Highlights: La Stoppa Trebbiolo Rosso 2018 Vino Rosso, Italy

How do you assess a wine like this Trebbiolo from La Stoppa? If you are a techno winemaker, you reject it for faultiness. Volatile acidity and brett would do it. But I’m tasting this and thinking: I actually really like it (does it help that it’s one of those wines that I have bought with my own money? This can change how you respond to a wine). This is a challenge with wine. How do we decide what a fault is? It’s not straightforward, and this naturally made wine is actually delicious, but then I’d understand why some people might struggle with it. La Stoppa is based in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, and this wine is named after the valley the grapes are grown in.

La Stoppa Trebbiolo Rosso 2018 Vino Rosso, Italy
12.5% alcohol. This is a blend of 60% Barbera and 40% Bonarda from Colli Piacentini, and it’s from organically farmed vines in clay/silt soils, and spends 20 days on the skins and then is aged in a mix of stainless steel and concrete. It has a striking nose with some acid lift (which adds a little sweetness) and spicy-framed cherry and berry fruits with some rustic animal-shed aromas. The palate is vivid with keen acidity and a bit of bite. It has a meaty, medicinal edge with the volatile acidity adding a sweet and sour quality, and it finishes all trembly and nervous, with some balsamic notes. This is not a wine for the purist, but it has a lot of personality, and it is vivid and direct, finishing with a hint of sweetness. A really intriguing, food friendly wine that tests the limits of wine faults and gets away with it. 91/100 (£21 The Sourcing Table – declaration of interest, I am contributing editor)

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