World Class Italian White Wines?

I’m going to consider this to be a companion thread to the Italian Chardonnay one since it would seem at best Chardonnay is a work in progress in Italy. For the purpose of this thread, I’m going to define world class as having the ability to improve in the bottle for many years, if not decades, with the probability of displaying desirable tertiary qualities as it ages. The variety can be indigenous or not, but at the same qualitative level of top Burgs, Northern Rhones, Rieslings, etc. Thanks.

The biggest problem with this is - most Italian white wines are best in their first or second year after release. This is not a knock on the wines, just the way they are produced. They are meant to be fresh and bright.

Now I am sure many people will post about the Orange wine craze going on there - and those can age for many years -

But if you are going to downgrade a great Ribolla Gialla from Collio (or a great Fiano from the south, or a great Vermentino from Sardinia, a great Pigato from Liguria) for being at it’s best when it’s young - you are missing out on some great wines.

Valentini Trebbiano d’Abruzzo

The best versions of Fiano and Ribolla Gialla can age, but not for decades. Thomas is right, though, that most Italian white wine is best young and fresh.

P Hickner

Loads of brilliant whites these days, a massive change from 2-3 decades ago. World class? So hard to define, but if secondary market price is to be the judge, then no. For many, there aren’t the old bottles to say that they achieve huge complexity with extensive ageing. Maybe some will prove to match that over time, but there aren’t many I plan to age more than a decade (though many would say that of white Burgundy now).

I’m certainly really happy with what’s available for the price, and the variety on offer.

Well, not sure if they are “world class”, but I love the I Clivi whites, especially the one on the lees for 140 months. I also think Etna whites will get there, based on 1 or 2 that I’ve loved.

I hear Miani is fantastic, but I’ve yet to have one.


Absolutely world-class, and typically needs a few years of age to open up…

The I Clivi Brazan is fascinating wine. World class, even.
I notice that Oliver McCrum sells it.

Jermann Vintage Tunina is one of the most complex whites coming from Italy, but I think 10 years is beyond comfortable aging for that wine.

Peter Hickner

Back in the day I had some lovely bottles of Gaja and Rey chardonnay that seemed like they could keep going for a while.

Miani and Terlano are absolutely world class, as is Valentino mentioned above. The best part is they are perfect with food. While not cheap they are a bargain compared to white Burg

Oliver also sells the SandiSkerk Ograde blend, which I would call world-class.
Don’t know about going out 10 yrs, but would guess it could.

Fattoria La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica

Trust me.

Friulian whites have been considered world class, at least in Europe, for quite a while. Lots of world class whites are completely unknown in the States. Up until a dozen years ago, Gruner Veltliner from the Wachau. Right now, I’d nominate Encruzado from the Dao.

While I like this wine and think o, I’m not sure I’d think of it in the same league as a 20 year old Huet, Musar blanc, LdH gran reserva etc… Which I think of as other “world class whites” outside of the Bdx/burg/Rhone/Riesling canon.