At Frecciarossa the vineyards are farmed organically with a careful eye on the environment and biodiversity. Attention to detail, tradition and environmental protection and cumulative know-how allow for making high quality bottles, which fully express the territory of origin with honesty. Pinot Noir, the great red grape of Burgundy has been proliferating in these lands for over 150 years and is the “queen” of the winery, flanked by Riesling and native vines Croatina, Barbera and Uva Rara. The 20 hectares of vineyards consist of clayey soils, with percentages of marl and iron, and are surrounded by fruit trees, vegetable gardens, fields and farm animals (cows, for producing manure and bees).
Pinot Nero – the local variety of Pinot Noir – was introduced in the early days and is the grape dearest to the Odero – Radici family.
In conjunction with Chardonnay, it is the base for their champagne-style Brut. The Extra Brut and Extra Brut Rosé, the beautiful fresh “still” rosé named Margherita, the white wine called Sillery and the rather light, always pleasantly youthful Carillo red are made of Pinot Nero alone. The top of the line, named after Giorgio Odero, is obtained from specially selected Pinot Nero grapes and aged in oak barrels.
The Riesling grapes yield a wonderfully mineral, complex wine comparable to some of the greats from the German Pfalz.
The local Uva Rara yields a well-balanced, young red wine, with smoother edges than the ones from Alto Piemonte, due to the more alkaline soils and a short period spent aging in oak barrels.
Also, the Barbera, named after the vineyard Le Praielle, is incredibly smooth. This is due to the alkaline soil, the extremely careful soft pressing of the grapes and masterful ageing in oak barrels, which altogether ensures that perfect balance is achieved.
The latest addition to Frecciarossa’s wines is a unique territorial expression, obtained from a single vineyard of 75+ years old Croatina, Uva Rara, Barbera and Vespolina vines.
It is named after an ancient local population, the Anamari, who were allies of Rome and highly reputed there for the quality of their wines. Our friend and wine-enhusiast Anders commented that it is among the best red wines he had ever tasted, and we could not disagree with that at all!
All Frecciarossa wines are direct, territorial, and clean (smear-free). They convey a long history of love and passion. These wines create pleasant emotions in every sip.
Frecciarossa has three sparkling Champagne-style wines. They are all excellent and, while being essentially Italian, in quality and elegance, they certainly rival some of their distant cousins in the French motherland.
Frecciarossa Extra-Brut 2017
Vino Spumante di Qualità (VSQ) – Metodo Classico
Made from Pinot Nero grapes, hand-harvested in 17 kg boxes, carefully selecting the best ones. The grapes are picked early in the morning in order to press them at a natural cool temperature.
Vinification: the grapes are gently pressed. The free-run must is then naturally clarified. Alcoholic fermentation occurs at 13-15 °C. and natural clarification and stabilisation take place at a controlled low temperature during the winter.
Ageing: tirage is done in the winter following the harvest.
Secondary fermentation in the bottle at 16 °C. 18 months’ ageing on the lees.
To the eye it delivers a beautiful straw blond colour with golden highlights and visible and persistent perlage.
It is fragrant and vibrant to the nose, with notes of balsamic white flowers and mineral hints. On the palate it is very pleasant and well-balanced, with bright, lively acidity and mineral overtones in the long finish. Always a great pleasure, a very good “blanc de noir”!
2017 was a very warm and dry vintage. The long and exceptionally dry summer season stressed the vines, but the clay soils acted as a sponge, storing reserves of winter rainfall to supply the vines.
The harvest was on 8 August 2017, which is very early, with excellent ripening of the grapes, but limited production.
Date of tirage: January 2018
Date of disgorging: July 20th 2020
2017 production: 6,762 bottles (0.75 l)
Frecciarossa Brut 2010
Vino Spumante di Qualità (VSQ) – Metodo Classico
A beautiful Champagne-style, high quality sparkling wine, made from Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling, with a low yield (1 kg per vine) and accurate selection of the best bunches.
Following leaf-thinning in July, the grapes were hand-harvested in 15 kg crates in the early morning in order to press them at a natural cool temperature, on 20 August 2010. The grape varieties were harvested one at a time.
The Pinot Noir grapes are gently pressed and the free-run must is then naturally clarified. Alcoholic fermentation occurs at controlled temperature between 13-15 °C. The Chardonnay and Riesling grapes are also gently pressed. They ferment in temperature-controlled barriques. The must is naturally clarified and stabilised at a controlled cold temperature during the winter.
tirage in the spring following the harvest. Blending. Secondary fermentation in the bottle at 16°C. Ageing on the lees for a minimum of 48 months. Disgorging with addition of the liqueur d’expédition. A beautiful, inviting golden yellow, revealing persistent perlage, this sparkling wine is intense and complex, with notes of white flowers and yellow fruits, among them tropical scents, as well as limestone and mineral hints.
