The 10 Best Italian Wines of our Life – According to Lindsay and Alessandro

In Articlesby Lindsay GabbardLeave a Comment

 

First of all, let me say that a wine in itself is nothing without context and on the other hand a wine can be everything thanks to the context. The stage, where you are and above all, who you are with.  Being expensive, rated with 100 points, even being on a 'Top' list won't always make it a great or memorable wine.


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In this ranking I will only mention the 5 best Italian Wines I have drunk in the last 4 years, because four years ago I completely changed my perspective on drinking.

Each bottle has taken on a different meaning since August 28, 2015. It was no longer the wine itself but the wine because and above all, with whom.  These may not be the 10 Best Italian Wines in existence but they have made impressions on us in many ways despite their price, their top rank.


Alessandro's Selections:

 
 

Vino da Rimessa, Marabino

October 2017


Do you remember? We were at Rimessa, I believe one day in October it finally arrived. That feeling of uncertainty. You are afraid that you will not like it, that you will not love it even if it is your child. Then we tasted it together. An unconditional love - between us, and that bottle.
 
 

Vin Santo La Sorpresa, Pacina

July 2018



Do you remember? We were at Rimessa, I believe one day in October it finally arrived. That feeling of uncertainty. You are afraid that you will not like it, that you will not love it even if it is your child. Then we tasted it together. An unconditional love - between us, and that bottle.
 
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I had made up my mind to reach Pacina, in the heart of Tuscany, from Siena by foot and for once I did it. You arrived a little later in the car. There was a table of chefs and sommeliers from Japan to America and us in the middle, with Giovanna and Stefano. At the end comes a fior di latte ice cream with a small glass of Vin Santo. I know only a sweeter and more sensual thing than that combination, that is you.
 
 

Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata 2012, Accomasso

July 11, 2019


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A few days ago in Piedmont in search of the many souls of nebbiolo from Valtellina, to Gattinara, down to Barolo and Barbaresco, we stumble across it. An impromptu lunch. Not even on the wine list but my first bottle of Accomasso Barolo from the legendary producer in La Morra who we will soon meet at the end of one of the most beautiful wine tours ever made in Langa. Your smile and that bottle. This is enough for me as a souvenir.
 
 

Malvasia delle Lipari Chianu Cruci, Caravaglio

June 2018


Every time at the end of one of our wine tours I say: this one was the most beautiful. But then another comes. But those days in the Aeolian Islands, we ended up in the vineyards of Caravaglio. We tasted that Chianu Cruci in preview. A love at first sight, all Mediterranean, savory and sweet. Without discussions or second thoughts, like the first time I saw you.
 
 

Etna Rosso Don Pippinu, Scirto

July 2017


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Giuseppe and Valeria, you and I, in a farmhouse in a torrid Sicilian July, to drink a red wine from Etna that tasted of lava, of fire. It was the first real Etna I had ever tasted. It was us four inside to converse, drink and eat salami - a simple and very ancient ritual, vital, Dionysian. Do you remember? Do you remember the smells, the tastes, the wild peaches, the centuries-old vines? The sincerity of the whole? It seemed true, it was true. It can still be.
 
 

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Coming from Santa Barbara, frequenting the famous Les Marchands wine bar based on Old World selections, and working in a local wine bar there with international wines, I thought I had a pretty decent selection of Italian wines available abroad.  That was until I tasted wines in Italy and at Rimessa Roscioli like these.  These are wines that you could never find abroad and that have shocked my taste buds.  More importantly, I've been the luckiest woman in Italy to be tasting these alongside Alessandro, or for starters they would have never been as memorable, nor would I have ever had access to them.


Lindsay's Selections:

 
 

Schioppettino, Bressan

August 28, 2015


This red wine from Friuli Venezia Giulia, and one particular man I know, are so infinitely unique and have a complexity that constantly evolve, bringing awe and curiosity to your life. For our clients, this wine is the memories of sweet pine at Christmas time, walking through the fragrant air of a Moroccan spice market, even an old gothic church laced with smells of frankincense and myrrh, old books and antiques of grandma's house. For me, it enlivens all the spicy, sweet and complex memories from that moment forward that changed my life the way the madeleine in the tea invoked Proust's.
 
 

Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1997, Biondi-Santi

July 24, 2018


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I was the luckiest person 3 times on this date. One to be traveling with my love in those picturesque postcard hills of Tuscany. Two, to have my brother and his family visiting me and a little slice of home to show off my fantasy life to. And three, to be on a private tour, in cellars not open to the public of the legendary Biondi-Santi, arranged by none other than the best organizer in the world. 21 years old, still young and vibrant, yet growing softer and more complex each day - the way I hope we will be in 2040 (and the Rosso di Montalcino 2015 tasted a year later was equally astonishing).
 
 

Barolo 'Parafada' 2013, Palladino

August 28, 2015



For a wine known as the King of Wines which comes with the notion that it'll be brooding, tannic and 'masculine', this wine will remind you that wine, like people and women, can be anything and do not have to follow stereotypes. The elegance of this wine is Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn - feminine, timeless, floral, beautiful and one that defies constructs. A reminder that life is boundless and beautiful, as he shows me everyday.
 
 

Sweet Claire, Lieselehof

June 2019


I've never been higher in my life, in any sense. Drinking a wine from one of the highest vineyards in the Dolomites, reminiscing of paragliding over the jagged, majestic mountains, high on the discovery and travel we get to do together, re-falling in love again and again, and with wines too. This one is sweet ambrosial nectar, like those apricots from Pacina and peaches from Scirto, and those sweet memories of a 2001 Chateau d'Yquem, amongst a million others, that we've savored together.
 
 

Gattinara 1955, Berteletti Castello di Lozzolo

November 19, 2017


Thank you to Gaetano Saccoccio, it's the oldest nebbiolo wine I've drank and I still can taste it like it was yesterday. 15 of us were all fortunate to share in this mystic experience, as there is no better philosophy in life than 'sharing is caring'. The perfect recipe for the ability to age well - not too much sun and fruit, a bit of acidity and some tannins to give balance to the wine, and some tender love and care (and by the way, it works for relationships too). What joy it will be to become as complex as this wine in time...
 
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