Tag Archives: Taurasi

ITALIAN WINES, VARIETIES AND APPELLATIONS, Docg Wines

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There are currently 36 DOCGs and 316 DOC wines in Italy.
The Italian DOCG wines are distributed in 13 different regions as follows:

1. Piedmont: Barolo, Barbaresco, Brachetto d’Aqui, Asti, Ghemme, Roero, Dolcetto di Doglianico, Gattinara, Gavi
2. Lombardia: Franciacorta, Sforzato della Valtellina, Valtellina Superiore, Oltrepo’ Metodo Classico
3. Veneto: Recioto di Soave, Soave Superiore, Bardolino Superiore
4. Friuli Venezia Giulia: Ramandolo, Picolit
5. Emilia Romagna: Albana di Romagna
6. Tuscany: Brunello, Chianti Classico, Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Morellino Scansano, Carmignano
7. Campania: Fiano, Taurasi, Greco
8. Abruzzo: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo
9. Umbria: Sagrantino di Montefalco, Torgiano Rosso Riserva
10. Marche: Rosso Conero Riserva, Vernaccia di Serra Petrone
11. Sicily: Cerasuolo di Vittoria
12. Sardegna: Vermentino di Gallura

Asti

Asti, in Piedmont, is famous for its sweet “spumante”, or sparkling wine. It was invented by Signore Martinotti, an oenologist who worked for the Asti Institute for Experimental Oenology Research. In fact, even today the technique used to make this kind of spumante is referred to as the Martinotti method, even though the French have taken to calling it the “Charmat” method

Barolo

One might say Barolo was born out of political strategy. The Count of Cavour Camillo Benso, one of the main contributors to the founding of the Italian state, developed this famous wine. The Piedmontese politician understood that an excellent wine was instrumental in helping along meetings with kings and European princes, so he had his own castle Grinzane produce Barolo. Where Garibaldi wasn�t able to succeed with his armies, Cavour and his Barolo triumphed in convincing European rulers to support the founding of the Italian kingdom.

Barbaresco

Barbaresco is a well-structured wine with excellent aging potential. Though it is less famous than its “cousin” Barolo, it is still precious to wine lovers. It takes its name from a small town in Piemonte, among the Langhe hills. It is produced from the Nebbiolo grape, also used for Barolo.

Brachetto d’Acqui

The wine of Acqui dates back to ancient times: Roman writers described it as a delicacy highly-prized by the aristocracy. In today’s Piedmont Brachetto is still a great success, suitable for any occasion. In their attempts to win Cleopatra, legend has it that Julius Caesar and Mark Antony gave her Brachetto d’Acqui.

Gattinara

Gattinara is among the oldest wines of Piedmont, produced in the area around Gattinara (once called Catula Ara, after its Roman consul) since Roman times. This wine is not only ancient, it has traveled to the grandest courts of the world. The great diplomat the Marquis of Gattinara never failed to bring a bottle with him when he went to visit the Kings and Queens of Europe

Gavi

Gavi is a white wine from Piedmont, the land of well-structured and powerful reds. In fact, strange but true, it is even quite often a sparkling wine. Gavi is produced from Cortese grapes, in the Alessandria province of south-west Piedmont.

Ghemme

Ghemme, like all the great wines, has ancient origins. In Roman times it was already being produced, though it seems the winemakers where more interested in quantity than quality. There was so much being produced in Anagnum, later called Ghemme, that the city chose for its gonfalone (banner) a symbol composed of a bunch of grapes and sprigs of wheat. The wine was sold in nearby markets, and largely in Milan.

In the following centuries, winemakers paid increasingly more attention to quality. And today Ghemme, made from the Nebbiolo, Vespolina and Uva Rara grapes, is among the best Piedmontese wines.

Roero

Roero is a beautiful hilly area in the Cuneo province of Piedmont. Certainly among these picturesque hills, castles and woods there were sure to be some vineyards. This red wine, made from the Nebbiolo grape, is one of several excellent Piedmontese DOCGs, even if it may be less prized than the famous Barolo and Barbaresco.

Dolcetto di Dogliani Superiore

In Dogliani, Piedmont, the highly-esteemed Dolcetto is produced from the grape of the same name. The word means “little sweet one,” but in fact Dolcetto isn’t sweet at all—it’s a dry, red wine. This grape’s cultivation here dates back to the 1500s. Dolcetto is sincere, immediate, and meant to be drunk young. It is of moderate acidity, and has a jovial, fresh and fragrant personality.

Franciacorta

According to legend, after Charlemagne conquered Brescia in 774, he set up camp in Rodengo Saiano. When it was time to celebrate the festival of San Dionigi, for which he had promised to be in Paris, Charlemagne settled the issue by calling the area around his camp �small France� and ordered that the entire region be called so: thus �Franciacorta�. Today the area is known for a chic sparkling white wine of the same name, bottled using the classic method.

Sforzato della Valtellina

This red wine is produced in the high mountains of Valtellina, in the province of Sondrio. It is called “sforzato” or “forced” because Nebbiolo grapes are left to dry in order to increase the concentration of sugar. Therefore, they are “forced” or “pushed” to their very best.

Valtellina Superiore

Valtellina Superiore is made from Nebbiolo grapes in Valtellina, a town in the Sondrio province. It is called “superiore” because it is of better quality than its cousin “Valtellina,” a wine that has only reached DOC status.