Persistently fresh and fruity, not too dry, rather distinctive in the mouth. Very nice!
Date of harvest: August 20th, 2010
Date of tirage: April 2011
Date of disgorging: December 2019
A total of 3,300 bottles (0.75 l) were produced.
Rosé Extra Brut 2018
Vino Spumante di Qualità (VSQ) – Rosé Metodo Classico
In all earnesty, we are not the greatest lovers of sparkling rosés, but this one won us over, and from the very first time!
It is a beautiful pale, elegant pink, the fine and visibly persistent perlage is instantly inviting.
It displays the typical scents of fresh Pinot Nero, fragrant and vibrant, with notes of wild strawberry, raspberry and red flowers. Perhaps gooseberry. Delicate and elegant, it ends with a final note of fresh spice (white pepper) and a whiff of orange peel that appeal to the nose. On the palate, it is rich and well-balanced, with crisp acidity and mineral overtones in the long finish. It entices you to enjoy one sip after another, alone as an aperitif, or with light summer dishes, including seafood, cold cuts… a sparkling wine for many occasions!
From the already low yields (1 – 1.2 kg per vine), the grapes were hand-harvested in 17 kg boxes, carefully selecting the best ones, on 18 August 2018. The grapes were picked early in the morning in order to press them at a natural cool temperature.
2018 was a warm vintage, with moderate rainfall during the growing season. A year of abundant production with excellent ripening of the grapes.
the grapes are gently pressed. The free-run must is then naturally clarified. Alcoholic fermentation at 13-15 °C. Natural clarification and stabilisation at a controlled low temperature during the winter.
tirage is done in the spring following the harvest. Secondary fermentation in the bottle at 16 °C. 24 months’ ageing on the lees.
Date of harvest: August 18th, 2018
Date of tirage: March 2019
Date of disgorging: June 2020
A total of 6,717 bottles (0.75 l) were made.
Gli Orti – Oltrepò Pavese DOC Riesling 2018
The first harvest of Riesling at Frecciarossa was obtained in 1921. So there is solid tradition and know-how in creating wonderful wine from this great white grape that originated in Germany.
The grapes were harvested on 10 September, and half of the must was left to macerate at 3°C for 48 hours, and the other half pressed directly and very softly. Then the must was combined and left to ferment at a controlled temperature between 14°C and 16°C. So controlled, there is no malolactic fermentation.
A pale straw blonde, in the right light it reveals greenish streaks and golden shimmers.
“Gli Orti” offers great balance between fruitiness, notes of freshly mowed mountain meadows and flowers to the nose; the right minerality and good acidity in the mouth, which give this Riesling a soft velvety, almost creamy texture. The mineral notes stem from the iron veins that are found in the clay where the vines draw their nourishment and supplement the soft tropical notes developing towards dried fruits and nuts towards the end.
We also tried vintages 2016 and 2017, to explore the difference between years, but also the development of this wine in the bottle and were amazed. 2017 perhaps leans towards the softer side, whereas 2016 expresses the minerals in the soil even further and reveals potential for ageing well over ten years. A beautiful Riesling indeed!
4,906 bottles were produced in 2018.
Sillery – Oltrepò Pavese DOC Pinot Nero (vinified white)
The name of this wine stems from a village in the Champagne area, just a few kilometres from Reims. It is unclear whether this is where Giorgio Odero stayed when learning about the wines there, or – as it is rumoured – it is the name of a racehorse on which he bet successfully…
In any case, it was decided to make a still white wine from Pinot Nero and name it Sillery.
This is quite a rare white wine in the Italian panorama. It has a medium body structure – which is quite unusual here – and offers many soft floral scents of herbs, citrus and grapefruit along balsamic overnotes. Rather discrete pale straw to the eye, it is very pleasant to the nose and palate. It will benefit from ageing over time. We tried the 2019 when it first was released and then four months later and noticed a favourable development.
2019 was a regular vintage, with medium-high rainfall in May, quite hot summer and a few drought periods. The weather was cool during harvest, especially at the end. All wines were graced with good aromatic qualities and a good level of acidity.
For Sillery, the grapes are harvested by hand in 17 kg crates, after an accurate selection of those with the right level of ripeness. The grapes are pressed very softly to avoid colour extraction and the alcoholic fermentation occurs over a 22-day period, at controlled temperature.
In total 27,000 bottles were produced.
When Valeria Radici took over the reins of Frecciarossa from her mother Margherita, she decided to introduce a rosé and name it after her parent.
