Italy


Showing 13–24 of 184 results

  • Antinori Pian delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2015

    £47.99

    “The nose shows an alluring display of hauntingly dark florals giving way to crushed black cherry, plums, and tobacco, with hints of spiced citrus and undergrowth adding further depths. On the palate, silky textures flood the senses with ripe red and black fruits, carried by vibrant acids, as sweet spices and minerals slowly saturate, and fine tannin begins to mount toward the finale. The finish is long and structured, resonating on zesty wild berry fruits, spice, and minerals; yet its tannic heft keeps it all in check. The 2015 Pian delle Vigne is one of the few wines of the vintage that requires some time in the cellar, and with this balance of primary fruits, acids, and structure, it should emerge as something to behold. Drinking window: 2024-2034. 94 points”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (04/20)

    In Stock

  • Antinori Tignanello 2019

    £124.95

    “The 2019 Tignanello is one of the most reserved, understated young wines I can remember tasting here. In so many vintages Tignanello is quite showy, but in 2019 the nervous energy and brightness of Sangiovese takes center stage. That’s intriguing, because the 2019 blend has a bit more Cabernet Sauvignon than normal, a decision made to compensate for some of the lighter qualities in the Sangiovese. With air the 2019 shows gorgeous depth and captivating inner perfume, even it it is clearly still coming together. The 2019 spent about 14 months in oak, with 50% new wood. Things are always in constant evolution at Antinori. This is the first vintage to incorporate some larger 500L barrels, an approach I think will work brilliantly. Drinking window: 2027-2041. 95 points

    “Two thousand-nineteen was a light Sangiovese year,” Antinori CEO Renzo Cotarella explained. “In Chianti Classico, it was mostly a cool year with some rain at the tail end of the season. As a result, we used more Cabernet Sauvignon than normal for Tignanello and bumped up the Franc in Solaia.” Antinori is another winery that has moved away from the high-octane approach of years past. Today’s wines offer plenty of depth, but greater vibrancy as well, something that works so well here, at the Antinori family’s Tignanello estate, home to both Tignanello and Solaia.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (03/22)

    In Stock

  • Arianna Occhipinti Il Frappato 2020

    £31.49

    “What a pleasure it was to watch the dynamic Sicilian winemaker Arianna Occhipinti in Stanley Tucci’s CNN special “Searching for Italy,” featuring the food culture of Italy. Based in Vittoria, her vineyards see the Iblei mountains at the front and the Mediterranean Sea at the back. They are located 250 meters in elevation and because this area was underwater during the Miocene epoch, the soils range from clay, calcareous, tufo, gold sand, red sand and light sand. “The soils change every meter and so do the wines made from those sites,” says Arianna. In 2016, she started her Vino di Contrada series that sees three expressions of Frappato from three sites (PT, BB and FL). We can soon expect a new white wine to hit the market. Arianna is farming Grillo at 500 meters above sea level in the Contrada Santa Margherita in the town of Chiaramonte Gulfi. All of her wines are certified organic and made according to biodynamic methods.”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (11/21)

    In Stock

  • Baricci Brunello di Montalcino 2015

    £59.99

    “Good full ruby-red. Captivating nose combines, ripe red cherry, black plum, minerals, herbs, mocha and sexy brown spices. Juicy and sweet, with refined, suave blackberry, raspberry, minerals and tobacco flavors dominating. Finishes extremely long, with a steely quality, fine-grained tannins and a multifaceted personality. Another great Brunello from Baricci. Drinking window: 2024-2035. 96 points”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (04/20)

    In Stock

  • Baricci Brunello di Montalcino 2016

    £69.95

    “Dark and animal in nature, the 2016 Brunello di Montalcino comes to life like a savage beast waking from a deep sleep, sleek yet still shaking off its slumber. Purple-tinged florals and herbal tones meet depths of dark mineral-tinged fruits and hints of animal musk. This is silky-smoofh upon entry, yet it quickly gains in tension and poise, as grippy tannins come to the fore, slowly drying fhe tart wild berry fruits, while becoming spicy and more grippy with every sip. The cheeks pucker with residual tannic tension as this finishes painfully young yet long, with hints of licorice. The extra time in bottle has only propelled the 2016 even further than expected. Drinking window: 2026-2038. 96 points

