By Culturekiosque Staff
VERONA, ITALY, 16 APRIL 2008 Some
wine lovers and experts consider the 1997 vintage as "the last myth of the
1900s". Twelve of the best labels from the 1997 vintage were signaled out
for distinction last week at the 42nd Vinitaly, the Italian Wine and
Spirits Trade Fair in Verona. Top wine buyers and importers, wine
investment fund managers, collectors, Italian Guides (Gambero Rosso,
Ais, Espresso, Maroni and Veronelli ), as well as
influential wine magazine editors and critics (Wine Spectator,
Decanter, Falstaff, Parker) paid homage at a horizontal tasting of
the prestigious vintage. According to wine experts at Vinitaly, the twelve
bottles are by now only available on the collector's market-with an
overall value estimated at more than 53,000 euros. "The twelve wines
presented during this tasting-event have seen their value grow over time,
in terms of quality and sensorial features and pure commercial value," the
Director General of VeronaFiere, Giovanni Mantovani, said. "Prices seen at
auctions are by now very impressive and some of the wines on offer are
virtually impossible to find."
The twelve collector red wines include:
San Leonardo, Igt Vigneti delle Dolomiti, Tenuta San
La Poja, Igt Veronese 1997, Azienda
Mazzano, Amarone della Valpolicella Doc 1997, Masi.
Solaia, Igt Toscana 1997, Azienda Antinori;
all'Oro, Brunello di Montalcino Docg 1997, Tenuta Banfi;
Toscana 1997, Frescobaldi;
Sassicaia, Bolgheri Doc 1997, Tenuta San
25 Anni, Montefalco Sagrantino Docg 1997, Cantina
Umbria and Latium
Montiano, Igt Lazio1997, Falesco.
Santa Cecilia, Igt Sicilia 1997, Planeta.
Turriga, Igt Isola dei Nuraghi 1997, Argiolas.
Barolo Monfortino Docg 1997, Azienda Conterno G.
IItalian Wine Sales Report
Although Italians drink less, Italian wine is more
popular than ever world-wide with consumption in the rest of the world
growing at a rate of 1.8 million hl / year. And while France has lost in
just one decade 6 percentage points on the world market, Italy has managed
to hang on to a quota of 18% to stay ahead of stiff competition from the
New World. Equally notable is that Italy has even withstood competitive
comparisons with Australia in North America, with more than 2.5 million
hectolitres (+8% over 2006) worth almost 830 million euros.
The weak dollar and the economic recession are
changing purchase decisions among American consumers. The price of
imported European wines, in short, is rising in restaurants and wine
shops, but wine lovers are still more or less spending at the same levels
as in the past. Choice now emphasises less well-known labels-although
current wine culture by now means that more consumers know how to select
qualitatively valid wines even outside the top market band that ensure a
good quality/price ratio.
Lastly, 2007 will be remembered for the major drop in
production in Italy, France and Australia. The fault lies with
unfavourable climatic conditions, since even Australia had to cope with a
drought that cut its production potential by one-fourth.
Estimates by OIV (Organisation Internationale de la
Vigne et du Vin) suggest that the countries most affected compared to 2006
were Italy, with a probable drop in production of 12% to 43.5 million hl
(below the already low output for the 2002 and 2003 vintages), and France,
likely to post a fall of 11% to total produce of 46.2 million hl.
Respectively, this cuts more than 5.5 million hl, in turn joined by 3.5
million hl lost by Australia, 1.5 millions by Spain (-5%), a further 1.5
millions for Portugal (-22%) and half a million hl for Greece (-13%). Put
in perspective, experts in Verona maintained that desipte booming exports,
world consumption has dropped to levels of 20 years ago.
It is still true, however, that luxury knows no
limits, so that even very high end wines like those on the top-growth wine
collection list above are unlikely to feel the negative effects of the
current economic crisis.
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