Margherita – Oltrepò Pavese DOC Pinot Nero is very lively and elegant – just like the ladies who own Frecciarossa.
A beautiful light pink, it offers plenty of subtle floral notes, delicate scents of rose, a hint of wild strawberry, pomegranate, and tangerine. Exquisite!
It is very crisp, clean and precise in the mouth and stimulates the palate with a little saltiness towards the finish. Thus, it is easy to enjoy on its own, but above all, it calls for some light summer dishes, seafood and fish.
The Pinot Nero grapes were harvested on 26 August 2019, after careful selection for the right level of ripeness. Then they were left to macerate under controlled temperature of 4°C for the first 24 hours, pressed and left to ferment at 14°C for 24 days. Malolactic fermentation does not occur. After 5 months’ ageing in steel vats, the wine is bottled and released.
2019 production: 6,460 bottles (0.75 l). Also available in 1.5litres magnums (103 bottles).
Carillo – Oltrepò Pavese Pinot Nero 2019
This young Pinot Nero is dedicated to Carillo Radici, Margherita’s husband and Valeria’s father.
It fully expresses the wealth of aromas of this variety, its freshness and fragrance, and is so well- balanced, that it becomes difficult to resist once you see its beautiful shiny red robe and your nose is attracted by the pleasant aromas of fresh red berries, nutmeg, pepper spice on a vegetal note. The good, medium-light body, the cleanliness and precision on the plate confer elegant traits to this young wine and make it oh-so enjoyable, especially when served at the right temperature, around 16-17°C.
We suspect that in a blind tasting, winemakers from Burgundy would identify it as one of their own – and that is not easily accomplished!
The grapes are hand-harvested in 17 kg boxes, carefully selecting the best ones.
Vinification: destemming and gentle crushing of the grapes. Natural fermentation with indigenous yeasts. 8 days’ maceration in stainless-steel vats at a controlled temperature always kept below 26°C. During maceration, the wine is punched down and pumped over several times. Natural malolactic fermentation in 25 hl barrels.
Ageing: 9 months in stainless-steel vats and at least additional 4 months in bottle.
2019 was a regular vintage, with medium-high rainfall in May, quite hot summer and a few drought periods. Weather was cool during harvest, especially at the end.
All wines were graced with good aromatic qualities and a good level of acidity
12,300 bottles were produced in 2019.
Uva Rara 2018 – Provincia di Pavia IGT
This relatively unknown grape variety is quite common in two Northern Italian wine territories – Alto Piemonte and Oltrepò Pavese – which also share other territorial varietals, like Croatina and Vespolina.
It is light, acidic, not very tannic and quite sugary. So, what can you expect from a wine made with such grapes?
First, a light wine, both in colour and body. A beautiful ruby red with a slightly spicy, fruity scent to the nose. On the palate it is a rather slender, almost elegant wine that tastes of small red berries, like wild cherries, red currant and raspberries, and has a certain easy pleasantness to it. Then, towards the end, comes a little bitterness and peppery note, which in conjunction with the noticeable acidity, make it very well rounded.
At Frecciarossa it is made with natural elegance, like everything else here, and as Valeria explained to us, as of 2018 it is aged for six months in used oak barriques, which enhances its qualities by adding smooth and slightly toasty notes, resulting in an unmatched balance.
So yes, this is a very fine Uva Rara, indeed! If you love light elegance without tannins, this is your wine. It is also a winner for red wine enthusiast’s sensitive to acid reflux.
Destemming and gentle crushing of the grapes. Natural fermentation in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature always kept between 25 and 28°C for about 10 days. Very short maceration on the skins. Natural malolactic fermentation in stainless steel vats once the wine has been racked.
Date of harvest:18 September 2018
2018 production: 3,140 bottles
Notes about the 2018 vintage:
warm vintage, with moderate rainfall during the growing season. A year of abundant production with excellent ripening of the grapes.
La Praielle 2017 – Oltrepò Pavese DOC Barbera
I confess – among my very favourite red grapes is Barbera. Its deep colour, its blatant, sometimes brutal and at other times smooth strength, its versatility, and its acidity make this rather rustic grape one of my favourites. However, versatility also means different quality standards. Indeed, it is all too easy to find some rather unsettling Barbera, and not only on the shelves of cheap supermarkets. Thus, I was very curious to try out Le Praielle.
Barbera is mainly associated with Piemonte, even though it is the most common red grape in Italy overall and grown in every region, and I had no idea what to expect here.
Geographically, Oltrepò Pavese is almost an extension of the Langhe of Piemonte. Promising! Then, of course, we were enjoying the beauty of Frecciarossa and the elegant, warm hospitality of its owners… so why should I be surprised that Le Praielle won me over from the first sip?
