Any time i am talking about Italy most of the people think of Tuscany, Piedmont and Veneto. Ok, it’s true, greatest wines are coming from there and I am not here to change mind to anyone, but i feel depressed sometime when foreigners think that Lazio has bad quality wines.
In 2015, i can ensure you, this horrible reputation has gone and wineries are giving back great bottles in both aromas and tasting. But when Lazio started to be competitive again in the market? Not long time ago actually.
Lazio producer are still paying the role they had in the sixties, where they had to guarantee an incredible amount of hectoliters to the great Rome. For example thats’ why the “Malvasia del Lazio” grape (used for great Frascati) was replaced by a tasteless “malvasia rossa” or quantity was preferred to quality.
Back in 2000 most of the producers started to convert their vineyards with spurred cordon row and original grapes in order to provide the old great wines.
Today national and international prizes are recognizing this endeavour with an high ranking and I am proud of that. That’s why i wanted to write a shortlist of what you should try at least once.
We are in the south area of Lazio close to small villages like Piglio, Olevano Romano and Affile. In this area is produced a well structured red wine called Cesanese. With typical aromas of violets, roses, red fruit and some spices (when barrel-aged), moderate tannin is ideal for meat dishes and most of main courses. Moreover Cesanese del Piglio is a DOCG.
The most spoken whine, some people love it some don’t. For sure is the most known DOCG in Lazio. Frascati is a small town in south-east area not far from Rome. The terroir is fits properly the characteristics for white wines. Vulcan soil on hill heights, sea breeze coming from the not far Tirreno, sun exposure and a mediterranean climatic weather.
Is produced with Malvasia del Lazio, Malvasia di Candia, Trebbiano, Bonvino. Well structured is known for its savory and freshness. The majority of blogs, guides suggest to drink the Frascati in its last vintage, but in my life i had the chance to taste several vintages and i ensure that even after 5/6 years is not bad at all.
Principe Pallavicini (label: Poggio Verde), Fontana Candida ( label: Luna Mater), Casale Marchese (label: Frascati Superiore DOCG), Castel de Paolis (Label: Frascati Campo Vecchio)
Other interesting realities.
Just close to Velletri there is a small village called Cori. Here you can find typical kind of grapes which aren’t growing anywhere: Greco Moro and Nero buono. Both of theme are able to produce wines with a good structure and bouquet. You have to try at least once the white wine “Capolemole Bianco” by Carpineti.
Last but not least is Sergio Mottura winery. His Latour a Civitella Grechetto has been rewarded with 3 stars from Gambero Rosso and keeps surprising wine lovers.
Hope you enjoyed this little bignami about Lazio and you will have the chance to drink some of my suggestions!