Recioto Soave

The word “recioto” comes from the dialect of Verona, deriving from “recia”, or “ear”. The “recia” is the nickname given to the top part of a bunch of Garganega grapes. It happens to look just like an ear, is better nourished and receives more sun exposure. The precious “Recioto” wine made from these grapes is sweet and dark in color. It was the first wine in the Veneto region to be awarded DOCG status.

Soave Superiore

The name “soave” makes us think of something suave, sweet, delicate, full of grace . . . In fact “Soave” is all of these, even if it really named after the town in which it is produced. It is a white wine made from Garganega grapes, and was publicly praised on many occasions by the great poet Gabriele d’Annunzio.

Bardolino Superiore

Bardolino, one of Italy�s most esteemed wines, is produced in the Veneto, most typically in the Verona area. It is a powerful and well-structured red that ages very well, and is made from the Corvina nera grape.

Ramandolo

Ramondolo is a sweet wine produced in the Udine province of Friuli Venezia Giulia, from the white grape Verduzzo. The wine owes its name to a small village, Ramondolo, demonstrating a strong tie to the land where it is made

Picolit

They say it is a wine “da meditazione”: perfect for sipping and meditating upon. Picolit is a sweet wine produced in the province of Udine from Picolit grapes. The grapes of this varietal-variety are indeed small, or “piccolo” in Italian, thus leading to the name “Picolit.” It was one of the Friulian wines known to grace the palates of popes, princes and kings. It is certainly an ancient variety, in fact many authors believe it was cultivated in Roman times.

Albana di Romagna

This wine from Romagna made from the Albana grape variety is best known for its sweet version, but there is also a lesser known dry style. It is said that Galla Placidia, the daughter of Emperor Teodosio, tasted it for the first time in a small town in Romagna. The wine was served to her in a shabby terracotta jug, but as soon as she drank it she exclaimed “This should not be served in such a humble jug, but should be drunk from a golden cup, to pay homage to its sweetness!” And from that point on, Albana was served at the Ravenna court in precious golden cups. The town where the princess tasted it for the first time was dubbed “Bertinoro,” or “Drink it in gold,” and is still called so today.

Brunello di Montalcino

Brunello is the most famous of Italian wines, together with Barolo. It is produced in the heart of the Val d’Orcia, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has a very recent and interesting history.

At the end of Italy’s war of independence when Italy was unified by Cavour and Garibaldi, the young soldier Ferruccio Biondi Santi returned to his birth home in Montalcino. He found the vineyards in terrible condition, abandoned and sick, and began work on rescuing them. He focused only on one variety, Sangiovese Grosso, also called “Brunello”.

After years of hard work, he created the very first Brunello di Montalcino, and every since his vineyard’s wine has been a great success. The surrounding winemakers imitated this style, and in their own right helped create one of the most famous wine regions in the world.

Chianti Classico

Records of Chianti wine date back to the 14th century, with the “recipe”, the basis of which is still used to this day, dating back to the middle of the 1800s, referring to the use of Sangiovese, Canaiolo and Malvasia grapes. It was invented by Baron Bettino Ricasoli, whose family were descendants of the Firidolfi family who owned Chianti during the VIII century.
Following a ministerial decree in 1932, geographical boundaries were drawn to differentiate between the zones of Chianti and that of Chianti Classico, which had been considered as one area from the 18th century under the command of Cosimo III de Medici.
Chianti Classico is the heart of the region that lies between Florence and Siena and you can recognise the wines coming from here by the symbol of the black rooster that adorns every bottle. This symbol represents the Consortium of Chianti Classico, which is an independent group set up to ensure the continuing high standard of this wine.
There is a legend that explains the reason for the black rooster, which goes back to the continuing battles between Florence and Siena over the ownership of the land of Tuscany. It was decided a peaceful solution had to be found, whereby a cavalry man from Siena and a cavalry man from Florence should set off across the countryside at the sound of the first rooster. Whoever covered the most land would get to rule over Chianti Classico.
However, the Florentines didn’t feed their rooster the night before, which resulted in it waking with hunger early the next morning, allowing the Florentine cavalry man to set off before his rival and consequently lay claim to this precious land!
Prior to the 1960s, the reputation of Chianti was that of mass wine being produced in wicker flasks. When farmers left the countryside, astute business men took the opportunity to move back to the countryside and focus on producing more high-quality wines that now receive international acclaim.

Carmignano

This Tuscan red wine, produced around the town of Carmignano in the Prato province, is a real first. It was the very first wine whose production was governed by rules. In fact, its rules of production date back to the 700’s, when doctors issued an edict stating how and where it could be produced. Its code therefore predates the DOCG system by centuries.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano

Vernaccia is the only DOCG white wine in Tuscany. It is native to San Gimignano, the city of 100 towers. Vernaccia comes from “vernaculum,” meaning something that is typical to a certain place, like the “vernacular,” or language typical to a city or region. Most importantly, Vernaccia was the very first wine in Italy to be awarded DOC status.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

An Etruscan city rich with vines, Montepulciano is the birthplace of one of Tuscany’s most famous wines. It is a red wine made from Sangiovese grapes, which in Montepulciano are called Prugnolo Gentile because of their dark prune color, elegance and gentle and kind aromas.

Vermentino di Gallura

Vermentino is probably the most prized grape variety of Sardegna, and Gallura is one of this great Mediterranean island’s most beautiful and notable regions. Their unique union produces a white wine with fresh and inviting aromas. It is perfect for summer nights and pairs perfectly with fish.

