Italy


Showing 1–12 of 19 results

  • Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2017

    £58.95

    “Allegrini is located in the Fumane sub-zone of Valpolicella, and it maintains vineyards throughout the Classica zone, which aids in creating a balanced expression of Amarone, the flagship of this venerable estate. As with many producers of the region, a new project has also begun in the Lugana growing area, where Allegrini is trying their hand at a blend of Turbiana and Cortese grape varieties to create their new Lugana Oasi Mantellina, now in its second vintage. What’s more, Marilisa Allegrini, current generation and owner of the estate, spoke in detail about many of the changes at the winery and throughout the region. One trend, which can be witnessed at Allegrini, is a push toward more IGT-classified wines, which allows producers to experiment with the region’s native varieties, as well as international grapes, without adhering to the blending rules of Valpolicella and Amarone. In the case of Allegrini, and in the trajectory I favor, it’s an interest in the potential of Corvinone, both as the primary grape within a blend or as a varietal wine. The results can be witnessed through the 2015 La Poja, included in these reviews, which was a standout in my tastings. However, there is also a new Valpolicella project that will be more focused on Corvinone. As much as I love to see producers pushing boundaries, my only fear is that many of these wines will be swallowed up by the sheer size of Italy’s IGT classification, and they may never receive the recognition they truly deserve. Another varietal wine to look out for is the La Poja, a 100% Corvina Veronese that doesn’t see any air-drying yet shows remarkable depth and concentration. That said, the wine that still impresses me most here is the Amarone. The 2016 that was tasted for this report is a force to be reckoned with.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (02/21)

    In Stock

  • Allegrini La Poja 2016

    £74.99

    “Allegrini is located in the Fumane sub-zone of Valpolicella, and it maintains vineyards throughout the Classica zone, which aids in creating a balanced expression of Amarone, the flagship of this venerable estate. As with many producers of the region, a new project has also begun in the Lugana growing area, where Allegrini is trying their hand at a blend of Turbiana and Cortese grape varieties to create their new Lugana Oasi Mantellina, now in its second vintage. What’s more, Marilisa Allegrini, current generation and owner of the estate, spoke in detail about many of the changes at the winery and throughout the region. One trend, which can be witnessed at Allegrini, is a push toward more IGT-classified wines, which allows producers to experiment with the region’s native varieties, as well as international grapes, without adhering to the blending rules of Valpolicella and Amarone. In the case of Allegrini, and in the trajectory I favor, it’s an interest in the potential of Corvinone, both as the primary grape within a blend or as a varietal wine. The results can be witnessed through the 2015 La Poja, included in these reviews, which was a standout in my tastings. However, there is also a new Valpolicella project that will be more focused on Corvinone. As much as I love to see producers pushing boundaries, my only fear is that many of these wines will be swallowed up by the sheer size of Italy’s IGT classification, and they may never receive the recognition they truly deserve. Another varietal wine to look out for is the La Poja, a 100% Corvina Veronese that doesn’t see any air-drying yet shows remarkable depth and concentration. That said, the wine that still impresses me most here is the Amarone. The 2016 that was tasted for this report is a force to be reckoned with.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (02/21)

    In Stock

  • Casa Coste Piane Valdobbiadene Prosecco N.V.

    £20.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

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    Le Salette Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2015

    £34.75

    “The 2015 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico sees four months of appassimento, and the blend is 70% Corvina and Corvinone, followed by 30% Croatina, Rondinella and Oseleta. Add in the 30 months of aging between barrique and botte grande and you get so much plush and ripe black fruit here, with spice, tar, cured tobacco and new leather. The moderate residual sugar adds to the wine’s thick volume and softness, making it a nice pairing with a rich liver dish such as the local fegato alla Veneziana. Some 25,000 bottles were made. Drink: 2019-2030. 93 points

    Le Salette makes some of my favorite wines in Valpolicella. Franco Scamperle and his team have purchased an additional two hectares of vines in the Fumane area, where higher altitudes allow for the diurnal shifts between day and nighttime temperatures that are so important to maintaining structure and vibrancy in the local wines.”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (244)

    In Stock

  • Le Salette Pergole Vece Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016

    £89.99

    “The 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Pergole Vece is especially spry and lifted, offering smoky minerals, citrus-tinged blackberries and hints of confectioner’s spice. It keeps the energy high from start to finish, as silky textures gain momentum through juicy acids, giving way to medicinal cherries, minty herbs and a hint of bitter espresso bean. The 2016 doesn’t miss a beat, with a caking of fruit concentrate creating a sensation of tension under an air of sweet inner florals. While I’m loving the vibrancy here, I expected more depth from the 2016 vintage, as well as an old-vine bottling. 80% Corvina, Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, Oseleta. Drinking window: 2021-2030. 91 points”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (02/21)

