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Showing 157–168 of 184 results

  • Felsina Berardenga Colonia Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2018

    £94.99

    “The 2018 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Colonia is fascinating to taste next to the Rancia, as the two parcels are adjacent. Rich and substantial in the glass, Colonia is textured and ample, qualities that become increasingly apparent over time. Rugged, rocky terrain seems to amplify power, explosive verticality and acidity. Drinking window: 2026-2043. 97 points

    These new releases from Fèlsina will give readers a very good idea of the style of current vintages. The Fèlsina Chianti Classicos have generally been wines of power. What impresses me most about the flagship Rancia and Colonia in 2018 is their finesse. Readers on a budget will want to check out the straight Chianti Classico, a wine that offers superb quality and value, yet also has the potential to age. In short, this is another stellar set of wines from the team led by Giuseppe Mazzocolin and Giovanni Poggiali. Fèlsina fans will also want to check out the wines of sister estates Castello di Farnetella and Pagliarese.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/21)

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  • Ferdinando Principiano Barolo Boscareto 2016

    £71.99

    “The 2016 Barolo Boscareto is laced with crushed raspberry, cinnamon, orange peel and mint. Medium in body and delicate, the 2016 is enticing. Readers should expect a perfumed, gracious Barolo that shows an ethereal side of Serralunga that is quite unique. Drinking window: 2024-2034. 92 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (02/21)

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  • Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2017

    £56.99

    “The 2017 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo is a dense, packed wine. It is also surprisingly, almost shockingly backward. That is probably a good thing for its long-term aging prospects. Readers hoping to get an early glimpse into the 2017 before it shuts down may have a hard time doing that, as today acids and tannin dominate. I expect the 2017 will be stellar in another 4-5 years and drink well to age 25-30 if not longer. Proprietor Giovanni Manetti gave the 2017 18 months in barrique followed by 6 months in cask. Drinking window: 2027-2042. 96+ points

    I tasted a wide range of wines this year from Fontodi and proprietor Giovanni Manetti. The Filetta di Lamole Chianti Classico is a good example of a wine that is often a bit linear, but fills out a bit because of the heat of the growing season. Fontodi’s Chianti Classico is a sort of super-wine in its peer group, as it really has very few peers. It is also quite expressive today. I can’t say the same for the dual flagships Vigna del Sorbo and Flacciannello. Both wines are usually quite showy, but the 2017s are going to demand quite a bit of patience. I also had a chance to revisit the 2016s, which are every bit as magical as they were last year.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/20)

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  • Frank Cornelissen MunJebel Rosso 2019

    £41.99

    “The 2019 Nerello Mascalese Munjebel seduces with a rich and sweetly scented bouquet of crushed black cherries, dried roses and cloves. It’s silky in texture, enveloping all that it touches with ripe red fruits and spices, nicely framed by saturating minerality, as inner violet florals form toward the close. There are tannins here, but they don’t get in the way; instead, they create a perfectly dry platform where notes of lavender, plum and allspice hover above. The Munjebel is a blend of fruit from Frank Cornelissen’s vineyards across the northern valley of Etna. It aims to please, and it will excel at doing so through short-term cellaring. Drinking window: 2021-2027. 92 points

