The small region's true distinctive quality wine is represented by a richness and variability of vineyards. The best wines? Here is our list.
Aosta Valley remains a somewhat marginal wine producing region in Italy, with an average production volume of about two million liters. That is, if everything were to get bottled, it would amount to just over two and a half million bottles, significantly less than the largest national producers. What makes Aosta Valley truly unique is its geography. From Donnas to Courmayeur, it’s impossible to find two territories that are alike. More than anything, the region offers a wide variety of cultivar, with native grapes and non-native varieties perfectly complementing one another. Among the reds, their succulent and powerful Syrahs and Fumins alternate with more multifaceted and delicate Pinot Noirs and Petit Rouges. Among the whites we see fresh Prié Blancs and Petite Arvines (a grape that’s on the rise) serving as a counterpoint to more buttery Chardonnays and Malvoisies (Pinot Grigio). Its great variety comes from the enormous variability of its microclimates, brought about by the position of its vineyards (Envers is situated on the right bank of the Dora Baltea, with northeastern exposure, while Adret is the hotter and more well-suited area situated on the left bank, with southern or western exposure), their terrain and especially their elevation, with vineyards planted anywhere from 300 to over 1100 meters above sea level. This richness and variability represents the small region’s true distinctive quality. After 2017, which was disastrous from a climatic point of view, the valley’s vigneron are slowly recovering. After 2016 registered 2.1 million liters, 2017 saw just 1 million – that’s a loss of 53%. We send out our encouragement to Blanc di Morgex et de La Salle, which saw an entire season of work go up in smoke. Some producers registered losses of 98%. In the 2019 edition of Italian Wines no new wineries from the region received awards but our tastings did see Anselmet back on top with their splendid selection of Chardonnay. The final count? Two Chardonnays, two Petite Arvines, a Fumin and a Moscato Passito. The nice surprise this year lies in the slow revival of Bassa Valle and Donnas, two areas we’ll be sure to hear more from soon.
Sopraquota 900 – Rosset Terroir
Valle d’Aosta Chambave Muscat Fletrì ’16 – La Vrille
Valle d’Aosta Chardonnay Cuvée Bois ’16 – Les Crêtes
Valle d’Aosta Chardonnay Main et Cœur ’16 – Maison Anselmet
Valle d’Aosta Fumin ’16 – Lo Triolet
Valle d’Aosta Petite Arvine ’17 – Elio Ottin