Walter Speller, the Italy correspondent for www.JancisRobinson.com explains his journey of discovery with Australian wine, which he calls ‘the Italian miracle’. And he describes why he’s excited about 21st Century Vino in London.
I met Jane Faulkner, Melbourne-based wine writer, a couple of years ago in Alba where we taste the Barolo and Barbaresco en primeur. Last year she invited me to be the international judge at the AAVWS, which I was more than happy to do because I was very interested to experience first-hand how Italian varieties were doing in Australia.
I have been curious about that for at least 15 years, in fact, from the time I tasted a Crittenden Barbera while in London; and a subsequent discussion with an Italian winemaker, who lamented that Italian varieties aren’t as great as the French ‘because they don’t travel well’.
I had found this comment always utter ‘bull’, but now I had the chance to see if he was correct. And what did I find? Lots of complex, well-crafted wines from Italian varieties that didn’t need to be acidified to keep their freshness and generally were far more drought resistant, and hence more irrigation independent. Continue reading