Sagrantino di Montefalco

Sagrantino is a full-bodied red wine from Umbria, produced only from Sagrantino grapes. The most notable and prized is the Sagrantino produced in the Montefalco area, which was given a DOCG appellation in 1992. The winemaking tradition in this region dates back to the Middle Ages, thanks to Benedictine monks who planted Sagrantino vines, one of the oldest Umbrian varieties. The “dry” version of Sagrantino has prevailed, even it was originally made as a “passito.” In fact, at one time Sagrantino was produced almost exclusively from grapes dried on wooden trellises to obtain a rare, sweet red wine.


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Filippo Bartolotta & Christelle Guibert Decanter Italian Fine Wine Selection

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Il Drappo Rosso, Sicilia IGT, Benanti 2004
Basil and peppermint on a dense blackberry extraction. A wine full of natural sweetness and vibrant acidity and a juicy lingering finish. (FB)
£16.97

Avignonesi, Vin Santo di Montepulciano Occhio di Pernice NV
Top of cream caramel, toffee, vanilla and coffee with some toasted hazelnuts and almonds. This is just the beginning for a never-ending and extremely complex real Tuscan Vin Santo. Quince marmalade, baked pear and yummy cough syrup and liquorice. Luscious, decadent, viscous and vibrant world-class dessert wine. (FB)

Valle d’Aosta, Chardonnay, Les Cretes NV
Elegance and character for a unique Alpine Chardonnay. Superb fruit extraction and oak integration, great acidity on a very silky and structured palate. Some sweet floral scents get together on a creamy and mineral intriguing finish. A wine to drink and keep. (FB) approx £30

Taurasi, Naturalis Historia, Mastroberardino 2003
Complex perfume of white truffle and mushrooms match some dense and very compact blackberry and prune aromas. A structured and firm wine with a lingering liquorice and tobacco finish. A wine to keep for many years. (FB) £27.99

Barolo, Parafada, Massolino 2004
My top wine of the tasting. Exteremly expressive despite being a Barolo from the tough Serralunga. It’s a great classic which you can drink now or keep – forever. Elegant dry roses, back cherries and leather with an extremely refined tannic structure make this wine a total beauty. Mineral, juicy, meaty and very lingering. A must have. (FB) approx £45

Gratius, Toscana IGT, Il Molino di Grace 2004
Nice perfume, an explosion of ripe black cherry with some spice and a hint of chocolate. Beautiful balance, with a fine acidity and smooth tannin, good structure and complexity. (CG) £24-25

Capo di Stato, Colli Trevigiani IGT, Conte Loredan Gasparini 2004
Elegant nose, aromas of black fruit with some spice and hint of vanilla. Elegant complexity on the palate, balanced and well-structured. Drink up to 2013. (CG) £27.40

Chianti Classico, Rocca di Montegrossi 2005
Lovely perfume of crushed fresh red fruits and some undergrowth. Very fine acidity on the palate, some smooth tannin with complex red fruit characters. (CG) £15.99-17.99

Chianti Classico, Casanuova di Nittardi, Fattoria Nittardi 2005
Very vibrant fruit on the nose, some ripe cherry with hint of violet; very perfumed. Ripe tannin but smooth and well-integrated with the acidity and the perfumed characters. Great depth. (CG) £15

Chianti Rufina Riserva, Vigneto Bucerchiale, Selvapiana 2004
A northern style, authentic and very well-interpreted Sangiovese – strength, good fruit extraction, zippy acidity and loads of earthy/leathery complexity. It’s an austere wine which will need time to open up but your patience will be rewarded. (FB) £18.99

Barolo, Cerequio, Batasiolo 2000
Some development with notes of chocolate and tobacco. Complex palate with intense spicy and savoury character; balanced structure with firm tannin. Great depth. (CG) £21.65

La Grola, Veronese IGT, Allegrini 2005
Dark jammy fruit with a chocolate hint and well-integrated oak. Balanced on the palate, medium bodied with a vibrant acidity; smooth tannin. Drink up to 2011. (CG)

Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso, Pojega, Guerrieri Rizzardi 2007
Black pepper and chocolate with a dense cherry and blueberry nose. Seductive and decadent, with an elegant earthiness and a tobacco leaf touch. Very lingering, with a sweet and mineral blackberry finish. (FB)
£15

Val di Cornia, Molisso, Rubbia al Colle-Suverto, Fratelli Muratori 2003
A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Complex fruit characters with some undergrowth bouquet. Robust palate with a good structure, and clean fruit on the finish. Drink up to 2011. (CG)
£22.75

Vintage Tunina, Venezia Giulia IGT, Jermann 2006
A creamy and round wine with a full-on tropical character. Very ripe, with a citrus fruit-driven style and yet retaining a lovely honey-scented minerality. (FB) approx £30

Torgiano Rosso Riserva, Rubesco ‘Vigna Monticchio’, Cantine Giorgio Lungarotti 2003
Complex ripe fruit aromas supported by spice. Balanced on palate, with firm tannin and clean ripe fruit. Good length. (CG) £20

Chianti Classico, Barone Ricasoli 2004
A leathery and earthy nose with scents of Mediterranean herbs, violets and cherries. Good tannic structure, length and ageing potential. (FB)
£30

Soave Classico, Capitel Croce, Anselmi 2006
Concentrated and very fresh aromas of apples and pears. Intriguing creaminess and finesse on the vanilla and floral-scented palate. Very good and intense. (FB)

Campofiorin Rosso del Veronese IGT, Masi 2005
Made using the Ripasso method, this wine is packed with red cherry fruits and has a rich texture and a fine acidity. Drink up to 2010. (CG)
£8.99

