Autochtona 2016 report. Tasting notes

Autochtona 2016 report. Tasting notes

Bolzano capital of Italian grape varieties: at least the two days of the end of October that hosted the event dedicated precisely to wines produced with local grapes. A summary of typical Italian ampelographic.

the 13th edition of Autochtona, the annual appointment of Bolzano dedicated to wines made with Italian native vines.

In the two days on 24 and 25 October were more than 1,200 visitors who were able to meet 120 producers from 15 Italian regions. Ben 480 labels for tasting for a real tour of Italy to the discovery of our wines.

Since Monday morning the stands were full, thus confirming an increasingly seeking audience of authentic wines, ancient-styled and intimately linked to the history and tradition of the territory. On the other hand, the Italian ampelographic heritage is the richest in the world. There are more than 400 indigenous varieties, representing a priceless biodiversity. In addition to the record number in absolute terms, Italy’s uniqueness lies in the fact that each region has a large number of native grapes linked to the history and the local wine culture. A variety universe that has been saved thanks to the tenacity and passion of small growers, who have continued to believe in the products of their territory, keeping alive a strong bond with their roots. Autochtona represents and gives voice just this world, looking with curiosity and interest in tradition, authenticity, against a standardized vision and industrialized wine, decreed by the success of the most famous international varieties.

the tastings

In each edition tastings Autochtona become increasingly interesting. If a decade ago the wines produced with minor native vines were often small craft rarity, today the average level of the quality of the bottles has grown a lot. The wines are all beautiful varietal expression, very interesting for their territorial typicality. In our tasting we decided to give priority to the most particular grape varieties, less known, that rarely happens to meet in the glass. Of course even the sangiovese, nebbiolo, Verdicchio, are indigenous, but the most profound sense of value is Autochtona especially children vines, yet to be discovered.

We begin our tasting with ‘Abruzzo DOC Superiore 2015 Montonico Santapupa of Cantina La Quercia. The montonico is an ancient white grape variety for centuries in Abruzzo Bisenti in the area and Cermignano. By 1600, its cultivation was widespread and much appreciated wine. During the French occupation of 1798-99, our cousins across the Alps even called him “le petit champagne”. But after the scourge of phylloxera, the montonico risked complete extinction and only recently a new vineyard recovering scions from old vines was planted. The wine is fragrant, fresh from harmonious drink very pleasant.

More wine from history so ancient fade into legend is Albana di Romagna. It seems that already Galla Placidia, daughter of the Roman emperor Theodosius, we appreciate the virtues. We do not give wrong tasting a glass of Albana DOCG 2015 of Colombarda Cantina. The bouquet is delicately aromatic, with notes of citrus zest, ripe fruit and herbs. The taste is intense and balanced with savory finish and mineral.

With the wines of Emilio Bulfon, winegrower in Valeriano in the province of Pordenone, truly we enter the ampelography history. His work for the recovery of old native Friulian variety is extraordinary. Only thanks to his passion now we can taste wines produced with grapes almost extinct. A real time travel in the world of wine. Let’s start with the sciaglìn. The name “schiavolino” most likely indicates his slave origins. Bulfon the vinification in purity in two versions: foamed Extra Dry Charmat Method, aromatic, soft with a final refreshing and in the classic version, and Venezia Giulia IGT Sciaglìn 2015, a wine with a floral bouquet, slightly aromatic, with a fresh drink and with good persistence final.

The Cividin is another vine now abandoned, that we find in Blanc Sanzuàn 2015, a wine with a fruity bouquet, intense and tasty finish.

Among the red grape varieties produced with pure taste the Cjanoròs 2015, Venezia Giulia IGT Forgiarin 2015, Venezia Giulia IGT Piculit Blacks in 2014 and finally the Smoking Rosso 2015, made with the grape variety fumat. The latter we particularly liked the distinct personality, together with Picolit Blacks.

A beautiful white font on Tortona Hills Timorasso The Song 2013 Daglio, presenting unbouquet already evolving towards notes resin, hydrocarbon and flint.

Interestingly the recovery of the native vine Invernenga by the Pusterla Cantina. The company cultivates an urban vineyard of four hectares in the city of Brescia and produces two wines. The White Pusterla 2015 opens with delicate floral aromas, has a cool and pleasant drink with a slightly almond finish; while the Pusterla 1037, made from old vines, vinified with a brief maceration on the skins, has a large bouquet with ripe fruit aromas, lively freshness, dry and firm finish.

The winners

Puglia gets a nice label Fiano minutolo, native vine that finally is regaining ground in the board. The Puglia Fiano Minutolo Kimia IGT 2015 of Tenute Chiaromonte expresses beautiful aromatic and floral notes, has a lively sip of pleasantly fresh citrus, with a final fruity and mineral.

La Cantina Nesci of Palizzi, in the province of Reggio Calabria, gives us two beautiful versions of nocera in purity. The ancient red grape variety of Greek origin berry has been present for centuries on both sides of the Strait of Messina. The Rosato IGT Palizzi Toto Corde 2015, stems from a vinification without maceration. It has a pale pink color with fresh floral aromas, citrus and pomegranate. While the IGT Palizzi Frasané 2015 stands out for its elegance of the bouquet characterized by delicate floral notes, fruity, balsamic and Mediterranean.

Another vine of noble birth is black pallagrello, grown in the province of Caserta and appreciated since the time of the Bourbons. A beautiful label the Terre del Volturno Pallagrello Nero IGT 2014 farmhouse Divine, a red with good structure with an elegant bouquet, well-integrated tannins and pleasant freshness.

Always stay on the subject of red, interesting for territorial typicality, l ‘Emilia IGT Malbone 2014 TerraQuilia, produced with malbo kind. A grape that was once used as a blending grape to give color and body, but that vinified alone gives a wine of beautiful structure with fruity aromas of blueberries, blackberries, plums and delicate spicy notes.

Meritorious recovery work carried out by the Cantina Mannucci Droandi, pledged to revive the old Tuscan varieties such as Pugnitello, round leaf and Barsaglina. We liked especially the Pugnitello Toscana IGT 2011, an abandoned grape variety for its low yields, but capable of giving wines with intense fruit flavors, leather and tobacco notes tertiary, nice tannins and freshness. A wine that has all the features to also prove a good longevity.

We close with Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco Doc 2015 Cascina Gilli. Beautiful version of malvasia Schierano in purity, a dark berry varieties of the great family of Malvasia, spread throughout the Mediterranean. Aromatic and floral, exudes a seductive bouquet of great elegance and finesse.


Autochtona awards

At the end of the two-day event and tastings, the Autochtona jury, consisting of wine journalist and industry experts, chaired by Stefania Vinciguerra, has selected the winners of the thirteenth edition choosing the six best wines, among the 70 finalists:

Best Red Wine: Valpolicella Ripasso DOC 2014 St. James – Villa Mattielli.

Best White Wine: Tortona Hills Timorasso Song DOC 2014 – John Daglio

Best Sweet Wine: Malvasia di Castelnuovo Don Bosco DOC 2015 – Cascina Gilli

Best Bubbles: Classical Method Christian Bellei 2012 – Cantina della Volta

Best Rose Wine: IGT Marche Rosato Pinkonero 2015 – Angeli di Varano

Special Terroir: Alto Adige Schiava Sonntaler DOC 2015 – Winery Kurtatsch.


by Alessio Turazza