    You don’t feel like you’re pulling up to a Brunello producer’s “estate” as you approach the Baricci homestead. Instead, what you see is a small house surrounded by a thick foliage, with large garage doors that open up into their cramped yet cozy and wholly traditional winery. On the other side of this home is the famed Montosoli hill, which lifts up like an island amongst a sea that is the northern hillside of Montalcino. When looking at Montosoli from the town, it appears almost as a mirage in the midst of a thick forest. What is also apparent is the mark of terroir, as you imagine the sea that once engulfed this region, and how the contours of Montosoli would morph into its unique soils of rock, mineral-rich marls, loam, quartz, shale and limestone with marine fossil strewn throughout. The family’s fifteen hectares are considered the choice parcel of the hill, ranging up to 280 meters in elevation and enjoying a south-to-southeast exposure. This location doesn’t share the deteriorating rock components from the hill of Montalcino as much of the surrounding territory does; it is uniquely its own individual terroir, and a true cru of the region.

    Long before the concept of a cru or the fame of Montosoli was confirmed, Nello Baricci realized that this was a very special location, and when the time came that this son of sharecroppers could afford his own land, it was this location that he chose. Today, it is the third generation, Federico Buffi, who cares for the vines and raises these wines using the teachings of his grandfather; and I can assure you that Nello Baricci, who passed away in 2017, would be very proud. The Baricci wines speak of the soul of Montalcino, as well as the terroir of Montosoli. When I taste them, it’s the classicism, purity, regal tannins, depth of fruit and harmony that invokes thoughts of not just Montalcino, but the world’s greatest wines. In a truly romantic way, this family of farmers, who also happen to be winemakers, are producing some of Italy’s hidden gems. I only hope that they never change.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (12/21)

    In Stock

  • Baricci Rosso di Montalcino 2020

    £33.95

    “A vivid mix of wild strawberries, roses, hints of cinnamon and crushed rocks captivates as the 2020 Rosso di Montalcino comes to life in the glass. This is silky and refined, with depths of ripe cherry-berry fruits laced with minerals and spice that creates a sweet and sour interplay. The medium-length finish resonates on red currants and inner floral perfumes, as well as a gentle tug of tannin. This doesn’t impress on power or prestige, but instead on purity, refinement and sheer drinkability. Drinking window: 2022-2026. 91 points

    The Baricci Rosso hails from the younger vines of their property, and all on the hill of Montosoli. While the wine can be enjoyed young, the best vintages also have the capacity to age over the medium term.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (01/22)

    In Stock

  • Bartolo Mascarello Barbera d’Alba 2015

    £59.95

    “The 2015 Barbera d’Alba brings together the sumptuous personality of the year with a very classic sense of structure. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, spice and floral notes abound in this fleshy, voluptuous Barbera. Drink it over the next decade. Drink: 2018-2025. 91 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (06/18)

    In Stock

  • Benanti Contrada Cavaliere 2019

    £36.99

    “Benanti is one of the first successful wineries on Etna and is an important voice in the ongoing quest to map out viticultural subzones on the volcano, identifying the best and most historic vineyard sites. Today, Benanti makes 15 wines (six are reviewed here) and has completed its conversion over to organic farming. The estate is introducing a new wine, the Etna Bianco Superiore Contrada Rinazzo, that is part of its contrada-specific bottlings. It has released a second vintage of another new wine, the Etna Bianco Contrada Cavaliere. Seven years ago, the Benanti family made two important vineyard acquisitions, one in Rovittello (Contrada Dafara Galluzzo) and one in Milo (Contrada Rinazzo).”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (257)

    In Stock

  • Benanti Etna Rosso 2020

    £21.49

    Review to follow

    Crusaders, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, the Mafia…..These are just some of the invaders who have left their mark on Sicily, an important fact which goes some of the way to explain the background to the delicious wines now emerging from the 23 DOCs and 1 DOCG which make up its wine map. Many historians have commented that Sicily is more akin to a continent in its own right rather than a mere province of Italy and it is this heritage more than anything which gives these wines their vibrancy and complexity, together with the infinite variation of soil type, especially on the slopes of Mt Etna itself.

