. Fennel, mint, sage, celery and butter on the captivating nose, followed up by orange, tangerine and vanilla on the palate. Fresh but round, with a long tactile mouthfeel and repeating notes of butter and vanilla. A blend of 80% Garganega and a medley of other varieties, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Trebbiano Toscano and the rare local variety called Saorin. This is the first ever Quintarelli Bianco to have been partially aged in oak, to help obtain a richer, rounder mouthfeel. 91 Vinous [review for 2017 vintage]
Name: Frank Cornelissen 2017 Munjebel Bianco
Cornelissen is uncompromising and masterful. Taken by the geology and spirit of the area surrounding his vineyards (a literal active volcano, Mount Etna), he creates wines that are inherently expressive of this Sicilian culture and soil. He is known for his extreme hands-off approach; he has a profound respect for the natural world and avoids intervention at all costs – only recently he’s begun filtering a select few wines. This Bianco is a mix of two local varieties, Grecanio Dorato and Carricante, which have been macerated on their skins for a few days to bring out some texture and tannin. It has lemon, wet stone, wild herb and flinty characteristics, electric acidity and a long finish.
A blend of 50% Grecanico Dorato and 50% Carricante, this opens with delicate aromas evoking citrus, wet pebble and Mediterranean scrub. It's elegantly structured, delivering Meyer lemon, unsweetened tangerine drop candy, smoky flint and dried apricot set against fresh acidity. It has a dry, lingering finish. 92 Wine Enthusiast