    Frank Cornelissen arrived on Mount Etna in 2001 at the head of a small handful of producers who would go on to make this region famous, but fame was never his intention. The goal throughout the twenty-four hectares of Cornelissen vineyards and in the winery was to create an entirely holistic approach of capturing a snapshot of the natural ecosystem and biodiversity of Mount Etna within each bottle. This approach prohibits the use of any chemical fertilizer or pesticide in the vineyards. Only in the most difficult vintages will copper sulphate and sulfur be used, and only to prevent a complete loss of fruit. Yields are drastically reduced and harvests are completed late throughout all Munjebel, Frank Cornelissen’s single contrade or Crus, which are located in the northern valley of Mount Etna. The vineyards, many of which contain extremely old alberello or bush-trained vines, are between 600 to 1,000 meters in elevation, planted in a diverse mix of soils formed through thousands of years of volcanic activity on the Etna. In the winery, the focus is to add nothing, yet take nothing away. Fermentations start spontaneously and are completed in neutral tubs which naturally keep temperatures low. For the more structured wines, they are refined in epoxy-coated terracotta, buried up to their necks in volcanic soil. Most fans of wines from Etna have all heard this story, but if they never experienced the results, then it’s impossible to truly understand what Frank Cornelissen has accomplished. Throughout the area, there are many producers that are now turning out world-class wines, but finding one that obtains such depth of texture, the unique character of fruit aromas and flavors, and with the potential to mature evenly in a cellar, without the use of any winemaking wizardry, is not easy to do. Granted, these wines are extremely vintage-dependent, which they should be. At the top the wines can also be cost prohibitive, yet the entry-level Susucaru is a wonderful introduction to the house style. Also, readers should note that if mishandled or not stored correctly, these wines are likely to be adversely affected much quicker than other wines – but that is the price for experiencing the purity of Mount Etna; because in the end, that’s what Frank Cornelissen is bottling.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (06/21)

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  • Frank Cornelissen MunJebel Rosso VA 2017

    £59.99

    “The 2017 Mascalese Munjebel VA wafts up with a layered yet lifted display, as white smoke, cardamom and peppery herbs give way to crushed cherries and hints of clove. It’s silky and pliant in feel, motivated by juicy acidity that enlivens its tart and spicy woodland berry fruit. A subtle coating of sweet tannins and hints of hard red candies linger, contrasted by salty minerals, making for a nicely balanced and lightly structured finale. This is such a pretty expression of the vintage, and it’s already drinking very well. Drinking window: 2021-2026. 92 points

    Frank Cornelissen arrived on Mount Etna in 2001 at the head of a small handful of producers who would go on to make this region famous, but fame was never his intention. The goal throughout the twenty-four hectares of Cornelissen vineyards and in the winery was to create an entirely holistic approach of capturing a snapshot of the natural ecosystem and biodiversity of Mount Etna within each bottle. This approach prohibits the use of any chemical fertilizer or pesticide in the vineyards. Only in the most difficult vintages will copper sulphate and sulfur be used, and only to prevent a complete loss of fruit. Yields are drastically reduced and harvests are completed late throughout all Munjebel, Frank Cornelissen’s single contrade or Crus, which are located in the northern valley of Mount Etna. The vineyards, many of which contain extremely old alberello or bush-trained vines, are between 600 to 1,000 meters in elevation, planted in a diverse mix of soils formed through thousands of years of volcanic activity on the Etna. In the winery, the focus is to add nothing, yet take nothing away. Fermentations start spontaneously and are completed in neutral tubs which naturally keep temperatures low. For the more structured wines, they are refined in epoxy-coated terracotta, buried up to their necks in volcanic soil. Most fans of wines from Etna have all heard this story, but if they never experienced the results, then it’s impossible to truly understand what Frank Cornelissen has accomplished. Throughout the area, there are many producers that are now turning out world-class wines, but finding one that obtains such depth of texture, the unique character of fruit aromas and flavors, and with the potential to mature evenly in a cellar, without the use of any winemaking wizardry, is not easy to do. Granted, these wines are extremely vintage-dependent, which they should be. At the top the wines can also be cost prohibitive, yet the entry-level Susucaru is a wonderful introduction to the house style. Also, readers should note that if mishandled or not stored correctly, these wines are likely to be adversely affected much quicker than other wines – but that is the price for experiencing the purity of Mount Etna; because in the end, that’s what Frank Cornelissen is bottling.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (06/21)

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  • G.D. Vajra Barolo Ravera 2017

    £65.75

    “The 2017 Barolo Ravera is gorgeous right out of the gate. I am so impressed with its depth and pedigree. Rose petal, sweet red berry fruit, lavender, spice and dried herbs are all finely delineated in a Barolo of tremendous presence. Orange peel, cinnamon and cedar develop later, adding shades of dimension. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s stature and power. The 2017 is going to be fascinating to follow. Today, it is just breathtaking. That’s all there is to it. Drinking window: 2025-2041. 95 points

    The Vajra family produced a bevy of stellar wines from both their estates, G.D. Vajra in Barolo and Baudana in Serralunga. The 2017s are deep, fleshy and impeccably balanced. All of the 2017s were fermented in steel, where they spent 50-60 days on the skins, including submerged cap maceration at the end. Aging was done mostly in cask, with some smaller neutral oak barrels.