    Sicily has always produced buckets of undistinguished wine – encouraged latterly by EU subsidies. More recently though, there has a been an explosion of top quality wine with many producers in the Etna DOC at the forefront of this. This is due in large measure to the tireless work of Diego Planeta whose wines many of you will already have enjoyed. As well as starting his own eponymous winery in 1995, he was also responsible for persuading Settesoli (the largest producer of bulk wine in Sicily) to expand the range of native grape varieties they were willing to cultivate commercially. The workhorse (and rather bland) and most widely planted variety in most of Sicily has long been Cataratto but now there are more dynamic wines made from Frappato, Nero d’Avola, Nerelli Mascalese and Capuccio, and Carricante – to name but a few.

    Benanti, whose vineyards lie predominantly on the slopes of Mt Etna at Viagrande in Catania, was founded at the end of the 19th century. The Etna DOC was established in 1968 but the modern era for this estate really starts in 1988 when Dr Giuseppe Benanti completed a study of soil types with a view to matching the grape variety and its clones to specific soil types. This is no mean feat as Sicily has such fabulous diversity. Since then, this producer has gone from strength to strength, with a range encompassing wines made from single native varietals to wines such as Majora, the top wine, made from a blend of Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Tannat and Petit Verdot.

    In Stock

  • Benanti Rovittello 2016

    £77.49

    “The 2016 Etna Rosso Rovittello Particella No. 341 Riserva opens slowly in the glass, at first backward, dusty and dark, with only nuances of dried roses to be found. Swirling adds further hints of red currant, shaved cedar and sage, yet it doesn’t fully unlock what’s beneath this youthful exterior. It washes across the palate with a more energetic expression; at first, it is silky in feel, yet has a salty mineral core and zesty acids that add grip as potent red berry fruits penetrate deeply. What remains are silty tannins that dry the senses, along with a bitter twang of savory brown spice, as the 2016 finishes with hulking structure and a hint of sour cherry that lingers. Frankly, it’s hard to tell where this is going; so for now, I remain conservative. Drinking window: 2025-2030. 91+ points

    When you’re tasting the wines of a producer who should be at the top of their game but is falling short, it’s always depressing. As for Benanti, this is an estate that was first on the scene at Etna. It’s one that helped define the single-vineyard (contradas) of the region. To this day, they continue to raise the bar with their Riserva Serra della Contessa and Etna Bianco Superiore Pietra Marina–both stunning expressions of variety and place. They also produce an exceptional Nerello Cappuccio, one of the few single-variety expressions that readers can find outside of Sicily. This all sounds great, but the problem is that I find a huge disparity between the top wines and those that fill the majority of the portfolio. Why can’t a producer like Benanti produce an entry-level Etna Rosso that can compete with the other producers of Mount Etna? Why is their single-vineyard Rosso Monte Serra, yet again, a sub-ninety-point wine, even from a good vintage like 2019? Your guess is as good as mine.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (06/22)

    Crusaders, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, the Mafia…..These are just some of the invaders who have left their mark on Sicily, an important fact which goes some of the way to explain the background to the delicious wines now emerging from the 23 DOCs and 1 DOCG which make up its wine map. Many historians have commented that Sicily is more akin to a continent in its own right rather than a mere province of Italy and it is this heritage more than anything which gives these wines their vibrancy and complexity, together with the infinite variation of soil type, especially on the slopes of Mt Etna itself.