First, comes the deep dark red, tending to purple. Difficult to resist!
Second, an abundance of aromas strikes the nose with cosy, mellow notes of very ripe fruit and lots of fine spice.
Third, on the palate, it is so smooth, so extremely warm, it makes you feel at home, with the comforting toasty notes stemming from oak in the finish. Can you expect elegance from rustic Barbera? At Frecciarossa it is a given. Quite unique! Simply beautiful!
The grapes are destemmed and gently crushed. Natural fermentation occurs in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature always kept below 28°C., followed by 14 days’ maceration. During maceration, the wine is punched down and pumped over several times. Natural malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats.
Thereafter the wine is aged for 10 months in 25 hl barrels, 6 months in stainless steel vat, plus a minimum of 12 months in the bottle.
Anamari 2017 – Oltrepò Pavese DOC Rosso Riserva
Whenever an Italian DOC or DOCG wine earns the right to be called “Riserva”, it is expected to be something extraordinary, or at least especially good. It is not always the case, but of course at Frecciarossa they would not miss out on the opportunity of creating something unique to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the estate, in February 2020 .
Anamari is made from an old vineyard, where different grape varieties are grown, as it was usually done in those times. The very local Croatina, Barbera and Uva Rara form the bulk of this vineyard, only 2% is Vespolina. As Croatina takes a long time to ripen, the other varietals were harvested when already overripe.
Each adds its unique characteristics to this blend: Croatina brings colour, flavour, tannins and a little sugariness, Barbera boldness, acidity, depth, and Uva Rara a touch of spice and lightness that lend elegance to the wine. Probably only the very finest of noses can detect the peppery notes of Vespolina.
After destemming and gentle crushing of the grapes, natural fermentation takes place in in an upright oak vat (“tino”) at a controlled temperature. Maceration takes up to 28 days using the delestage technique. During this time, the wine is punched down and pumped over several times. Malolactic fermentation occurs in 650 l oak barrels.
The wine is aged 10 months in 650 l oak barrels, 6 months in stainless steel vats before bottling, plus 6 months’ ageing in the bottle.
The result is an overwhelming expression of this great territory and this breath-taking winery!
It is extremely elegant, with notes of dog rose, ripe red and black berries, black pepper and balsamic overtones.
On the palate, it is fruity, fresh and very well-balanced. Warm notes of cocoa and vanilla emerge over time. Very pleasant, with a long, persistent finish. It truly embodies Frecciarossa vinery and is a perfect symbol for the family’s achievements and 100th anniversary celebration!
Somehow it is like meeting someone, whom you believe you can be friends with, and with each piece of conversation, each time you see each other, the friendship grows and conversation never drags. Thus, you realise that Anamari will beccome even better with time, like true friendship.
Rare, true value!
Giorgio Odero 2013 – Oltrepò Pavese DOC Pinot Nero
Named after the founder’s son, the man who brought the winery to the highest level, this is the flagship wine of Frecciarossa. Indeed, it is a great, rich, powerful yet elegant and subtle expression of this famous vine. It is made from the very best grapes of the historic “Il Pino” vineyard.
2013 was a great classic year, with a warm but not too hot summer and good amount of rainfall. In August temperatures dropped enough to halt the ripening process, which created an exceptional development of aromas in the grapes. This is reflected in this amazing wine.
After light cluster trimming and leaf thinning in July, the grapes were further selected before being hand-harvested in15 kg crates.
Following destemming and gentle crushing of the grapes, fermentation with indigenous yeasts took place in stainless steel vats at a controlled temperature always kept below 26°C.
The maceration lasted for 16 days, during which the wine was punched down and pumped over several times. Malolactic fermentation took place in the autumn, following the harvest in small second-fill oak barrels.
Thereafter the wine was kept for 12 months in 25 hl oak barrels, 6 months in stainless steel vats and an additional 12 months in the bottle.
The colour is a beautifully rich ruby red with garnet highlights.
To the nose, it is intense, with notes of spices, ripe berries, unexpected balsamic overtones (pine and sage) and a closing note of Seville orange.
On the palate, it is pleasantly fruity and fresh, fragrant and well-balanced, very elegant with intense balsamic notes.
When we first tasted it, we were simply overwhelmed!
Great wines, we believe, create intense emotions, bring out something in you and somehow create a connection with the lands these wines come from. That was it for us: Giorgio Odero 2013 brought back our pleasant memories from Frecciarossa, the magic of the place, the values of tradition and the commitment and attachment of all those who are a part of it. All this, dressed in the simple sense of hospitality that is the secret to true elegance. Complimenti! Congratulations!