2018 Institut Agricole Regional (IAR) Valle d'Aosta Vuillermin
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The Institut Agricole Régional (IAR) is a highly-respected agricultural university, working farm, professional technical school, and research center in the Valle d'Aosta region of northwest Italy - imagine a U.C. Davis nestled in the Alps. In addition, the IAR makes small quantities of textbook versions of wines from the valley's varieties. Farming uses biodynamic principles. Vuillermin, though it's perhaps the Valle d'Aosta's most elegant variety, is exceedingly rare. There are only about 3 hectares of it planted and just one other commercial producer. The IAR's Vuillermin is grown at 660 meters in a vineyard with a 40% gradiant and whose soils are sandy glacial moraine. 15 days of fermentation in stainless steel is followed by a year in used French oak barrels. 13.5% alcohol. This is a beautiful wine, with great aromatics, floral and spicy notes, and structure - all while retaining the bright, nervy, alpine character of the Valle d'Aosta's reds.