    In Stock

  • Le Salette Pergole Vece Recioto della Valpolicella 2012 (500ml)

    £39.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Maculan Acininobili 2012 (375ml)

    £49.99

    “The 2012 Acininobili Bianco Passito is a stunning rendition of the native Vespaiola grape, offering impressive depth, complexity and personality. This is a terrific dessert wine made with grapes that were air-dried for up to 120 days following the harvest and that also developed Botrytis cinerea during the careful appassimento process. The wine is made in various formats (with 1,500 375-milliliter bottles and 700 750-milliliter bottles). I tasted the wine in the larger-format bottle, but it is only released in the smaller format in the United States market. Basically, the same Vespaiola grapes that go into the Torcolato wine are used here. At the end of the drying process, those clusters that have developed Noble Rot are selected by hand and directed into this precious wine instead. If the Noble Rot does not occur, this wine is not produced. The results are really quite extraordinary, with candied orange peel, maple syrup and golden honey. The mouthful is rich and viscous, wrapping over the palate in smooth and steady waves of gorgeous intensity. This is a true nectar of the vines. Drink: 2019-2040. 97+ points

    This is a great time to enjoy the celebrated wines of Maculan. The vineyards are in their prime production years, having celebrated their 20th birthday. Some new vineyards have also been planted with mildew resistant clones that will one day make two new wines, one red and one white. This estate is located within the Breganze appellation in the northern part of Vicenza province. This appellation measures 700 hectares in size and is home to only 17 wineries. The DOC was founded in 1969 and allows for French varieties such as Pinot Nero and Cabernet Sauvignon. Some 70% of the wine zone is located on hills with soils of volcanic origin. The other 30% of the appellation is in the flatlands with clay and gravel soils (at 100 to 300 meters above sea level).”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (09/19)

    In Stock

  • Marion Amarone della Valpolicella 2014

    £69.99

    “Marion is located in Marcellise, on the hills east of Verona and just outside of the Soave production zone. At this address, there has always been a focus on pure ripe fruits and a more balanced style instead of leaning on the overuse of appassimento and oak to create large-scale and confectionary wines. At one time, their claim to fame was in part a collaboration with Celestino Gaspari, who had gained recognition working with Giuseppe Quintarelli, and who also went on to create Zyme. In fact, this was the selling point that caught my attention many years ago and got me tasting Marion wines. I’m glad I did, because this continues to be a winery worth watching, even if they’ve morphed slightly in style and work with a new team. The fact is that the real driving force since the very beginning, and what continues to make this winery special, are the owners, Stefano Campedelli and his wife, Nicoletta Fornasa, who are constantly experimenting with methods to bring further refinement to their portfolio. For one thing, there is a constant move toward increasing the percentage of larger, neutral-aging vessels, at this time 30-hectoliter Slavonian oak. Marion has always been known to rely mostly on a combination of tonneaux and large casks, but today, the use of tonneaux has gone down even further to around 10%, and all untoasted. What’s more, Campedelli explained to me that they are looking to reduce the amount of residual sugar in their wines, “wines that you can drink rather than fleshy big-boned wines,” proudly stating that the 2016 Valpolicella comes in at zero grams per liter. Speaking of the wines, the two vintages of Valpolicella (2015 and 2016) were both fantastic, but there is really something special about the 2016, which punches well above its price point. Also from 2016, the Amarone is one to buy and bury in the cellar. Another great showing was the Teroldego, from vines planted using cuttings from Elisabetta Foradori. The 2015 is pure elegance in a glass, and it’s really quite unique. It’s produced using partial appassimento, and it matures just as much as the house Amarone, for three years in large oak and tonneaux. In fact, the only wine from this year’s submission that didn’t find a way to impress me was the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon, again produced using partial appassimento. It simply didn’t have the depth and structure that you’d expect from both the vintage and the winemaking process. It was simply too easy to like. Overall, though, Marion continues to be at the top of their game.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (02/21)

    In Stock

  • Masi Costasera Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016

    £38.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Masi Riserva di Costasera Amarone Classico 2015

    £54.99

    “The 2015 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Costasera displays exotic brown spices, hints of fresh coffee grinds, crushed cherries and a lifting note of camphor. It’s a round and silky expression with a cooling wave of ripe purple-tinged fruits. Vibrant acidity maintains energy, as this comes across as elegant and harmonious. Dark chocolate, raspberries, licorice and pretty inner florals linger on and on and on. The 2015 is remarkably pretty and should excel through medium-term cellaring. 70% Corvina, 15% Rondinella, 10% Oseleta, 5% Molinara. Drinking window: 2022-2034. 93 points