A Sirio, Toscana IGT, San Gervasio 2003
Made with 95% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet, this wine shows blackberry fruit with a hint of cedarwood. Full bodied and dense on the palate, robust. (CG)

Alto Adige Pinot Grigio, Franz Haas 2006
Intense aromas with notes of bread, almond and flowers. Crisp acidity on the palate, and a long finish. Drink 2008. (CG) £10.49

Terrano, Venezia Giula IGT, Castello di Rubbia 2006
Full of forest fruit aromas with delicate spice. Medium bodied on the palate, lots of juicy red fruit with a vibrant and fresh acidity. Drink 2008. (CG) £13.99 Colasanti

Maremma Toscana, Dromo, Tenuta Poggio Verrano 2005
Perfume nose with ripe cherry fruit. Intense and complex palate, clean and pure red fruit with spice. Great depth. (CG) £27-30

Moscato d’Asti, Nivole, Michele Chiarlo 2007
Very expressive, explosion of fruit-floral aromas. Fresh acidity with low alcohol, lots of apricot and peachy notes, very refreshing, a perfect summer wine. Drink 2008. (CG) £6.99

Barbera d’Alba, Vigna del Cucculo, Cavallotto 2004
Black cherry aroma on the nose following through on to the palate, sweet spice. Good complexity, with a vibrant acidity and lots of fruit purity. (CG) £16.-20

Leverano Rosso Riserva, Terra, Conti Zecca 2004
Leather and tobacco with a fine earthiness and foral complexity. Great blackberries extraction yet retaining a lot of freshness and savouriness. Very well balanced, with an elegant black pepper finish. (FB)

Rina Lanca Grillo-Viognier, Sicilia IGT, Feudo di Santa Tresa, Casa Girelli 2006
Lots of ripe fruit, with notes of dried apricot and peach. Complex with good weight; ripe apricot on the palate and a fresh acidity. Drink 2008. (CG) £7.95

Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friulano, Colutta 2007
White pepper and acacia flowers. A very refreshing and aromatic white with a natural unoaked spiciness, aromatic power and a long mineral finish. (FB) £11.50

Cortona, Syrah, Tenimenti Luigi d’Alessandro 2006
Spicy, elegant and fruit-driven wine with an extremely refreshing palate. A very natural wine with character, savouriness and a jucy red-berry lingering palate. Great value. (FB) £8

Grechetto dei Colli Martiani, Grecante, Arnaldo Caprai 2007
Very attractive nose, clean and fresh apple with some zestiness. Crisp acidity on the palate with lots of fresh white fruit. Very enjoyable. (CG)
£10.95

Aglianico del Vulture, Il Sigillo, Cantine del Notaio 2004
An extremely slick and seductive full-bodied red displaying great extraction without being overdone. Elegant menthol and prunes aromas take your nose into a very rich and intriguing realm. Evident yet silky tannins and a vibrant acidity keep this dense Amarone-style wine from the Volcani Vulture in truly juicy shape. A must try. (FB)

Galatrona, Toscana IGT, Fattoria Petrolo 2005
Great example of Tuscan Merlot, with an elegant, smooth and dense character of blueberries, violets and black cherries. Loads of weight and body, but well integrated, with superb acidity. Rather opulent and mineral. (FB) approx £45

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Bertani 1998
Lots of ripeness on the nose, layers of chocolate and ripe cherries. Velvety palate with some sweet spice characters; full bodied and complex. Drink 2013 plus. (CG)
£60

Gattinara Riserva, Travaglini 2004
A developed bouquet with hint of violet, dried fruit with some spice. Full-bodied palate with lingering tannins and a balanced acidity. (CG) £25.76

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vigneto Poggio Sant’Enrico, Carpineto 2001
Expressive cherry and liquorice scents with a fresh floral touch. A great Sangiovese with structure, elegance and length. (FB) £43.99

Chianti Classico Riserva, Rancia, Felsina Berardenga 2005
Great freshness on the nose and the palate, some dark berry flavours with some smoky characters. Great texture and complexity on the palate supported by firm tannin. (CG) £31.69

Impero Blanc de Pinot Noir, Marche IGT, Fattoria Mancini 2006
This 100% Pinot Noir displays some lees characters with some spice from the oak. Lots of weight on the palate with creamy fruit and apple flavours. (CG) £23.99

Taurasi, Fatica Contadina, Terredora 2001
A classic Aglianico – intense leather, tobacco and liquorice nose with jam-packed blueberries. A juicy and luscious refreshing red, with undeniable ageing potential and loads of character and expressiveness. (FB)
£14

Decima Aurea, Merlot, Veneto IGT, Tenuta Santa Maria Alla Pieve 2002
Good fruit concentration on the nose; full of red cherry aromas. Firm tannins on the palate, well-structured with some savoury notes on the finish. Drink up to 2011. (CG) £29.49

Vin Santo di Carmignano, Tenuta di Capezzana 2000
Dry figs, hazelnuts and saffron. Some intriguing toastiness and vanilla scents, and then iquorice, dry apricots, dates and orange peel on the palate. A sweet and delicious Vin Santo, very viscous and lingering. (FB)

Poggio Valente, Fattoria le Pupille 2005
Delightful wine with lively blackberry fruit characters and some spice. Great balance between the acidity, the fruit and tannin. Complex on the finish. (CG) £25.15

Kepos, Maremma Toscana IGT, Ampeleia 2006
Lovely intensity, clean ripe fruit with some minerality. Ripe tannin with some black fruit; complex and good acidity. Long finish. (CG) £17

Costa di Giulia, Toscana IGT, Michele Satta 2007
Made of Vermentino and Sauvignon Blanc, the wine displays vibrant aromas of apple and lime with some smoky hints. Crisp on the palate but with lots of weight; clean and fresh finish. (CG) £13.45

Franciacorta Cuvee Brut, Bellavista NV
Made of 80% Chardonnay with some Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero, the wine shows fresh and pure citrus aromas with fresh apple. Good intensity on the palate with elegant fruit, vibrant and pure on the finish. (CG)

Pergolaia, Toscana IGT, Caiarossa 2004
Lovely perfume, elegant and delicate red fruit with some spice. Rich on the palate with a lively, lingering acidity and good depth of fruit on the finish.

