With the aim to “transform it into the European fair of young wine producers” – as Andrea Castellani, who invented the event, claims – the sixth edition of the Only Wine Festival has just ended. The Umbrian event with a specific focus on young producers and small wineries took place on 27 and 28 April wrapped in the charming historic center of Città di Castello (province of Perugia) north of the region and very close (geographically and culturally) to Tuscany. A festival that since the beginning has been characterized by a fresh and dynamic touch, with a targeted imprint featuring the 100 best producers under 40 and small wineries (up to 7 hectares and with less than 15 years of history) selected by AIS (Association of Italian Sommelier). There are several thematic areas: this year the production of Umbria region has gained a dedicated space and joins the rosè-wines area and the Only Wine International one, with wines from Champagne, Burgundy, Moselle, Spain, Georgia and Croatia. The Only Wine Festival is also confirmed as a market with the possibility of buying directly from producers and it also offers the opportunities to join numerous guided tastings and master-classes led by esteemed sommeliers and experts such as Sandro Camilli (President of AIS Umbria), Luca Martini (Best Sommelier of the World 2013), Roberto Anesi (Best Sommelier of Italy 2017), Maurizio Filippi (Best Sommelier of Italy 2016), Andrea Galanti (Best Sommelier of Italy 2015) but also Chiara Giannotti (vino.tv) and Francesco Saverio Russo (Wine Blog Roll) among the others. In short, a growing project in search of fluidity through the complicated management of spaces in a historic center, which is always more ambitious and focused. An appointment designed not only for wine professionals but also for enthusiasts who have the opportunity to access to “Speed Wine” mini-events: half-hour meetings to provide the basic tools for approaching the tasting of specific wines or production areas.
Impossible to taste al the wines available but please find here some of the wines I have loved on this occasion:
(name of the winery/ Italian region or country/name of the wine-appellation-vintage/wine note
- Elena Fucci (Basilicata region): Aglianico del Vulture DOC “Titolo” 2017
A wine to remember as a landmark of Basilicata region and southern Italy in general that expresses the personality of the passionate owner (Mrs. Elena). Her “Titolo” is always an Aglianico (from Vulture area) of rare precision that with the 2017 vintage joins a limited edition dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the winery: “Titolo 20° Anniversario” 2017 produced from old vines (75 years old) and aged in new tonneaux which make it particularly round and even more concentrated. A guarantee of the South of Italy
- Tenuta Martarosa (Molise): Tintilia del Molise DOP 2016
The wine is in line with modern trend which, also in the regions of Abruzzo and Molise, pushes to “lighten” local reds which, respectively from Montepulciano and Tintilia, are better known for important concentrations. Ruby red with scents of cinnamon, strawberry jam and forest floor, with soft texture, excellent balance, chocolate aftertaste and great drinkability that I find on the whole range
- Pagliari Gabriele (Marche): Bianchello del Metauro Superiore DOP “Il Superiore” 2016
A lesser-known variety that can offer charm if vinified with the passion that distinguishes artisanal productions from commercial ones even before the technique. A soft and mineral wine, full and balanced for those who love opulent whites
- Vin de la Neu 2016 (Trentino Alto Adige): the only wine of Nicola Biasi
From its 1000 meters of altitude, johanniter (crossing between Riesling and Pinot Gris, resistant to fungal diseases) is one of the peculiarities that returns to the Only Wine Fest. Refreshing, elegant and direct
- Pucciarella (Umbria): Trasimeno DOC Cabernet without sulfites 2015
The Umbrian company of the group Terre del Fondo followed by the Italian consultant Cotarella. This is a Cabernet different from the more common versions: genuine, quite vibrant, with a certain “drinkability”.
Among the international wines, I focus on a wine from Georgia
- Gvymarani (Georgia): Mtsvane 2017 – amber wine
An educational white wine from native grapes (Mtsvane) aged in amphora with the skins for 7 months. Sweet nose with notes of dried apricot, oregano, broom and saffron with a dry, intense taste. A wine full of personality and history
Among the rosé wines:
- Cantina del Signore (Piedmont): Coste della Sesia Rosato DOC “La Grazia” 2018
In addition to the 100% Nebbiolo Rosé sparkling wine from Gattinara area, Cantina del Signore has produced another interesting and territorial rosé that shows the character and all the potential of one of the most important grapes in Italy, Nebbiolo: refreshing freshness and tannic sensation enrich the floral picture of good fineness recorded on the nose
- Raimondo Vini (Lazio): Lazio IGT “Cybelle” Rosato 2018
A company that I appreciate for a long time for the definition of their Cesanese di Affile (local red), including this rosé that, with vintage 2018, offers a savouriness announced by the nuances of anchovy.
- Tenuta Scuotto (Campania): Campania IGP rosé “Malgrè” 2018
The power of Aglianico is announced by an intense sensation of cherry candy and a sweet spiciness on the nose. The company stands out for a transversal quality that Aldolfo Scuotto succeeds effectively in communicating on every occasion
Among the sparkling wines:
- Dal Pozzo Elisa (Piemonte): Erbaluce di Caluso DOC Spumante Metodo Martinotti “Reiri”
The versatility of the Erbaluce (100%) is confirmed, also with this sparkling version; beautiful complexity on the nose with notes of chamomile, green olive, bitter orange zest; creamy mousse, quite long finish for its typology
- Decugnano Dei Barbi (Umbria): Spumante Metodo Classico Brut
A sparkling wine produced right in Umbria from 50% Chardonnay, 50% Pinot Noir by a renowned company with a very classic style: bread dough, butter and a citrine character announce a balanced and refreshing taste that does not complicate an immediate wine with excellent versatility
- Cantina Su’entu (Sardinia): Spumante Metodo Martinotti (From local grapes)
A sharp and almost marine wine with a very clear identity although not complex or pretentious.