Valle d'Aosta, Italy
L’Enfer D’Arvier is a small red wine DOC located in the Valle d’Aosta. The vineyards are at high elevation (~900 mt) and are situated on relatively steep hillsides with the surrounding mountains forming a large protective bowl. This geological formation serves to trap the heat during the day (it then cools off considerably at night). The DOC gets its name “L’Enfer” from the French word for “Hell” which describes the intense heat that is typical during the growing season. Gianluca Telloli describes it as “almost like an oven” during the day!
The entry-level Enfer D’Arvier is fermented and aged in tank. It is made from a blend of Petit Rouge, Mayolet, Pinot Noir, Gamay and Vien de Nus. It is a lovely medium weight wine, with high-toned, racy, little, red fruits. Think alpine Cru Beaujolais with an Italian attitude. The top wine is called “Clos de l’Enfer” and is made from a single vineyard of 80-100 year old, mostly ungrafted vines with a similar field blend of indigenous varietals. The wine was aged in large older casks. Here the volume is turned up a bit with some additional depth, roundness and structure; perhaps a hypothetical blend of Donnas and Foradori Teroldego…?! As of 2013, Enfer d'Arvier is in organic conversion.
In all, fun, interesting wines from the underrated and undiscovered Valle D’Aosta! less