Chianti Classico Riserva, Marchese Antinori, Antinori 2003
Despite the hot vintage this is a truly old-time classic Chianti Classico. A restrained and elegant red full of liquorice, cherries and leather and a touch of violets. Big tannic structure with an earthy and juicy cranberries and leather complexity. (FB)

Cepparello, Toscana IGT, Isole e Olena 2004
Smoky and tarry notes with plenty of berry fruit; well integrated new oak. Full bodied with good acid; ripe but firm tannins; spicy new oak on the finish. (CG) £38.49

Barolo, Aldo Conterno 2004
An intense and very powerful Barolo packed with cranberries and cherries. Modern and slick showing superb extraction and big tannins. Needs time to develop though. (FB) £57

Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Volpaia 2005
Red cherry and spice on the nose. Full bodied and well-structured on the palate. Great depth of fruit on the finish. (CG)

Nero d’Avola-Merlot, Ramione, Sicilia IGT, Baglio di Pianetto 2004
Orange peel and prunes with some Mediterranean spices and a cranberry complexity. Great concentration and an intriguing black pepper finish. (FB)
£25.50

Cerviolo Rosso, Toscana IGT, San Fabiano Calcinaia 2004
Ripe red cherry fruit with hint of violet and spice. Powerful on the palate, lots of black fruit with a vibrant acidity; robust and well-structured. (CG)

Freisa is Nebbiolo’s genetic father so get ready for your tar and roses fix – but with a more refreshing approach on the palate. A vibrant red berry crush wine with excellent ageing potential and great character. (FB) £7

Sassoalloro, Toscana IGT, Jacopo Biondi Santi 2005
Lots of cherry fruit with some herbaceous characters. Firm tannin with some black fruit and sweet oak on finish. (CG)
£17.53

Ribolla Gialla Brut Millesimato Spumante, Collavini 2004
Peaches and bananas for this ‘Collavini sparkling method’ Ribolla wine. A unique floral and mineral character, with a very fresh and zesty finish and a pleasant touch of creaminess. (FB) £25

Chianti Rufina, Nipozzano Riserva, Marchesi dei Frescobaldi 2001
Well structured wine with robust tannins, an elegant earthiness, some red berries and a meaty, leathery palate. Good length and balance. A classic Tuscan wine – verging on four stars. (FB) £14.99

Terrine Rosso di Toscana, Castello della Paneretta 2003
Elegant perfume with notes of blackberry and liquorice. Intense palate, elegant fruit characters with a hint of violet, silky tannins on the finish. (CG)

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Castello di Semivicoli, Masciarelli 2006
Seriously refreshing wine with a touch of hazelnut and violets. Quite lingering, with some pleasant liquorice, vanilla and peach flavours. (FB)
approx £15

Cometa, Sicilia IGT, Planeta 2007
Sweet vanilla spices and a fine apricots and jasmin flowers nose. On the palate, some lovely thyme and camomille contribute to an aromatic and smooth honeydew texture. (FB)

Collio, Pinot Grigio Russiz Superiore, Marco Felluga 2007
A well rounded wine with a tropical character, some hazelnuts and peaches, and with a pleasant spicy finish. (FB)
£14.99

Colli Orientali del Friuli Rossazzo Bianco, Terre Alte, Livio Felluga 2006
This wine has a refreshing green and grassy character with some elegant floral scents. A lingering wine with rich white and citrus fruit flavours and a well-structured (almost tannic) pleasant body. Bordering on four stars. (FB) £40

Barbaresco, Starderi, La Spinetta 2005
Blackberries and more dense black fruit combined with tobacco and chocolate make this Barbaresco a most modern and richly-extracted monumental wine. Gets a grip with some great acidity and a savoury, lingering complexity. Too young to drink now – needs time when it could go up to four stars. (FB) £85 T

Nero d’Avola, Sagana, Sicilia IGT, Cusumano 2005
An expressive tobacco and menthol-like nose. A rich and dense wine packed with ripe prunes and black cherries. (FB) approx £20

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Gersemi, Fazi Battaglia 2003
Lots of savoury aromas with some spice and cherry fruit. Full bodied on the palate, rich fruit characters with firm acidity. (CG) £17.54

Biddas Arrubias, Isola dei Nuraghi IGT, Feudi della Medusa 2005
Coffee beans and dark chocolate for a very spice-driven wine. Prunes and vanilla and more black fruit, and an elegant gun-flint finish. (FB)
£25

Cappello di Prete, Salento Rosso IGT, Candido NV
Spicy and gun flinty with a yummy red berry crush nose. A light yet intense and lingering red wine. Rich and full of character. (FB) £8

Terre del Guiscardo, Salento Rosso IGT, Antica Masseria del Sigillo 2005
Dark and inky with loads of prunes, vanilla, liquorice and cocoa powder. A dense leathery and blackberry-driven palate and a dense and complex coffee and vanilla finish. Almost warrants four stars. (FB) £14.49

