One of my favorite discoveries over the past twelve months has been the wines of Donnachiara and superstar Italian winemaking consultant, Riccardo Cotarella. If you’re not familiar with Cotarella– he is the Italian equivalent of Luc Morlet or Michel Rolland — just as famous and well-respected in the wine industry and an absolute icon in his home country.
Robert Parker Jr. once famously called Cotarella “one of the most influential personalities in the world of wine in the last 20 years.” You can easily see why. Every. Single. Wine. that I’ve tasted from Donnachiara is under $20 and a complete knockout.
I think Cotarella’s work at Donnachiara is particularly impressive. If you’ve had his Aglianco or the Greco di Tufo (small quantities available today) you can attest. Firstly, he has access to a brand new, state-of-the-art winemaking facility paid for by a very wealthy family that will likely never see their return on investment during this generation.
Secondly, Cotarella gets to work with fifth generation winegrowers that are extremely passionate about their work on the estate. And finally, Cotarella gets to place his stamp on the most distinctive indigenous varieties in the country – not tainted by international trends in style. Aglianico, Greco di Tufo and today’s varietal… Falanghina.
93 Points, James Suckling
Exotic-fruit aromas of mango and white peach with some stone. Full-bodied with layers of fruit and bright acidity. Stone and licorice undertones. Lovely finish. Really well done.