    “Most of our work in the vineyard is done by June,” Aldo Vajra told me. “What vines don’t like are sudden changes, so we try to do most of our work early. It’s not just the heat that is an issue, but also direct sunlight on the berries. In 2017 we left a little more fruit on the vine in order to maintain freshness and delay harvest as much as possible.””

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (02/21)

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  • Il Paradiso di Manfredi Rosso di Montalcino 2020

    £45.95

    Review to follow

    The history of Il Paradiso di Manfredi starts back in 1914 with the birth of Manfredi Martini in Montalcino. Fast-forward to the 1950s and he was working for the only producer in Montalcino in those days, the iconic Biondi-Santi. He and his wife, Fortunata, then purchased an estate in 1958. Apparently, the name Il Paradiso stemmed from a priest who lived with the Martinis in the early 1900s deeming the area paradise. Thus, the estate of Il Paradiso di Manfredi was born. However, the sobriquet wasn’t totally appropriate as there was a catastrophic winter in the sixties which was so bad that it destroyed the estate’s olive trees! Luckily for wine lovers, this led directly to Manfredi replacing these trees with vines instead. In 1967, he was amongst a group who founded the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino association and, at that point, there were only twelve producers – today there are around 200! Following his death in 1982, Florio Guerrini, his son-in-law, took over with the help of his wife, Rosella.

    The compact estate of three hectares is nestled on the side of the hill on which the town of Montalcino is perched. Of these, two and a half hectares are planted to vine – two of which produce Brunello di Montalcino from Sangiovese Grosso (called Brunello here). Sangiovese is also the grape of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano amongst others. From these two and a half hectares, they produce between 6,000 and 8,000 bottles of Brunello plus between 1,800 and 3,000 bottles of Rosso di Montalcino per year. In addition, 1,200 bottles of Riserva are made in years deemed special by the family. The artisanal nature of production here can be compared to that of Banfi who produce more than 50,000 cases of Brunello per year!

    The vineyards are placed on terraces, parallel along the hill of Montalcino, with varying altitudes (approximately 300 metres above sea level) and are exposed on the north side. This is a land rich in fossils and shells and they provide excellent nourishment to the vines’ roots. These north-facing vineyards produce lithe, refined wines with redcurrant and sour red-cherry aromas and flavours compared to those from the southern sectors which tend towards riper, red-cherry and even dark plum aromas and flavours along with a much richer mouthfeel. These stark differences can sometimes lead to the two types feeling like different wines altogether as Sangiovese is so good at transmitting its terroir. There are seven different vineyard parcels and a mixture of all these aids the wine’s complexity.

    Following such a long history as regards Brunello, it will come as no surprise that the estate has made wine using traditional methods since its inception. Manfredi never used herbicides and fertilisers and this approach has been followed by the present incumbents. Thus, this estate long preceded the trend of biodynamic viticulture but they are now classified as such!

    As previously mentioned, things stay along traditional lines in the winery (a 19th century construction). The grapes are fermented in cement-lined tanks with wild yeasts. The wine is then transferred by gravity into large Slavonian oak barrels. The Brunellos remain in these barrels for at least three years and sometimes longer – 36 to 40 months for the Brunello and 48 to 54 months for the Riserva. However, the Rosso only sees the barrels for approximately 14 months. The wine is bottled without ever having suffered the stress of being pumped. There is no fining, no filtration and no acidification. All of this allows the wine to speak clearly of its terroir.

