Values of the Month
by Dustin Soiseth
When mulling our options for the month’s best values from Italy, we wanted selections that delivered more than just affordability. Price is important, but in the end, we chose wines that excel in terms of versatility, craftsmanship, and (of course) sheer deliciousness.
Due east of Turin lies Cantine Valpane, a small family winery focused on traditional Piemontese grapes that too often fly under the radar among wine drinkers this side of the Atlantic—varieties like Freisa, Grignolino, and even a Piemontese favorite, Barbera. One of the stars of the Monferrato, Cantine Valpane’s Pietro Arditi knows that the terroir here, which features a relatively warm climate and long hours of sunlight, allows the grapes to ripen completely and unleashes the full personality of the variety. In other words, the Monferrato is ideally suited to Barbera, and the top vignaioli of the region dedicate their best bottlings to the grape.
You can taste this in Cantine Valpane’s Rosso Pietro, with its soaring aromatics and flavors of black cherries, herbs, blackcurrant, and earth. This rosso is made for pure pleasure—and for pizza/pasta night—and you’ll be amazed by how much refinement and complexity are also on display.
From vineyards in the green, gently rolling hills of the Marche cooled by the maritime influence of the Adriatic Sea, this charming Verdicchio has been a customer favorite since our first vintage back in 2015, and not simply because of its affordability. It’s a do-everything white perfectly poised between richness and refreshment, with a pleasing, peachy viscosity countered by a crisp, herbal finish. Light enough to pair with salads, but substantial enough to accompany pan-seared salmon or a simple roast chicken.