The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Peter Dipoli and Peter Dipoli

Posted on | January 13, 2015 | Written by Crystal Edgar | No Comments

Crystal 2014As much as I love wines from the popular regions of Piedmont and Tuscany, I am always on the hunt for delicious wines from other “shadow” regions. Today I am focusing on a talented pioneer winemaker from Italy’s northern region of Alto Adige, Peter Dipoli.

Peter Dipoli represents one of Italy’s top talents, producing wines on a level beyond what anyone thought possible in the mountainous region of Alto Adige. Going against the grain in regards to tradition , Peter discovered that the steep, high-altitude slopes near Bolzano are ideal for the production of complex, age-worthy white and red wine, something for which Alto Adige is not necessarily well known. He began by replacing the local native grapes with French varietals (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvginon Blanc) that are better suited to the climate and able to enjoy a longer growing season. In doing this his crops attain impressive ripeness while retaining the acidity that would allow it to age in bottle. To enjoy Peter’s wines is to experience the unique artistry of one of northern Italy’s best rising stars, a secret somewhat guarded within Italy’s borders….until now!

Peter Dipoli Sauvignon Voglar 2009 $34.99

Peter’s comprehensive study of terroir has clearly paid off, as his Voglar bottling is beautifully poised and pure. Volgar is made from 100% Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown on limestone cliffs and fermented and aged in acacia casks. The wine offers gorgeous exotic fruit, white florals with impressive precision minerality – a lovely alternative to whites of the Loire and Bordeaux and the perfect match to fresh seafood.

Peter Dipoli Iugum 2007 $59.99

Peter’s research also led him to identify another plot of land with a milder climate and soils of clay and limestone, perfectly suited to grow Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Similar to his findings for the Sauvignon Blanc, he can achieve longer hang time lending for optimal maturity of the fruit while avoiding those unpleasant vegetal flavors that can be found in some of the indigenous local reds. After four years of age, two in barrel and two in the bottle, Iugum is released. Peter’s goal is to make an age-worthy, complex red from Alto Adige that simultaneously reflects its terroir and Iugum is just that! This cool climate Cabernet Sauvignon oozes with class and is surprisingly approachable at a young age while offering exceptional cellaring potential. Broadly useful at table, this is a great match to a number of hearty dishes.

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