    Sicily has always produced buckets of undistinguished wine – encouraged latterly by EU subsidies. More recently though, there has a been an explosion of top quality wine with many producers in the Etna DOC at the forefront of this. This is due in large measure to the tireless work of Diego Planeta whose wines many of you will already have enjoyed. As well as starting his own eponymous winery in 1995, he was also responsible for persuading Settesoli (the largest producer of bulk wine in Sicily) to expand the range of native grape varieties they were willing to cultivate commercially. The workhorse (and rather bland) and most widely planted variety in most of Sicily has long been Cataratto but now there are more dynamic wines made from Frappato, Nero d’Avola, Nerelli Mascalese and Capuccio, and Carricante – to name but a few.

    Benanti, whose vineyards lie predominantly on the slopes of Mt Etna at Viagrande in Catania, was founded at the end of the 19th century. The Etna DOC was established in 1968 but the modern era for this estate really starts in 1988 when Dr Giuseppe Benanti completed a study of soil types with a view to matching the grape variety and its clones to specific soil types. This is no mean feat as Sicily has such fabulous diversity. Since then, this producer has gone from strength to strength, with a range encompassing wines made from single native varietals to wines such as Majora, the top wine, made from a blend of Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Tannat and Petit Verdot.

    In Stock

  • Benanti Serra della Contessa 2016

    £77.49

    “The 2016 Etna Rosso Serra della Contessa Particella No. 587 Riserva is dark and savory in the glass, grumbling up with notes of crushed rocks and ash that evolve further to reveal musky black currants, hints of licorice and dried violets. This is velvety-smooth, yet not weighty in feel. Instead, the 2016 seems to glide effortlessly across the palate, yet what it leaves behind is a saturation of primary fruit and mineral tones, as well as silky tannins that penetrate deeply. The Serra della Contessa finishes structured yet long and unexpectedly fresh, with balsam herbs and a touch of salted licorice that slowly fades. This Etna Rosso is a powerhouse, but it is in need of cellaring to reveal all at its charms. Drinking window: 2024-2032. 95 points

    When you’re tasting the wines of a producer who should be at the top of their game but is falling short, it’s always depressing. As for Benanti, this is an estate that was first on the scene at Etna. It’s one that helped define the single-vineyard (contradas) of the region. To this day, they continue to raise the bar with their Riserva Serra della Contessa and Etna Bianco Superiore Pietra Marina–both stunning expressions of variety and place. They also produce an exceptional Nerello Cappuccio, one of the few single-variety expressions that readers can find outside of Sicily. This all sounds great, but the problem is that I find a huge disparity between the top wines and those that fill the majority of the portfolio. Why can’t a producer like Benanti produce an entry-level Etna Rosso that can compete with the other producers of Mount Etna? Why is their single-vineyard Rosso Monte Serra, yet again, a sub-ninety-point wine, even from a good vintage like 2019? Your guess is as good as mine.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (06/22)

    In Stock

  • Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino 2016

    £164.75

    “The 2016 Brunello di Montalcino is a dark stallion of a wine that showcases both the depth and radiance of the vintage. At first, its bouquet is dark and earthy, yet quickly blossoms into an enthralling mix of musky red currants, wild peppery herbs, dusty rose and worn leather. While satiny in feel, it’s also sleek and lively, with a vibrant burst of sweet and sour citrus that enlivens its notes of tart cranberry and pomegranate, all wound tightly in a web of saline-minerals. Violet and lavender tones arch across the palate over a core of silky tannins that nicely frame the experience, as a hint at balsamic spice slowly tapers off. The 2016 is one of the most deep and balanced Brunellos that I’ve ever experienced from Biondi Santi. It this is the Annata, then I can only imagine what the Riserva might bring to the table. Something of note is that in 2016, production was down by 15% following the abundant 2015. Drinking window: 2024-2038. 97 points

    Eric Guido, Vinous (03/22)

    In Stock