Cantina di Casteggio (Oltrepo Pavese)

The little known region of Oltrepó Pavese is a bump on the plain 60kms south of Milan. There is one major player in town. It’s fair to say Cantina di Casteggio is bigger than any other winery we work with. Much bigger. A Co-op with 350 members and a massive facility, part run-down fascista-style, part space age. Try as we might, we just couldn’t resist the wines. Impressive across the whole range. The Cantina is very switched-on and started a “quality project” with their best 50 growers, bringing in famous Italian consultant Riccardo Cotarella.
100% Pinot Noir, Postumio is a true Methode Champenoise, fermented and aged for 18 months in bottle. Pinot Grigio, beautifully balanced. Sauvignon in the creamy, rather than zizzy, style. Malvasia, exotic in the nose, good depth in the mouth. Fabulous Barbera – smooth and deep. A smoky Pinot Noir and now, their newest wine, a spicy, grapey, gently sweet, gently sparkling Moscato.
There are also two interesting local oddities, both red and both frizzante (gently sparkling); the rarely seen Bonarda, which is dry, and the Sangue di Giuda (Blood of Judas), which has a soft touch of sweetness.