    Masi acquired the Serego Alighieri estate and vineyards in 1973. This is also, arguably, the most historic estate in the Valpolicella, with a history that goes back over 650 years, which is when the son of Dante Alighieri (the poet) purchased the property. While wine was always part of the family traditions, their vast holdings also included a large amount of agriculture, including cherry trees. It was these same cherry trees that would go on to form one of the signatures of Serego Alighieri Amarone, that being the period of aging which takes place in cherry wood casks – a practice that continues to this day. In fact, it was explained to me by Raffaele Boscaini, general manager of Masi Technical Group and seventh-generation family member, that when the original purchase took place, it was suggested that the Serego Alighieri family do away with the cherry wood casks, but they refused. This may have been fate, because to this day, the Amarone of Serego Alighieri is a standout within the Masi Portfolio. Another trademark of the estate is the reliance on botrytis (noble rot) in most vintages of Serego Alighieri, which adds to the wines’ glycerol-like textures and a perception of sweetness, in spite of their average residual sugar leveling out between four and six grams per liter. These are Amarone that perform beautifully upon release, but they also age at a glacial pace. This fact was proven to me by a mini-vertical of late-release, reconditioned bottles that spanned 1988 to 2008. Only one vintage out of six was even starting to decline, the 1990. It’s important to note that while Serego Alighieri remains under the umbrella of the Masi Technical Group, it operates as its own entity. One recent change at the winery was the introduction of a new selected yeast in 2012, which was developed from three separate ambient yeasts from the estate. In the end, if you’re looking for a classic Amarone that can stand the test of time, Serego Alighieri should be on your shortlist.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (02/21)

    In Stock

  • Orto di Venezia 2016

    £39.99

    “Bright golden-tinged yellow. Deep aromas and flavors of pomaceous orchard fruit, peach and ginger have a strong aromatic herb note. Fresh and well-delineated on entry, then ripe and viscous, with a strong fragrant note on the long suave rich finish. A much riper, perfumed and almost oilier version of this wine’s past vintages that have been far more mineral and crisp. A serious wine of real concentration and depth, but I’m not sure this heavier set, riper and spicier wine is my favorite incarnation of Orto di Venezia. Reportedly mostly Malvasia Istriana. Drink: 2019-2023. 91 points”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (07/19)

    In Stock

  • Quintarelli Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2012

    £274.95

    “It’s rare that you take in the aromas of an Amarone and the first thing that comes to mind is how wonderfully fresh and perfumed it is, but that’s exactly what you’ll experience from the 2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico from Quintarelli. Sour cherries are complicated by notes of rose, sweet spice and hints of cedar and mint. It’s deeply textural yet precise, with a polished and pure display of purple-tinged red fruit contrasted by zesty acids and a slight herbal twang. Remarkably feminine and undeniably elegant, with a slow-mounting structure that sneaks up on you through the finale. This gentle giant tapers off long and floral, only hinting at the depths that further cellaring will bring. 55% Corvina, Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 15% Cabernet, Nebbiolo, Croatina, Sangiovese. Drink: 2023-2036. 94 points

    Quintarelli, located within the Valpolicella Classica region on the hills above the town of Negrar, strives to respect the legend and traditions established by Giuseppe Quintarelli over a career that spanned 60 years. During that time, Quintarelli oversaw the work of many of the region’s best modern-day winemakers. For vineyard managers, cellar assistants, and enologists, time spent within the hallowed walls of this winery and cellar was like a golden seal of approval in the winemaking circles of the Veneto. It was with this in mind that the current generation set forward, after Quintarelli’s passing in 2012, to continue to work with the teams of winemakers and assistants that had gained knowledge under his guidance and that of Roberto Ferrarini, the estate’s trusted enologist, who also passed away in 2014. As readers can imagine, the loss of these two prominent figures meant that the current generation, led by Fiorenza Grigoli (Giuseppe’s daughter), needed to quickly get a handle on all of the intricate details and practices that went into creating this portfolio. While speaking with Francesco Grigoli Quintarelli (Giuseppe’s grandson), the assistant manager of the property, he spoke in detail about how they only wished to make slow and careful changes, which started to take place in 2009. These included a reduction in oxidation, better control over the use of sulfites and lowering the average percentage of alcohol in the wines. The goal was to create a crisper, more vivid expression of fruit. Otherwise, practices have remained the same. Vineyard management can be described as natural yet practical, intervening only when the vintage demands it; and while passive air-drying of the grapes is preferred, the family is also prepared to use mechanical means if necessary to safeguard the health of the fruit. As for the current vintages, they show terrific purity of fruit and also come across cleaner. That said, Grigoli told me that his next goal is to bring back a bit more of Giuseppe’s character to future vintages.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (02/21)

    In Stock