The world of wine has gone through some significant changes over the last few decades. Starting in the 1980s, with the wider use of the Internet, information about how to best grow winemaking grapes and how to make excellent wine was easily accessible to producers. Many have taken full advantage and ultimately have increased the quality of the wines they produce.
In addition to winemakers having access to all of this technical data, wine critics and wine magazines became highly influential with their ratings of wines that were on the market. These ratings were impactful in a number of different areas. First, the wines that were rated extremely well (getting awarded 90 points or more), would sell out quickly. And typically, due to the supply and demand theory, the next vintage of that wine would see an increase in the base price.
Both of the two foremost wine critics of that time rated dense, extracted wines higher than smooth, elegant wines. Of course, many producers wanted the higher ratings, and began to let their grapes sit on the vines longer, to gain more sugar, density, and alcohol.
In Italy, where they have predominantly made smooth, elegant wines that were purposely designed to go with food, a good number of producers went the high extraction route, bending traditions in search of reaching a wider market and higher prices.
In observing current trends, many Italian wine producers have decided to dial back their “modern” winemaking styles and return to the more traditional wines of yester-decade. It seems there was also backlash by the Italian people themselves, who found the highly extracted wines not complementary to their food.
A recent, extended excursion to various wine regions in Italy revealed that some (but not all) Italian winemakers are trending back to their original winemaking methods, and it seems the local people are sighing with a bit of relief. For them, a wine that excels with food is much more satisfying than an extracted, concentrated, intense version.
Which is your style? Not sure? Learn more by tasting a selection of great Italian wines at an exclusive tasting event at the WineSellar. 858.450.9557, winesellar.com