Anfosso’s vineyards dramatically cling to sheer terraced mountainsides just inland of the Mediterranean coast, near Italy’s border with France. The Rossese grape is perfectly suited to this extreme terroir, drawing structure, depth, and layers of singular aromas that make Dolceacqua Liguria’s undisputed grand cru for red wines. The single-vineyard Luvaira showcases vines planted in 1905 for a bold, savory expression of this historic appellation, rife with suggestions of stones, faded flowers, leather, and game. Intense yet lifted, it is the perfect wine for an autumnal feast.
Through their conscientious and incredibly labor-intensive school of viticulture, Federica Magrini and Lorenzo Mocchiutti of Vignai da Duline are able to bring pristine, balanced fruit into their cellar, where they gently usher it to winehood via low-intervention practices. Purity, focus, and lively energy radiate through their wines, making each bottle a masterful interpretation of the native Friulan grape varieties they grow. Refosco in their hands reveals an explosion of red and black fruit, like wild mulberries, over a finely knit tannic structure and mouthwatering acidity. The 2005 Morus Nigra ranks among the best wines I drank all year; this 2015 appears destined to age similarly.
Records show proof of Pinot Noir being grown in Alto Adige as far back as the mid-nineteenth century. In 1866, one thirsty scholar commented,
“The grape Clevner (Blauer Burgunder) introduced to Middle Tyrol (Alto Adige) generally yields an excellent product, a wine that can stand next to any French Burgundy. . . . Blauer Burgunder, also called Clevner, is a variety that merits much attention and which should be disseminated as much as possible.”
The subzone of Mazzon, south of Bolzano, proved an especially propitious site, with its mix of Alpine and Mediterranean climates, gentle west-facing slope, and soils of limestone and marl. Today, Michela Carlotto is one of Mazzon’s foremost proponents. Uncork this delicate Alpine red tonight to see that grand cru Pinot Noir doesn’t have to come from France.
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