The company was founded by Alessandro Berselli, a seasoned Italian marketer with over 25 years of experience in the wine industry. The company has a vast international network that stretches over the Americas, Europe and Japan. The samples provided for this post were a courtesy of their Quebec Importer, AOC & Cie (http://vinsaoc.ca/).
The first pair of wines from the sample set were from the Ambo line: a Pinot Noir from Pavia in southern Lombardy and a Pinot Grigio from Udine in Friuli. With their sleek labels, Alma wants to grab the attention of the contemporary and young wine drinker. The wines from this line are mono varietals emphasizing fruit freshness and affordability for everyday drinking.
The Ambo Nero Provincia di Pavia 2016 ( SAQ # 13487161, $14.95) was delicious with aromas of strawberry and candied black cherry and delicate herbal nuances. On the mouth, it was fruity and velvety with supple tannins complemeting a lingering finish. It made a perfect partner with spaghetti with mushrooms tossed with bacon. Its peer, the Ambo Grigio Pinot Grigio ( $21.41, private import) was succulent as well displaying bright pear and citrus flavours. Fresh with a crisp acidity, it had a delightful creamy texture with a long aromatic finish. It was a fantastic wine with an express Asian lunch of sushi and a smoked salmon pokebol. With Italian flavours, it should be wonderful as well with shellfish pasta or white pizzas.
Next came the Zibibbo from Baglio Impassito line. WIth Baglio, Alma strives to capture the essence of Sicilian wine making traditions and indigenous grapes. As you know, Sicilian wines are quite fashionable today with the modern day wine consumer.
The Baglio Impassito Zibibbo Terre Siciliane 2016 (13407686, $16.45) was a ravishing wine. Zibibbo it is also known as Muscat of Alexandria. It is considered an “ancient vine” and its is believed that its one of the oldest genetically unmodified vines still in existence. This vine made its way to Sicily in 1773 from the Arabic nations where the name was Zibibb.
Hailing from Western Sicily, this Zibibbo captivated me with its very aromatic nose. A lovely bouquet of dry fruits, honey with nuances of candied orange peel and confit ginger. Very rich in the palate, almost oily, yet fresh and balanced with a long finish. A perfect pairing as well with seared cod medallion served over a vegetable couscous in a olive oil and lemon emulsion.
My last wine was The Masseria Supreno Sangiovese Merlot 2015 ( SAQ # 13227116, $18.50). Masseria Supreno is named after the estate in Puglia where Alma makes wines from the region’s main varieties such as Sangiovese, Merlot, Primitivo and Negroamaro. This Sangiovese (80%) and Merlot (20%) was very convivial with a complex nose displaying smoked paprika, cacao with maraschino cherries and dry prunes. Full body and rich with jammy red fruit and soft tannins. It is a perfect wine with Sunday’s ragu pasta.
My conclusion is that looks could be deceiving in the wine industry. Often, in the wine world, small is seen as better with artisanal bottles taking all the attention. However, the giants can offer pleasant surprises. The key is to know what to pick like in the case of Alma wines.
written by Marco Giovanetti