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Opening a Bottle: Essential Winemakers of Italy – Buglioni

 

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My kind of #Valpolicella can best be summed up by these wines from @buglioniwines. The Buglioni family shifted from textiles to wine nearly 20 years ago, and when they felt they weren’t being taken seriously enough, they turned to the city of Verona and opened a wine bar and restaurant to showcase their wines. It was a stroke of genius, because the Veronese pounded the door down to get in. Three restaurants and a winery inn later, they have proven their doubters wrong. The focus with these wines is to be food friendly, and it’s amazing how they fulfill that promise. Mariano Buglioni served us his delicate Amarone (yes, delicate) with sea bass tonight, and amazingly the brine and iron in the fish partners very well with his Amarone’s earthy, pungent side. These are logic-defying wines. I’m on board. ??

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What they make: The Buglioni family made their living in the textile industry before moving completely into the wine business in 2000. Mariano Buglioni, the current proprietor of the estate, told me that people initially didn’t take their business seriously. So they opened Osteria del Bugiardo in the heart of Verona to showcase their wines, and pretty quickly they proved everyone wrong.

Buglioni’s wines show an amazing level of finesse, with tongue-in-cheek names like “l’Imperfetto” — a stunning Valpolicella Classico Superiore — and “il Bugiardo” (the liar) — a Ripasso that postures like an Amarone. Buglioni’s showpiece wine is “il Lussurioso” (the lustful), a suave and even-tempered Amarone that is hands-down the best version I’ve sampled from this storied DOCG. Also be on the lookout for the wild “Molì” (a metodo ancestraleexperiment with the estate’s Molinara grapes). Finally, I’d go to the ends of the earth for “il Narcisista,” Buglioni’s sexy Recioto which recalls blueberries, mint and black truffles.

Why I am partial: Azienda Agricola Buglioni may technically be a Valpolicella winery, but its identity is just as strongly connected to the nearby city of Verona, where the family’s osteria cultivated a passionate following among the Veronese. While much of Valpolicella is hung-up on swinging for stratospheric point scores, Buglioni’s wines are aimed for enoteca culture. They inspire lively conversation and they complement a wider spectrum of foods. (I’ve had their “Il Lussurioso” Amarone della Valpolicella with sea bass, and yes, it worked). Buglioni is able to balance this elegance and docility without losing the tones, textures and aromas that make Valpolicella’s wines so distinctive. And that, is a neat little trick.

Kevin Day, October 15, 2018
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Opening a Bottle: Essential Winemakers of Italy – Buglioni