Text from the decanter.com. Authors Christelle Guibert, Filippo Bartolotta

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Decanter’s Great Italian Fine Wine Encounter 2008


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Il Drappo Rosso, Sicilia IGT, Benanti 2004

Basil and peppermint on a dense blackberry extraction. A wine full of natural sweetness and vibrant acidity and a juicy lingering finish. (FB)

£16.97

Avignonesi, Vin Santo di Montepulciano Occhio di Pernice NV

Top of cream caramel, toffee, vanilla and coffee with some toasted hazelnuts and almonds. This is just the beginning for a never-ending and extremely complex real Tuscan Vin Santo. Quince marmalade, baked pear and yummy cough syrup and liquorice. Luscious, decadent, viscous and vibrant world-class dessert wine. (FB)

Valle d’Aosta, Chardonnay, Les Cretes NV

Elegance and character for a unique Alpine Chardonnay. Superb fruit extraction and oak integration, great acidity on a very silky and structured palate. Some sweet floral scents get together on a creamy and mineral intriguing finish. A wine to drink and keep. (FB) approx £30

Taurasi, Naturalis Historia, Mastroberardino 2003

Complex perfume of white truffle and mushrooms match some dense and very compact blackberry and prune aromas. A structured and firm wine with a lingering liquorice and tobacco finish. A wine to keep for many years. (FB) £27.99

Barolo, Parafada, Massolino 2004

My top wine of the tasting. Exteremly expressive despite being a Barolo from the tough Serralunga. It’s a great classic which you can drink now or keep – forever. Elegant dry roses, back cherries and leather with an extremely refined tannic structure make this wine a total beauty. Mineral, juicy, meaty and very lingering. A must have. (FB) approx £45

Gratius, Toscana IGT, Il Molino di Grace 2004

Nice perfume, an explosion of ripe black cherry with some spice and a hint of chocolate. Beautiful balance, with a fine acidity and smooth tannin, good structure and complexity. (CG) £24-25

Capo di Stato, Colli Trevigiani IGT, Conte Loredan Gasparini 2004

Elegant nose, aromas of black fruit with some spice and hint of vanilla. Elegant complexity on the palate, balanced and well-structured. Drink up to 2013. (CG) £27.40

Chianti Classico, Rocca di Montegrossi 2005

Lovely perfume of crushed fresh red fruits and some undergrowth. Very fine acidity on the palate, some smooth tannin with complex red fruit characters. (CG) £15.99-17.99

Chianti Classico, Casanuova di Nittardi, Fattoria Nittardi 2005

Very vibrant fruit on the nose, some ripe cherry with hint of violet; very perfumed. Ripe tannin but smooth and well-integrated with the acidity and the perfumed characters. Great depth. (CG) £15

Chianti Rufina Riserva, Vigneto Bucerchiale, Selvapiana 2004

A northern style, authentic and very well-interpreted Sangiovese – strength, good fruit extraction, zippy acidity and loads of earthy/leathery complexity. It’s an austere wine which will need time to open up but your patience will be rewarded. (FB) £18.99

Barolo, Cerequio, Batasiolo 2000

Some development with notes of chocolate and tobacco. Complex palate with intense spicy and savoury character; balanced structure with firm tannin. Great depth. (CG) £21.65

La Grola, Veronese IGT, Allegrini 2005

Dark jammy fruit with a chocolate hint and well-integrated oak. Balanced on the palate, medium bodied with a vibrant acidity; smooth tannin. Drink up to 2011. (CG)

Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso, Pojega, Guerrieri Rizzardi 2007

Black pepper and chocolate with a dense cherry and blueberry nose. Seductive and decadent, with an elegant earthiness and a tobacco leaf touch. Very lingering, with a sweet and mineral blackberry finish. (FB)

£15

Val di Cornia, Molisso, Rubbia al Colle-Suverto, Fratelli Muratori 2003

A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot. Complex fruit characters with some undergrowth bouquet. Robust palate with a good structure, and clean fruit on the finish. Drink up to 2011. (CG)

£22.75

Vintage Tunina, Venezia Giulia IGT, Jermann 2006

A creamy and round wine with a full-on tropical character. Very ripe, with a citrus fruit-driven style and yet retaining a lovely honey-scented minerality. (FB) approx £30

Torgiano Rosso Riserva, Rubesco ‘Vigna Monticchio’, Cantine Giorgio Lungarotti 2003

Complex ripe fruit aromas supported by spice. Balanced on palate, with firm tannin and clean ripe fruit. Good length. (CG) £20

Chianti Classico, Barone Ricasoli 2004

A leathery and earthy nose with scents of Mediterranean herbs, violets and cherries. Good tannic structure, length and ageing potential. (FB)

£30

Soave Classico, Capitel Croce, Anselmi 2006

Concentrated and very fresh aromas of apples and pears. Intriguing creaminess and finesse on the vanilla and floral-scented palate. Very good and intense. (FB)

Campofiorin Rosso del Veronese IGT, Masi 2005

Made using the Ripasso method, this wine is packed with red cherry fruits and has a rich texture and a fine acidity. Drink up to 2010. (CG)

£8.99

A Sirio, Toscana IGT, San Gervasio 2003

Made with 95% Sangiovese and 5% Cabernet, this wine shows blackberry fruit with a hint of cedarwood. Full bodied and dense on the palate, robust. (CG)

Alto Adige Pinot Grigio, Franz Haas 2006

Intense aromas with notes of bread, almond and flowers. Crisp acidity on the palate, and a long finish. Drink 2008. (CG) £10.49

