The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Expert Picks: Sandro Fay and Miani

Posted on | April 14, 2015 | Written by Will Di Nunzio | No Comments

will expertSome of the best wines of Italy are the lesser-known ones—until someone discovers them and makes it a mission to make them popular. Other wines stay under the radar because their producers have no interest in publicity—then dedicated fans drag them out from obscurity. Today I thought to share two wines that have, for the most part, stayed relatively unknown, becoming the cult classics bottlings of Italy. Those in the know, know about these wines, and so should any Italian wine lover.

Sandro Fay 2012 Rosso di Valtellina Tei $19.99

Lombardia – Nebbiolo, Merlot, Brugnola, Rossola, Pignola

Starting in the ‘70s, the Fay family began to expand the family’s wine estate and do something special in the Valtellina Valley. They began crafting single-vineyard wines that are representative of the different terroirs in this historical winemaking valley. Sandro Fay is known in Italy as one of the next rock-star winemakers, but he is only getting started. This little wine is an exciting calling card and it’ll give you a feel for what his line-up is all about.

Miani 2010 Rosso $99.99

​Friuli-Venezia Giulia – Merlot, Cab Sauv, Cab Franc, Tazzelenghe

Miani, along with Valentini and Gravner, is likely the most sought-after cult producer of Italy. Miani’s Enzo Pontoni has long established his talents in winemaking, but he makes just 700 cases of wine per year. With this low production, to secure this wine is akin to getting a little piece of Italy. Miani specializes in Merlot and Refosco for reds (wines that fetch more than $400 a bottle), but this estate is equally masterful in creating whites like Friulano, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc (Miani’s is arguably the best in Italy). The estate saw fit to make a high quality red that is enjoyable at a young age and is more accessible to the average wine buyer—enter this Miani Rosso. You’ll taste every bit of Friuli in this wine, and you’ll enjoy indigenous Friuli grape varietals that offer a northern freshness you have never experienced before.

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