As we continue our exploration of the many winemakers who have contributed to the spectacular vintages that make up the Xtrawine catalogue, we thought that this week we would head back to Italy after our sojourn away last week and take a look at a fairly new producer that has been developing a reputation over the course of the last century for being able to craft some truly astounding wines that are sure to tantalise your taste buds and have you itching to taste more.
With that in mind, we are going to be examining the Antoniolo winemaker this week, including taking a more in-death look at one of the best wines to have been produced by the company in recent years.
Compared to some of the behemoths of the Italian wine industry, Antoniolo is a relative newcomer, having been founded in 1948 by Cav. Mario Antoniolo. Those post-war years offered entrepreneurial minds much to grasp and Antoniolo approached his new endeavour with enthusiasm and the motivation needed to create some truly wonderful wines that would have people flocking to stores in no time at all.
The company has slowly, but surely, expanded over the years since those heady initial days. In 1980, Mario was joined by his daughter, Rosanna, he later took over the company from her father. Under her stewardship, the good work that had been started by Mario was continued and the company’s reputation started to grow even further.
Mario would not stop working just because he had passed control over to another member of his family though, as he continued to work to take care of the vineyards and the cellars, right up to and beyond the late 1990s. He also saw two of this other children, Albert and Lorella, enter what had now become the family business. They both work on the commercial side of things, ensuring that the company continues building the reputation that its quality wines so richly deserve.
As for the winery itself, the company owns and covers around 20 hectares of land, of which 15 are used for vineyards. The predominantly face the south-west, which places then in perfect position to receive adequate sunlight while also sheltering the vines from colder winds thanks to the fact that the Alps are too the north. This has led to the grapes that are produced by the company being of exceptionally high quality, as has been recognised by the DOC in granting designations to a number of the company’s wines.
The vines are planted to an average density of about 3,000 per hectare, with the average age of the vines being about 20 years old. As the vines continue to mature, one has to wonder just how good the wines produced using them will become, especially as these fairly new vines are still so capable of creating some amazing wines.
These hectares are divided into a number of vineyards: San Francisco, San Grateful Bone, Castle, from which derives the most prestigious cru Gattinara, Borelli and Valferana. Each offers something a little bit different to the company and has allowed the team to develop a wide range of wines, all of which have their own specific qualities and are capable of attracting attention from all quarters.
With these varied vineyards in place, the company has implemented a philosophy of producing exceptionally high quality without any form of compromise, and it is this that has led them to developing the reputation that they have in the present day. They place their focus entirely on creating absolutely spectacular wines, focusing less on globalization and attempts to appeal to every single palette, and more on creating the wine that most accurately reflects the land and the people who spend their lives working with the vines.
In doing so, the company’s wines have been commended by many for being of an exceptionally high quality, mixing together a variety of aromas and flavours into one spectacular package, which includes strong hints of the minerals that have been drawn from the land, to create a clear impression of the territory and what makes it so special to Antoniolo and so many others.
This has resulted in an array of quality products that wine lovers have fallen in love with other the years. Dedication, heart, passion and quality always shine through in the Italian wine industry, and these are all qualities that have been poured into every single bottle of wine that is produced by the Antoniolo winery.
With so many quality vintages having been produced by the company in recent years, it is a little bit difficult to pick only one to recommend to the visitors at Xtrawine. However, if we absolutely have to we are going to go with the Antoniolo Gattinara Riserva 2011 for its unrelenting quality and the fact that it currently stands as one of the highest rated wines on our website.
The wine is a DOCG Gattinara Riserve, which should already act as a hint for the amount of quality that you can expect from it. Featuring a soft red garnet that belies the complexity of the drink and captivates the viewer, this most gorgeous of wines offers a number of intense notes. Aromas of almonds, violet and dried roses can all be detected, plus the wine is given something of a more fruity edge due to the presence of raspberries in the bouquet.
To the taste, the drinker will be surprised to find that this still red is quite warm and soft, offering a surprisingly refreshing change from some of the more complex reds on the market. Despite this, it is still full-bodied and flavoursome, offering a persistent taste that endures long after the wine has been consumed.
It is best enjoyed with poultry or red meat meals that are not capable of overpowering this relatively soft wine. It can also be enjoyed with pasta, though it is wise to ensure that the sauce used is strong enough to actually stand up to the wine.