Terrano, Venezia Giula IGT, Castello di Rubbia 2006

Full of forest fruit aromas with delicate spice. Medium bodied on the palate, lots of juicy red fruit with a vibrant and fresh acidity. Drink 2008. (CG) £13.99 Colasanti

Maremma Toscana, Dromo, Tenuta Poggio Verrano 2005

Perfume nose with ripe cherry fruit. Intense and complex palate, clean and pure red fruit with spice. Great depth. (CG) £27-30

Moscato d’Asti, Nivole, Michele Chiarlo 2007

Very expressive, explosion of fruit-floral aromas. Fresh acidity with low alcohol, lots of apricot and peachy notes, very refreshing, a perfect summer wine. Drink 2008. (CG) £6.99

Barbera d’Alba, Vigna del Cucculo, Cavallotto 2004

Black cherry aroma on the nose following through on to the palate, sweet spice. Good complexity, with a vibrant acidity and lots of fruit purity. (CG) £16.-20

Leverano Rosso Riserva, Terra, Conti Zecca 2004

Leather and tobacco with a fine earthiness and foral complexity. Great blackberries extraction yet retaining a lot of freshness and savouriness. Very well balanced, with an elegant black pepper finish. (FB)

Rina Lanca Grillo-Viognier, Sicilia IGT, Feudo di Santa Tresa, Casa Girelli 2006

Lots of ripe fruit, with notes of dried apricot and peach. Complex with good weight; ripe apricot on the palate and a fresh acidity. Drink 2008. (CG) £7.95

Colli Orientali del Friuli, Friulano, Colutta 2007

White pepper and acacia flowers. A very refreshing and aromatic white with a natural unoaked spiciness, aromatic power and a long mineral finish. (FB) £11.50

Cortona, Syrah, Tenimenti Luigi d’Alessandro 2006

Spicy, elegant and fruit-driven wine with an extremely refreshing palate. A very natural wine with character, savouriness and a jucy red-berry lingering palate. Great value. (FB) £8

Grechetto dei Colli Martiani, Grecante, Arnaldo Caprai 2007

Very attractive nose, clean and fresh apple with some zestiness. Crisp acidity on the palate with lots of fresh white fruit. Very enjoyable. (CG)

£10.95

Aglianico del Vulture, Il Sigillo, Cantine del Notaio 2004

An extremely slick and seductive full-bodied red displaying great extraction without being overdone. Elegant menthol and prunes aromas take your nose into a very rich and intriguing realm. Evident yet silky tannins and a vibrant acidity keep this dense Amarone-style wine from the Volcani Vulture in truly juicy shape. A must try. (FB)

Galatrona, Toscana IGT, Fattoria Petrolo 2005

Great example of Tuscan Merlot, with an elegant, smooth and dense character of blueberries, violets and black cherries. Loads of weight and body, but well integrated, with superb acidity. Rather opulent and mineral. (FB) approx £45

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Bertani 1998

Lots of ripeness on the nose, layers of chocolate and ripe cherries. Velvety palate with some sweet spice characters; full bodied and complex. Drink 2013 plus. (CG)

£60

Gattinara Riserva, Travaglini 2004

A developed bouquet with hint of violet, dried fruit with some spice. Full-bodied palate with lingering tannins and a balanced acidity. (CG) £25.76

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Vigneto Poggio Sant’Enrico, Carpineto 2001

Expressive cherry and liquorice scents with a fresh floral touch. A great Sangiovese with structure, elegance and length. (FB) £43.99

Chianti Classico Riserva, Rancia, Felsina Berardenga 2005

Great freshness on the nose and the palate, some dark berry flavours with some smoky characters. Great texture and complexity on the palate supported by firm tannin. (CG) £31.69

Impero Blanc de Pinot Noir, Marche IGT, Fattoria Mancini 2006

This 100% Pinot Noir displays some lees characters with some spice from the oak. Lots of weight on the palate with creamy fruit and apple flavours. (CG) £23.99

Taurasi, Fatica Contadina, Terredora 2001

A classic Aglianico – intense leather, tobacco and liquorice nose with jam-packed blueberries. A juicy and luscious refreshing red, with undeniable ageing potential and loads of character and expressiveness. (FB)

£14

Decima Aurea, Merlot, Veneto IGT, Tenuta Santa Maria Alla Pieve 2002

Good fruit concentration on the nose; full of red cherry aromas. Firm tannins on the palate, well-structured with some savoury notes on the finish. Drink up to 2011. (CG) £29.49

Vin Santo di Carmignano, Tenuta di Capezzana 2000

Dry figs, hazelnuts and saffron. Some intriguing toastiness and vanilla scents, and then iquorice, dry apricots, dates and orange peel on the palate. A sweet and delicious Vin Santo, very viscous and lingering. (FB)

Poggio Valente, Fattoria le Pupille 2005

Delightful wine with lively blackberry fruit characters and some spice. Great balance between the acidity, the fruit and tannin. Complex on the finish. (CG) £25.15

Kepos, Maremma Toscana IGT, Ampeleia 2006

Lovely intensity, clean ripe fruit with some minerality. Ripe tannin with some black fruit; complex and good acidity. Long finish. (CG) £17

Costa di Giulia, Toscana IGT, Michele Satta 2007

Made of Vermentino and Sauvignon Blanc, the wine displays vibrant aromas of apple and lime with some smoky hints. Crisp on the palate but with lots of weight; clean and fresh finish. (CG) £13.45

Franciacorta Cuvee Brut, Bellavista NV

Made of 80% Chardonnay with some Pinot Bianco and Pinot Nero, the wine shows fresh and pure citrus aromas with fresh apple. Good intensity on the palate with elegant fruit, vibrant and pure on the finish. (CG)

Pergolaia, Toscana IGT, Caiarossa 2004

Lovely perfume, elegant and delicate red fruit with some spice. Rich on the palate with a lively, lingering acidity and good depth of fruit on the finish.

