The Pelaverga grape gets high scores for being so darn simpatico. This Italian variety is rich in a compound called rotundone, which is a sesquiterpene ketone and part of the monoterpene family. It can be found in Syrah, Vespolino, Grüner Veltliner, Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon. To most of us, it is identified as a huge whiff of freshly milled white pepper. Others link it to the smell of thyme or marjoram. Geekiness aside, this is fascinating to me because I so often find those white pepper aromas related to rotundone within Italy's large patrimony of indigenous grapes. It is such a specific and easily identifiable smell. The 2016 Verduno Pelaverga offers it in high doses. It is what makes this wine so special. Besides the crushed white pepper, you get forest fruit, pressed violets, wild strawberry and moist earth. This is an easy-drinking wine to consume within the next few years.
Score: 90+ points -- Monica Larner, Robertparker.com, Jun 2018