A few months ago, at our Summer of Riesling dinner I believe it was, one of our loyal Le Metro subscribers and dear friends called my attention across the table. Looking at me intently, wineglass in hand, he asked, “Dude, when are you going to send us some Italian wine again?”
We haven’t released an all-Italian collection since January 2014, and in the meantime, you’ve witnessed my enthusiasm for categories as widespread as Spain, Hungary, Riesling, and all that is rosé. However, despite my fickle nature and nonstop exploration, one thing does remain constant: Italian wine rocks my world.
The six wines in this edition are as new to me as they are to you. In cases where the varieties and regions were already near and dear, I’ve taken the opportunity to get to know winemakers with whom I was previously unfamiliar. And there’s one grape here that had never before crossed my path, even after years of Italian-centric study.
This collection is intended to be one small window into the vastness of Italy. We’ll cover lesser-known regions from Alto Adige to Sicily, but only in the widest of brushstrokes. In a country that is smaller than the state of California yet is home to more than 350 indigenous grape varieties, it’s difficult to know where to even begin.
The etching that sets the tone for this edition is Igor Koutsenko’s Party, which draws our series of Igor’s artwork to a conclusion. Like the woman depicted in this print, these wines are rarely asked to dance, although they are often the most beautiful ones in the room. It would be impossible to match the haunting beauty of Igor’s work, but Tina, GUY, and I are committed to keeping you on your toes. Just wait until you see what’s coming next.
Cheers, and Happy New Year!
Aaron Epstein, Curator