One of the benefits of being connected to the wine trade in the UK is access to a wealth of trade tastings in London. These range from small and intimate, single merchant / importer tastings to the more generic large tastings organised by trade bodies. The Definitive Italian Wine Tasting held yesterday at Lord’s is the largest Italian wine tasting in the UK and is an opportunity to discover or re-acquaint yourself with some of Italy’s diverse indigenous grape varieties.
There are the usual suspects of Sangiovese, Verdicchio, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Pinot Grigio and Dolcetto but then we get down to Cataratto, Greco, Frappato, Vespolina, Nerello Mascalese and the truly obsure Ortrugo. You could spend the day never tasting the same grape variety twice! But the star of yesterday’s tasting was from a grape variety that I had heard of but given scant attention to previously – Lacrima Di Morro d’Alba, which was rescued from virtual extinction in 1985 according to Jancis Robinson’s Wine Grapes.
Made from 100% Lacrima di Morro d’Alba grapes the wine is delicious right from the beginning with crunchy fruit, herb and spice pouring out of the glass and demanding an immediate respect. The palate is pure cherry with layers of spice, cinnamon, strawberry and wild thyme supported by light, velvety tannins and racy acidity. Each sip brings a different character to the fore, one sip is more herbal, the next floral followed by a kick of strawberry and finally a trace of incense on the long finish. This is a fabulous wine and if you want something just a little unusual from Italy this is well worth seeking out. 93/100
Imported by Amici-di-Bacco whose website I would recommend if you want to discover more of Italy’s lesser known wines.