Italian Wines Show off Variety

From Sicily to the Alps, here’s a sampling of diverse wines from mostly native grapes

Shutterstock/Alexander Chaikin

These are wines made from well-known and unknown Italian grapes.

If you’re a wine lover, you’re well aware that some of the best wine is offered in Italy. No country — not even France — seems to have the diversity of native grapes as Italy does. While we know several of them — sangiovese, barbera, pinot grigio, moscato — there are many regional vines and grapes used to make wines that Americans had not seen on labels even 10 years ago. The uniqueness of these vines and grapes made for a wide range of wine selections, which we were happy to try.

That being said, we recently sampled several current releases from a few different winegrowers. From the Alps in the north to Sicily in the south, each wine has its own traits that make it one of a kind.

We’ve compiled a list of reviews for all of these Italian wines. After each glass, we were ready for more.

Take a look below to see our review of 11 Italian wines.

Frescobaldi “Benefizio” Pomino Bianco Riserva 2012 ($36). With chardonnay as the primary grape, the wine is very enjoyable with a combination of mouth-filling stone fruits and tropical fruits. The finish is piquant and savory — lightly spicy.

Vietti “Tre Vigne” Barbera d’Asti 2013 ($17). Quite good, with a tightly wound blend of tangy cherries, black tea and dried herb flavors and a crisp finish.

Vietti “Castiglione” Barolo 2011 ($51). Still very tightly wound with classical dried fruit and leathery notes and plenty of intensity in the finish. Keep it around a while.

Donnafugata “Sur Sur” Sicilia grillo 2014 ($19). There are several little-known grapes on Sicily, and grillo is one of the better and increasingly popular ones. It has a nice piquancy with spicy herbs at the edges and juicy citrus in the middle.

Donnafugata “Anthìlia” Sicilia bianco 2014 ($16). Juicy, creamy, spicy, tangy. A mixture of green fruits and tropical flavors, it would pair well with halibut and other mild, white fishes.

Donnafugata “Lighea” Terre  Sicilane zibibbo 2014 ($23). Nice combination of herbal and juicy tropical flavors with very pleasing intensity. A great party wine.

Donnafugata “Sedàra” Sicilia rosso 2013 ($16). Very full, very spicy red with balancing garrigue and dry herbal notes — quite satisfying.

Veruzzo di Monteverro Toscana rosso 2013 ($35). Good cherry and black raspberry flavors with a raspiness in the finish and walnut tannins — a nice regional IGT wine.

Monteverro Toscana vermentino 2014 ($23). Creamy-green flavors, a little limpid, yet not fat.

Aia Vecchia “Lagone” Toscano rosso ($16). Creamy cherry flavors are nice, but overall it’s a little bland.


Aia Vecchia Toscana vermentino 2014 ($12). Very creamy with notes of apple, kiwi, ripe gooseberries, and lime, with good acidity in the finish.