Which Italian regions produce more fruit forward wines?

I recently opened a bottle of 2011 Allegrini La Grola Veronese, which to me had too much of a tarry quality to it. Since I’m currently going through Italy’s wine regions, which ones tend to have less of a tar, tobacco, leathery quality and are more fruit forward?

My first answer would be Barbera d’ Alba from Piedmont. You also might try some producers basic Valpolicella. And from Sicily Nero d’ Avola. Keep in mind that the expression of the grape can be heavily driven by the producer and vintage.

Puglia came to mind for me, on the basis of the many fruit-driven primitivos I’ve had from there.

Good suggestions so far, but in Sicily I would say that Frappato delivers a cleaner and more direct expression of fruit than Nero d’Avola. Teroldego Rotaliano or the easy-going Marzemino, both from Trentino would also fit the bill.

Try cannonau of sardegna. Wines are generally very fruity and you can get a lot of value for the money. Gabbas and Sedilesu are great producers, even if I don’t know how much they are available abroad

More fruit forward than…?

Perhaps you can have a Fruili merlot or a cabernet from Bolgheri?

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or Rosso di Montalcino for me.

I agree with most of the suggestions (not so much Rosso di Montalcino), but would add Dolcetto.

Some Aglianicos from the south can be pretty fruity in a dense way.

Brian S. would have to answer this, but I wonder if what he means by “fruit forward” is the same as what y’all have been meaning in the responses.

I would probably think, for example, of modern-styled and new-worldy Tuscans (Brancaia, Ca’Marcanda, Antinori, Poggio Antico, those types) as fruit forward in the more common and ordinary sense in which that term is used, more than I would think of wines like Dolcetto, Aglianico or Frappato.

I’m not saying anyone’s answer is wrong, I just wonder if those are actually the kinds of wines he’s looking for.

Brian, any thoughts? Maybe give us some examples of wines you like from other regions that you consider “fruit forward” in a way that you like.

I guess what I interpret “fruit forward” to mean is a sense of freshness or ripeness of the fruit notes you smell/taste in the wine that isn’t overpowered by the tannins.

Brian - Can you tell us other wines you’ve liked or disliked? That might make it easier to suggest other things that would be to your liking.

A lot of Italian reds are relatively high in acid and/or tannins. From what you say, I think perhaps Dolcetto, Primitivo (the same grape as Zinfandel), Montepulciano d’Abbruzo and moderately priced Valpollicello. Also Cannonau from Sardinia, as Marco said. Morellino di Scansano, a Sangiovese-based wine from the western side of Tuscany, also tends to be very fruity – very different from Chianti Classico and Brunello from the interior areas.

Another thought: Avignonesi - Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano. Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano is made from Sangiovese, like Chianti and Brunello, but on different soils that tend to produce softer wines. The Avignonesi is reliable, fairly fruity and very widely available. (Confusingly, the Montepulciano grape is not grown in the Tuscan town of Montepulciano, which gives its name to Vino Nobile.)

In general, I think you’ll probably do better with less expensive wines, as a lot of the fancier bottlings are made to be more “serious” and have higher tannin and acid levels. If you’re paying more than, say, $35, you’re probably going to end up with a wine with more structure that may hide its fruit young.

Prompted by this thread, I tried that 2011 Dei -Vino Nobile di Montelpulciano last night. Pretty tannic. I wouldn’t recommend that.

He is looking for the lighter, fruitier side of wine. Vino Nobile has more black fruit and leather. The Dei is pretty good and the 2010 far superior to the 11.

Agreed. I love vino nobile, but it is typically much more grippy (and leaner) than Brunello (which I prefer less)