Eredi di Cobelli Aldo, Schiava Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT
Eredi di Cobelli Aldo, Schiava Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT

Eredi di Cobelli Aldo, Schiava Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT

Trentino, Italy 2020 (750mL)
Regular price$25.00

Eredi di Cobelli Aldo, Schiava Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT

Today’s attractively priced red is a true “sommelier wine”—meaning it’s a wine a sommelier would instinctively order when dining out. Why? Because it’s attractively priced, of course, but also because it’s from an outside-the-mainstream grape (Schiava) and place (Trentino). Even on an all-Italian wine list, there’s likely to be only one Schiava, which begs another question: What’s so special about it that the sommelier chose to list it? The answer, my friends, is right there in the glass: Schiava has captured the collective imagination much like the featherweight champs of France’s Jura, Trousseau and Poulsard. It speaks to its place of origin so viscerally: airy, juicy, floral, and mineral, it’s the kind of willowy, high-toned red you’d expect from high-elevation vineyards in the shadow of the Italian Dolomites. In other words, it’s sommelier catnip, and an absolute must for anyone who loves finesse, authenticity, and value—which is everyone, right?

Lovers of Italian wine and culture know that while Trentino-Alto Adige is a single “region” from a political standpoint, it is a fusion of two culturally distinct provinces—the province of Trento, historically linked with Italy, and the province of Bolzano, once part of Austria’s South Tyrol. Trento is predominantly Italian-speaking, while Bolzano’s first language is German, and each province has its own wine specialties that aren’t found in the other. But of course, there’s crossover, as in the case of today’s Schiava from the Cobelli family in Sornì, Trentino. Schiava is first and foremost an Alto Adige specialty—the most-planted red grape in the Bolzano province, in fact (and a bit of an obsession of mine). The Cobellis also make a stellar example of Trentino’s signature red, Teroldego (which we’ve offered previously), and in general, everything they do is done with extreme care and in small quantities.

The eredi (heirs) of Aldo Cobelli are Devis, Tiziano, and Ivano Cobelli, who collectively run a winery and farm that has been in their family since the 1800s. Their label honors their late father, Aldo, and the winery and vineyards are situated in the hills above Lavis, in the hamlet of Sornì—a part of Trentino that is also home to one of the region’s best-known producers, Pojer e Sandri (based in neighboring Faedo). The family has begun to practice regenerative agriculture in the vineyards, using only organic treatments and encouraging biodiversity to improve soil health. Situated on lush, vine-draped slopes in the shadow of the Dolomites, and working out of a refurbished winery that was once a stable, this is about as idyllic as winemaking gets.

The Trentino-Alto Adige is a broad, dramatic valley walled in on either side by mountains. On the valley floor, as I noted above, the soils are more alluvial (i.e. river-borne) and gravelly, whereas the slopes that climb quickly on either side of the Adige River are an amalgam of glacial moraine, volcanic porphyry and limestone, the latter dominating the soils of the Cobelli vineyards. The Schiava grapes for this bottling are hand-harvested and fermented over the course of 10-15 days in stainless steel, followed by about a year of aging in a combination of used barrique barrels and 10-hectoliter casks. It then spends about a year in bottle before release, and in all, this counts as an exceptionally long aging regimen for Schiava.

This is reflected in the wine in the glass, which is light-bodied but more structured/firm than most Schiava you’re likely to encounter. Imagine a mash-up of Cru Beaujolais, Saumur-Champigny, and Savoie Mondeuse and you’ve got this wine almost nailed; if none of that means anything to you, just imagine woodland-berry fruit, mountain wildflowers, and crushed-stone savor in a softly contoured, easy-drinking format. As a lover of mountain reds and Italian ones especially, I can’t praise this one highly enough: Whenever I think of this part of the world, the first dish that comes to mind is canederli—bread dumplings studded with speck (Tyrolean smoked bacon) and served either in broth or a simple butter sauce. Tackle the attached recipe with a few bottles of this wine and take your Italian wine game to the next level. Enjoy!

Eredi di Cobelli Aldo, Schiava Vigneti delle Dolomiti IGT

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