Chianti Classico Riserva, Marchese Antinori, Antinori 2003

Despite the hot vintage this is a truly old-time classic Chianti Classico. A restrained and elegant red full of liquorice, cherries and leather and a touch of violets. Big tannic structure with an earthy and juicy cranberries and leather complexity. (FB)

Cepparello, Toscana IGT, Isole e Olena 2004

Smoky and tarry notes with plenty of berry fruit; well integrated new oak. Full bodied with good acid; ripe but firm tannins; spicy new oak on the finish. (CG) £38.49

Barolo, Aldo Conterno 2004

An intense and very powerful Barolo packed with cranberries and cherries. Modern and slick showing superb extraction and big tannins. Needs time to develop though. (FB) £57

Chianti Classico Riserva, Castello di Volpaia 2005

Red cherry and spice on the nose. Full bodied and well-structured on the palate. Great depth of fruit on the finish. (CG)

Nero d’Avola-Merlot, Ramione, Sicilia IGT, Baglio di Pianetto 2004

Orange peel and prunes with some Mediterranean spices and a cranberry complexity. Great concentration and an intriguing black pepper finish. (FB)

£25.50

Cerviolo Rosso, Toscana IGT, San Fabiano Calcinaia 2004

Ripe red cherry fruit with hint of violet and spice. Powerful on the palate, lots of black fruit with a vibrant acidity; robust and well-structured. (CG)

Freisa is Nebbiolo’s genetic father so get ready for your tar and roses fix – but with a more refreshing approach on the palate. A vibrant red berry crush wine with excellent ageing potential and great character. (FB) £7

Sassoalloro, Toscana IGT, Jacopo Biondi Santi 2005

Lots of cherry fruit with some herbaceous characters. Firm tannin with some black fruit and sweet oak on finish. (CG)

£17.53

Ribolla Gialla Brut Millesimato Spumante, Collavini 2004

Peaches and bananas for this ‘Collavini sparkling method’ Ribolla wine. A unique floral and mineral character, with a very fresh and zesty finish and a pleasant touch of creaminess. (FB) £25

Chianti Rufina, Nipozzano Riserva, Marchesi dei Frescobaldi 2001

Well structured wine with robust tannins, an elegant earthiness, some red berries and a meaty, leathery palate. Good length and balance. A classic Tuscan wine – verging on four stars. (FB) £14.99

Terrine Rosso di Toscana, Castello della Paneretta 2003

Elegant perfume with notes of blackberry and liquorice. Intense palate, elegant fruit characters with a hint of violet, silky tannins on the finish. (CG)

Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Castello di Semivicoli, Masciarelli 2006

Seriously refreshing wine with a touch of hazelnut and violets. Quite lingering, with some pleasant liquorice, vanilla and peach flavours. (FB)

approx £15

Cometa, Sicilia IGT, Planeta 2007

Sweet vanilla spices and a fine apricots and jasmin flowers nose. On the palate, some lovely thyme and camomille contribute to an aromatic and smooth honeydew texture. (FB)

Collio, Pinot Grigio Russiz Superiore, Marco Felluga 2007

A well rounded wine with a tropical character, some hazelnuts and peaches, and with a pleasant spicy finish. (FB)

£14.99

Colli Orientali del Friuli Rossazzo Bianco, Terre Alte, Livio Felluga 2006

This wine has a refreshing green and grassy character with some elegant floral scents. A lingering wine with rich white and citrus fruit flavours and a well-structured (almost tannic) pleasant body. Bordering on four stars. (FB) £40

Barbaresco, Starderi, La Spinetta 2005

Blackberries and more dense black fruit combined with tobacco and chocolate make this Barbaresco a most modern and richly-extracted monumental wine. Gets a grip with some great acidity and a savoury, lingering complexity. Too young to drink now – needs time when it could go up to four stars. (FB) £85 T

Nero d’Avola, Sagana, Sicilia IGT, Cusumano 2005

An expressive tobacco and menthol-like nose. A rich and dense wine packed with ripe prunes and black cherries. (FB) approx £20

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Gersemi, Fazi Battaglia 2003

Lots of savoury aromas with some spice and cherry fruit. Full bodied on the palate, rich fruit characters with firm acidity. (CG) £17.54

Biddas Arrubias, Isola dei Nuraghi IGT, Feudi della Medusa 2005

Coffee beans and dark chocolate for a very spice-driven wine. Prunes and vanilla and more black fruit, and an elegant gun-flint finish. (FB)

£25

Cappello di Prete, Salento Rosso IGT, Candido NV

Spicy and gun flinty with a yummy red berry crush nose. A light yet intense and lingering red wine. Rich and full of character. (FB) £8

Terre del Guiscardo, Salento Rosso IGT, Antica Masseria del Sigillo 2005

Dark and inky with loads of prunes, vanilla, liquorice and cocoa powder. A dense leathery and blackberry-driven palate and a dense and complex coffee and vanilla finish. Almost warrants four stars. (FB) £14.49

Text from the decanter.com. Authors Christelle Guibert, Filippo Bartolotta

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