May 2019 Selection

Riesling? Italy's in the game too

May 2019 Selection

Calatroni Riesling Campo Dottore 2017 (2 bottles)
Ca' Viola Langhe Riesling 2017 (2 bottles)
St. Michael-Eppan Riesling Montiggl 2018 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £87.82
Club Discount Price: £77.11
You save: £10.71 (12.19%)

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About this selection...

Elegant wines, sometimes cerebral, with dizzying acidity and marked mineral notes and of hydrocarbon notes. The typical characteristics of Riesling reflect the natural adherence of this grape to extreme latitudes, where the climate, in addition to steep soils, put the strains to the test. But are the Moselle valley and Alsace really the only European terroirs that can host such a grape? Certainly, Riesling, not surprisingly called "Rhineland wine", has found some of the most important expressions at those latitudes. But it's not all there.

There is some Riesling, which is excellent, even on this side of the Alps. In Italy, for some years now, some areas have been identified that are particularly suited to this difficult, complex and demanding grape variety. They are, of course, northern areas. And it is, of course, a re-interpreted Riesling, which is different from the Central European one. A Riesling that does not shy away from the structure and the fruit. But for its elegance and minerality it an example of absolute excellence in character and personality.

Which terroir, then? The first is the Oltrepò Pavese, in lower Lombardy. A land of great pleasant and fragrant reds and whites, in the highest and best exposed crus it produces an enveloping Riesling, complete and rich in minerality. Not of extraordinary longevity, but incredibly versatile and ready to drink even when young.

Then there are the Langhe. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this legendary area also has vineyards at considerable altitudes, where the reds struggle and where there are exceptionally performing Pinot Noirs and, indeed, Riesling. The one from the Alta Langa is a surprising Riesling, powerful and at the same time vertical, of very strong minerality and assured longevity.

And then there is the terroir perhaps more naturally inclined to Riesling; the one that, in Italy, can best be compared to the Central European crus: Alto Adige. It is here that Italian Riesling probably resembles more closely those of Alsace and Moselle. Here it is able to excel in verticality and freshness, giving up a little in structure, but providing real champions of minerality, with hints of hydrocarbons and longevity.

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Calatroni Riesling Campo Dottore 2017 (2 bottles)

White. Calatroni Oltrepò Pavese, Italy Riesling

Bottle: £9.35 club members / £10.73 non-members


Calatroni, in Montecalvo Versiggia, is one of the wineries that has had the largest influence in orienting the production in Oltrepò Pavese more towards quality. The Calatroni brothers, Stefano and Cristian, are born winemakers, and the merit of having given confidence and hope to the district is theirs. Tradition and innovation come together, not only in the vineyard, even if the historical strains are those planted by the father of the family, but also in the winery, with an agritourism for the visitor and the enthusiast.

The Calatronis have invested heavily in Pinot Nero, which has found an authentic cru in Montecalvo, both red and in the fantastic classic method version. But the care and technical rigour of the house has also been applied to the Campo Dottore, a Riesling deriving from the homonymous vineyard adjacent to the cellar, called "campo del dottore" because around the middle of the twentieth century the owner was the village doctor. The wine comes from a selection of only Rhineland Riesling grapes grown at an altitude of about 280 metres above sea level and vinified in steel. It is bottled towards the end of spring and put on the market after about 40 days.

The Campo Dottore, characterised by great freshness and remarkable pleasantness, always maintains a marked minerality even in the driest years thanks to the great difference in temperature between day and night enjoyed by the vineyard and the copious quantity of limestone present in the soil. Straw-coloured with greenish hues, on the palate it offers the classic notes of the grape, with yellow fruit in the first months of life and the progressive emergence over the years of sulphurous and hydrocarbon notes. The bouquet is completed with notes of pear, apple, sage, acacia flowers, lemon balm, lemon leaf, and is corroborated by a pleasant balsamic sensation. On the palate it is inviting, harmonious, of splendid sapidity and of great persistence. The most suitable pairing is with fresh, summer dishes, but does not shy away from even the fatiest fish.

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 6ºC and 8ºC

Calatroni Riesling Campo Dottore 2017
Front and back

Ca' Viola Langhe Riesling 2017 (2 bottles)

White. Ca' Viola Langhe, Italy Riesling

Bottle: £15.79 club members / £17.95 non-members


Beppe Caviola is one of the most well-known and admired people in Italian wine. A past as a winemaker near Alba, where his family is from originally, today Caviola is a winemaker who collaborates with numerous Italian wine producers. At the same time, however, he has maintained the family tradition, and has created Ca' Viola, one of the most significant companies in the Langhe area.

In a catalogue in which Nebbiolo is perhaps the most consolidated and typical expression, it may seem risky to point to a Riesling as the crown jewel. And yet Beppe Caviola's Riesling is one of the best in Italy. Highly sought after, of limited availability, it is a wine that for years has conquered expert and passionate wine-lovers in search of that something special.

In the highest strips of land in the Langhe, where Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto yield to the white vines of a fresher and more mineral vocation, the Ca' Viola Riesling is one of the most appreciated and consolidated realities. The colour is tenuous in its slightly faded golden straw hue. But the bouquet expresses an enviable personality, which smells of white flowers and fresh and crunchy fruit. But beyond the bouquet it immediately reveals a mineral temperament revealing the character of the vine. There are also notes of ginger, lemon balm and medicinal herbs, of delicate spices. On the palate, the impressions are confirmed: it is a wide, opulent, fresh, pungent and almost citrinewine, powerfully mineral and of definite longevity.

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 6ºC and 8ºC

Ca' Viola Langhe Riesling 2017
Front and back

St. Michael-Eppan Riesling Montiggl 2018 (2 bottles)

White. St. Michael-Eppan Alto Adige, Italy Riesling

Bottle: £13.41 club members / £15.24 non-members


The San Michele Appiano winery needs no introduction. It is one of the most solid, extensive and qualitative wineries in South Tyrol, which has always been able to combine its cooperative nature with the search for uncompromising quality and excellence. The challenge to produce Riesling, given this dynamic and experimental context, is the natural outcome of the company and one of its highest achievements.

San Michele Appiano has identified a particularly perfect cru for Riesling in the Monticolo/Montiggl area. An area where the porphyry soils give the wine a special character, with fruity aromas and mineral freshness, which make it an increasingly popular champion. The vineyard, located around 500 metres above sea level, is magnificently exposed to the South/South-East, on gravelly and morainic soils and from strains that reach the age of twenty.

Of great personality, it is of a beautiful clear straw colour with topaz reflections. The bouquet is elegant and fruity, fortified by the ripe sweetness of white peach, combined with pleasant herbaceous hints of basil and lime that make it perfectly acidic. On the palate, the sensations are similar: it is full of character, agile and very easy to drink. Perfect as an aperitif and to accompany fish dishes, especially fillets of fried perch. Of good longevity, it cruises through for 10 years, thanks to an excellent aging on the lees for about six months before being placed on the market.

Seafood / poultry

  • Alcohol content: 13,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 6ºC and 8ºC

St. Michael-Eppan Riesling Montiggl 2018
Front and back

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