Really High in Italy

Nov 05, 2019 240

BY: Robert Camuto

The Valle d’Aosta is about as extreme as Italian winemaking gets. Wedged in Alpine northwestern Italy between Switzerland and France, the valley lies in the shadows of some of Europe’s tallest peaks: ice-capped Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. It is Italy’s smallest appellation, with a mere 750 acres of vineyards, and the highest, with vines climbing lower mountainsides to 4,000 feet in altitude.

That’s a lot of wow factor for sure. But what about the wines? Many have been outstanding in Wine Spectator blind tastings, showing a great mix of fruit, freshness and complexity. Others are quirkily different—“particolare,” as Italians say. But they can also be confusing, mainly due to Aosta’s kaleidoscope of grapes and styles.

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