When thinking about Italian wine, many novices make the mistake of thinking that the best wines are solely the domain of producers who have worked in the industry for centuries. While it is certainly true that some of the most enduring wine producers in the world have lasted for so long because they make amazing wines, it also does something of a disservice to those newer producers who have created stunning wines themselves.
The fact is that the last 50 years or so has been a golden period for the Italian wine industry. New production innovations and ideas have led to a flood of amazing wines, with the last half century also including some stellar vintages that have resulted in an outpouring of quality wines.
Technical innovations, such as the advent of the internet, have also aided the industry. Offering smaller producers the opportunity to reach much larger audiences, the internet is a marketing tool unlike any that the industry has seen before.
All of this comes back to our central point that many great Italian winemakers have only existed for less than 50 years. To prove that point, we are going to take a look at one of the best winemakers to emerge in recent times.
Letrari traces its roots back to 1976, which is where the company was first founded. However, it’s pedigree stretches back much farther than you may realise given that fairly recent incorporation date.
The producer itself was founded by Leonello Letrari, and enologist of some repute at the time, who only enhanced his reputation further when he decided to strike out on his own. Of course, we cannot discount the contributions of his wife, Maria Vittoria, who played just as pivotal a role in helping the company get off the ground in the early years.
So far, so modern, right? The surprising thing is that the Letrari family actually has a history in the Italian wine industry that stretches back for centuries, which is something that many people may not recognize when they look solely at the data attached to the bottles they produce. In fact, the family can trace its history all the way back to the 17th century, with many of Leonello’s ancestors having indulged their own passions for winemaking. By and large, those passions were kept to a very small scale, as it was the vision of Leonello himself that made it possible for his name to become famous in the industry.
Leonello took what he had learned from his family and supplemented it with his own education, thus becoming a renowned producer in his own right. From the off, Letrari excelled in the production of great wines, garnering critical acclaim and no small measure or commercial success in the process.
However, it was in the later generation that the company would really come into its own. The couple’s daughter, Lucia, shares the family’s love of making great wines and took it upon herself to get an education that rivals even that of her father. In 1987, she graduated from the renowned San Michele Al Adige Institute of Agriculture and Enology, bringing a great deal of knowledge in her own right to the family business.
Letrari has leverage the knowledge perfectly, combining the talents of all three to create a company that produces great wines and has the business savvy to compete against some of the true titans of the industry. Lucia brings the same level of passion and commitment to the company as her parents, which is a crucial ingredient in the recipe of success that Letrari has concocted in recent years.
As for the winery itself, it is well positioned in Vallagarina to take advantage of the region’s microclimate. This offers each bottle of wine the company produces a unique texture that no other winemakers can imitate.
Today, the company has expanded to the point where it now produces 25 different wines, all of which carry the seal of quality that you would expect from the Letrari family name. Each too is deeply rooted in the terroir from which the grapes were grown, offering every Letrari wine a sense of character and elegance that is a true showcase for the Vallagarina region. Beyond their winemaking activities, the company has also been able to expand into the production of extra virgin olive oil.
The family works on 23 hectares of vineyards to bring you the stunning wines that they produce. Headquartered in a modern winery, which takes advantage of many of the technological innovations that we mentioned at the beginning of the piece, the company plays host to many a tasting tour and has become an essential stop for wine tourists in the region.
But that’s enough about the company itself. We know that you are here to learn more about the wines they produce. There are an awful lot of great options to choose from when picking a Letrari wine, but we believe the choice we’ve made stands as one of the best that the company has made in recent years.
The owner of a coveted 95 rating from the Xtrawine website, in addition to a slew of accolades that it has received from others, the Letrari Brut Riserva 2010 is a wine of truly stunning quality.
A sparkling white that the company has made using the classic brut method, the Letrari Brut Riserva 2010 demonstrates its quality from the moment it is poured. You’ll be met with a gorgeous golden colouring, that is at once lively and bright, hinting at the energetic flavours packed within the bottle.
Take a moment to absorb the wine’s aromas and you’ll pick out an array of interesting aromas. From smells you might expect, such as the aroma or dried fruit and ripe apple, to ones that you may not have expected, such as cream, vanilla, and bread, the wine is a true joy for the nose.
It is in the taste that you’ll find the fruit and cream notes come to the fore. A beautifully rounded wine, it has a richness that will leave you wanting more.