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Old School or Not

Traditional Wine Producers…Or, The Old School OG’s…

Posted on January 26, 2012 by Wineguys TV and Radio

 

Earlier this week, I responded to a post on the Guild of Sommeliers topics page that asked the question, ‘Name a producer from Italy that has two or more generations under their belt, that has not succumbed to the whims of the present, and makes distinctive wines that are world-class?’ I mentioned the winery AR.PE.PE, certainly a contender for one of the most unique, compelling ranges of wines from the Valtellina region of Lombardia in north-central Italy. Their wines, made from the Nebbiolo grape (the local name for the variety is Chiavennesca), are aged in chestnut oak for 2 to 12 years, and released only when the family deems the wines ready for consumption. But, it got me thinking…

When it comes to wine producers across the world, who, and what, are traditional? Who are the ‘Original Gangstas’ of wine?

Let’s first look at the classic areas and regions-call it the ‘east coast’ mentality. I call on France, Italy, Germany, but Chateau Musar is the ‘Sugar Hill Gang’ of the group…made in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, 6,000 years of winemaking history, with Serge Hochar making wines that taste as old as the parchment found in the caves that dot the landscape…the argument can be made that the winery is less than 100 years old, but it doesn’t detract from the style. Although complex as they age, these are simple, straightforward rhymes, sampling and programming, with a funky disco track.

Now, for ‘west coast’…more polish, laid back, but ready to ‘bust a cap’…I say you have to look at new money. Well, really, they are old money. Antinori defines that. 26 generations and counting, with a hand in wineries across the world. Their high end wines such as Tignanello and Solaia are lush, like Dre at his best and most creative, but I feel that one of their wines that is overlooked is the Villa Antinori Toscana Bianco. A simple white, made from varietal names such as Trebbiano and Malvasia, it is one of the first white wines imported to the United States from Italy. Bright citrus and underripe apple, edgy, with prounounced acidity for the region. More Easy E than Ice Cube…but certainly well made.

So, I ask, who is your ‘O.G.’…

Cheers!

William Davis

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