Non-French wines have been shining brightly at iDealwine auctions recently with those shining the brightest coming Italy. They represented 10% of the lots sold in August and the auction catalogues contained several famous names that wine lovers could not let pass them by.
It comes as no surprise that the Barolo region took the spotlight, making up half of the Italian lots fought over by bidders from all over the world. Many domains stood out. At the top, Conterno, created by Giovanni, is a champion of ancient vinification techniques (long maceration, maturation for a minimum of 36 months with 24 of them in wood, additional ageing in bottles for many years, etc.). Even if Giovanni’s sons, Giacomo and Aldo, adopted their methods after their father passed away, the wines produced by Giacomo, and now Roberto, are in line with the tradition set by the patriarch. The Riserva Monfortino 2004 (the year that Giacomo sadly left this earth) was awarded 100/100 by Antonio Galloni in the Wine Advocate. It was bought at auction by a Singaporean buyer for €1,189. The Cascina Francia cuvée is also extremely sought-after with a bottle from 2004 going under the hammer for €351 (an increase of 11%) and a bottle from 2008 going for €300. At the same time, a double magnum of Ceretta obtained €952 for the 2018 vintage. Wines from Aldo Conterno are also beloved; testament to this is a bottle of Bussia Soprana 1982 being sold for 226€.
Another historic figure from Barolo, Bruno Giacosa (who passed away in 2018) features on the list of the greatest producers of Nebbiolos in the region. A magnum of Riserva Le Rocche del Falletto sold at auction for €1,252. Also present in the Barbaresco appellation, the domain today is managed by Bruna Giacosa (Bruno’s daughter). It was represented in iDealwine’s August auctions by a bottle of Santo Stefano di Neive 1978, which sold for €551. Anther producer highlighting all that the Piedmont region has to offer was Giuseppe Rinaldi (who also left us in 2018), a skilled organic winemaker. A magnum of Tre Tine 2017 obtained €521. Today, Martha Rinaldi runs the domain. Giovann Battista Burlotto, another icon from the region, has seen his wines skyrocket at auction: €509 for a bottle of Monvigliero 2016 (an increase of 20%) and €501 for Cannubi 2016 (a rise of 57%). European wine lovers (from Italy, of course, as well as Norway, France, Spain and the Netherlands) as well those from South Korea and Singapore snapped up wines from this pioneering domain which were bottled at a time when bulk wines was still widespread. We couldn’t talk about legendary Barolos without mentioning Bartolo Mascarello. A bottle from the 2010 vintage went under the hammer for €401 in August.
Piedmont has two styles of wine, a more traditional one and a more modern one. A star of the modern school is Angelo Gaja. A bottle of Langhe Sori Tildin 1996 was bought for €438 at auction (an increase of 22%) by a Japanese buyer, while a bottle of Costa Russi 1996 obtained €376.
Auction success for all Italian regions
Tuscany also stood out at August auctions with wonderful bottles of Brunello di Montalcino. A wine enthusiast from Singapore parted with €876 to acquire a bottle of Riserva Soldera Case Basse 2006 by Gianfranco Soldera, while a French bidder bought a bottle of Cerretalto 2013 de Casanova di Neri for €626. The Masseto cuvée, the star of Tenuta dell’Ornellaia, sold for €551, being bought by a wine lover in Hong Kong and a bottle of Tignanello 2009, which sold for €388, is making its way to Luxembourg.
From Sicily, the iconic Frank Cornelissen, who uses natural wine production methods, saw a magnum of his Magma cuvée from the 2016 vintage bought for €586 by a wine enthusiast from across the pond. Beautiful wine from Abruzzo (Francesco Valentini and Emidio Pepe), Ventuto (Bertani), and Campania (Silvia Imparato and Galardi) also stole the limelight. There’s no real surprise that Italian wines are so loved given the number of wine enthusiasts who head to the country on holiday every year, finding renewed happiness.
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