In the glass, the wine has a limpid, pale rosewater color, like transparent pink nasturtium, with flashes of polished copper at the edge. Aromas of ripe peaches, mandarin orange rind, persimmon, and fraises des bois move in and out of the foreground (not too cold, please), adding fleeting suggestions of Carolina tea, garden spearmint, rose petals, and hibiscus as the nose develops in the glass.
On the palate, the wine is luscious and ample, with vibrant red fruit flavors that echo the nose, evolving into a fascinating amalgam of lingering blood orange oil, strawberry-rhubarb, baking spices, and bergamot, all seasoned with creamy, sea salt minerality. “Fleshy,” according to my colleague, Susan Crawshaw, “though that little bit of heft in no way stops it from being knockbackable.”
About this wine producer: Paolo De Marchi, famous for his Isole e Olena estate in Chianti Classico, always dreamed of reviving wine production at his family’s Proprietà Sperino estate in the Lessona region of Piemonte. According to Il Corriere Vinicolo, Italy’s “wine Wall Street Journal,” the wines grown here a hundred years ago by Dott. Felice Sperino, Paolo De Marchi’s great, great uncle, were the most expensive wines in Italy. Today, after nearly twenty years of arduous work restoring the vineyards and renovating the winery, Paolo and his son Luca (who lives in Lessona and manages the estate) have given new life to Proprietà Sperino, Paolo’s childhood home, and are now at the vanguard of a renaissance of this historic wine growing area.