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  • Le Chiuse Brunello di Montalcino 2014

    £59.99

    “Moderately saturated red. Scents of red cherry, plum and fresh apple are complicated by spice and underbrush. The firm palate is animated by a squeeze of fresh citrus that lift the red fruit and underbrush flavors. A hint of salinity offers a juicy note to the repeating, nicely persistent tobacco and red cherry flavors on the long suave finish. Another outstanding Brunello from this estate that has been on a real roll of late. Well done. Drink: 2020-2030. 92 points”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (03/19)

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  • Le Chiuse Rosso di Montalcino 2018

    £27.49

    “Very pretty bright red color. Intense violet, black cherry and licorice on the nose. Then similar flavors in the mouth, with a balsamic note lingering nicely on the youthfully chewy, persistent and strongly spicy (cloves, especially) finish. Interestingly, this enters herbal and develops more and more fruit as it sits in the glass. 70% Sangiovese grown around Le Chiuse’s winery and 30% Sangiovese from the Pullera plot near the Biondi-Santi winery. Aged 14 months of used 20-30hL Slavonian oak. Drinking window: 2020-2024. 91 points

    Part of Le Chiuse’s vineyards once belonged to Biondi-Santi, and were used for that estate’s world-famous Brunello Riserva. When Tancredi Biondi-Santi died, the property was divided between Franco and Fiorella Biondi-Santi. The latter was current Le Chiuse owner Simonetta Valiani’s mother. Simonetta wanted to make wine a long time ago and began doing so in 1992 aided by her husband Niccolò Magnelli. During the first years Franco Biondi-Santi graciously acted as a mentor, helping them choose massal selections from the Biondi-Santi Il Greppo estate. The estate’s first Rosso was the 1992, the first Brunello was the 1993 and the first Brunello Riserva the 1995. Simonetta Valiani’s son Lorenzo Magnelli now runs the estate. Though Magnelli studied enology for two years, he was needed back at the estate in 2006, in the meantime he managed also a stint of 3 months working at Rubicon in California. 2006 was the year the estate hired Valentino Ciarla, a well-known Italian winemaking consultant, who is still on board today. Le Chiuse is a very traditional estate, amongst the first to harvest every year (clearly, very much following Biondi-Santi’s example). Lorenzo Magnelli lives on the estate and pays extreme attention to harvesting at the optimal time; living at the winery enables him to intervene at precisely the right time. The estate owns eight hectares, of which seven hectares are situated all around the winery building, plus a small plot called Pullera across the road from the Biondi-Santi building (Tancredi used to make wine from that plot as well). The estate’s oldest vines are those of the not-so poetically named Vineyard number 2 (roughly 32 years old) from where Le Chiuse makes its Brunello Riserva today. Vineyard 1, replanted about 15 years ago, was the original one used by Tancredi Biondi-Santi to contribute to his Riserva. The Rosso di Montalcino is essentially a declassified Brunello, made from the estate’s youngest vines and biggest grape bunches. Le Chiuse practices certified organic farming.”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (04/20)

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  • Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2011

    £99.99

    “I have not seen a Riserva from Lisini for a while, so this wine comes as a pleasant surprise. The 2011 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva takes us back to one of the warmest vintages in recent memory. However, this wine holds nicely with plenty of lush primary fruit to keep it smelling and tasting younger than its years. Dark cherry and dried blackberry rise to the top. Soon to follow are layers of spice and sweet tobacco. The mouthfeel is thickly layered but velvety smooth all the while. Drinking window: 2020-2040. 94+ points”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (235)

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  • Lisini Brunello di Montalcino Ugolaia 2011

    £99.99

    Review to follow

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  • Luigi Baudana Barolo Baudana 2015

    £64.99

    “The 2015 Barolo Baudana is powerful, ample and deep, with tons of brightness to play off the sweet red cherry and pomegranate fruit. Already quite expressive, the 2015 appears to have a very bright future. Even today, its balance is simply impeccable. Within the context of the year, the 2015 Baudana is one of the most polished refined wines readers will taste. Drinking window: 2022-2044. 94+ points

    The Vajra family continues to do remarkable work in revitalizing the Baudana estate. The appellation Barolo is gorgeous, while the two vineyard designates are both distinctive, as they should be. Stylistically, the wines are bigger and more overt than the Barolos the Vajras make at their G.D. Vajra estate. Then again, here we are in Serralunga.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (02/19)

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