Italy


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  • Donnafugata Ben Rye 2020 (375ml)

    £39.75

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Fontodi Vin Santo 2009 (375ml)

    £57.99

    “The 2009 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico (packaged in a 375-milliliter bottle) is an object of profound beauty. This extremely precious dessert wine pours from the bottle with thick and slow-moving waves of glycerin and sweetened richness. In fact, my fingers are sticking to my keyboard as I write this review. Aged in small caratelli barrels for 84 months, this Vin Santo shows a dark amber color with polished copper highlights. The bouquet is profoundly complex with dried fruit aromas of apricot and pineapple followed by brown sugar, maple syrup, toasted chestnut and savory tobacco. This is a full-bodied dessert wine that spreads over the palate with lasting intensity. In fact, you taste the wine in the mouth for many long minutes after you drink it. A mere 2,500 bottles exist. Drinking window: 2018-2060. 98 points

    The big news in Chianti Classico these past few months is that Fontodi’s Giovanni Manetti has been elected as the new president of the Consorzio Chianti Classico. He takes the reins from Sergio Zingarelli who was president for two very successful mandates that included the introduction of the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione category. I am very happy to hear of this change, mostly because I firmly believe that Giovanni’s genteel and non-confrontational personality will allow for a moment of reflection and unity in a growers’ association that has seen its share of controversy and infighting over the years. A mandate of tranquility would be the least we should expect of this new presidency. The most we can expect, however, is a stronger voice from growers over mapping and the delineation of subzones within the greater appellation, something I have been advocating. Giovanni Manetti and Fontodi represent the pinnacle of quality that can be achieved in this part of Tuscany. That he has become a symbolic head of the region only brings more prestige and pedigree to an appellation that demands our highest respect and admiration.”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (239)

    In Stock

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

    £39.99

    Review to follow

    In Stock

  • Marco de Bartoli Bukkuram Padre della Vigna Passito di Pantellaria 2014 (500ml)

    £61.95

    “Marco de Bartoli has long been one of the best wine estates not just in Sicily but in all of Italy. Sadly, Marco, a very likable man who did so much for Marsala production, is no longer with us, but his son Renato has followed brilliantly in his footsteps, expanding the winery’s portfolio and promoting research of old local vines. For example, de Bartoli’s is the first Catarratto bottling made exclusively from the Lucido biotype (not a clone) of Catarratto Comune , of which there are three: Comune, Lucido and Extralucido. Although generations of growers has repeated the received wisdom that the last two gave the best wines, until de Bartoli came along with his Lucido bottling nobody had bothered to see if that was really the case. Those consumers who have never found a Marsala wine to like owe it to themselves to try the ones by made by de Bartoli.”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (12/15)

    In Stock

  • Marco de Bartoli Marsala Superiore 1988 (500ml)

    £109.75

    “If I were permitted only one producer on the island of Sicily to introduce readers to, it would be Marco de Bartoli. When the average person thinks of Marsala, they think of a cheap cooking wine that is the last-minute errand you run right before starting to prepare a meal. What they don’t understand is that Marsala has a deep, rich history of creating wines designed to compete with the best Madeira and Sherry. The problem is that this history was buried deep beneath decades of mass production, a muddling of grape varieties and unnecessary fortification. Marco de Bartoli turned a passion for tradition into a vision of the future, and his heirs, have held the line, learning from their father’s teachings while keeping an innovative eye on new practices and trends. Today, de Bartoli continues to release purely traditional-style Marsala, using only estate-grown Grillo, the Solera barrel aging system (which uses oak and chestnut vats of various sizes) and, in the case of the Vecchio Samperi, no fortification. The Superiore wines do see a light fortification with grape brandy when removed from the Solera system, and they are then aged oxidatively in oak vats until bottling for release. Simply stated, a Marsala from Marco de Bartoli can compete with the greatest Ports, Sherries and Madeira. However, this house is no longer just about Marsala. The current generation, made up of Marco’s children Renato, Sebastiano and Giuseppina, began to experiment with dry whites produced from Grillo, Zibibbo and Catarratto in the 1990s. Today, these wines have really come into their own, showing exceptionally well, and they are true standouts in my recent tastings. What’s more, this experimentation has now evolved even further with the next level of dry whites in the Bartoli lineup, Integer. Both the Zibibbo and the Grillo for Integer are spontaneously fermented without temperature control, spend 10 days macerating with zero sulfur added, and then go through malolactic fermentation and rest for 10 months on the lees in large botti, with a small percentage of the juice spending five months on skins in clay amphora. The resulting wines are unique and stretch the imagination, yet they are also amazingly pleasing, and with notable cellaring potential.”

    Eric Guido, Vinous (06/21)

    In Stock

  • Quintarelli Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2004 (375ml)

    £147.95

    “Time has only been a friend to the 2004 Recioto della Valpolicella Classico. Soaring and vivid in its beauty, the 2004 is simply stunning today. Bittersweet chocolate, cloves, menthol, leather and sweet dark cherry are front and center, but it is the wine’s poise and overall nuance that truly elevate it into the stratosphere of wine elixirs. Don’t make the same mistake I have made in the past. Avoid the half bottles. The 2004 is a wine to buy in the 750s. This is as good as Recioto gets. Drinking window: 2017-2034. 98 points

    Quintarelli has essentially been a construction site for the last few years. During my most recent visit I was able to get a good look at the new facilities in a nearly finished state. I have to say the latest incarnation of the winery is stunning. The design is daring and modern – almost shockingly so – yet it also pays homage to Giuseppe Quintarelli’s legacy in a deep and touching way. As for the wines, this set of new releases will delight Quintarelli fans. Even more importantly, the estate appears to be in very good hands under the stewardship of Francesco Quintarelli, Giuseppe’s grandson.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (05/17)

    In Stock

  • Isole e Olena Vin Santo 2009 (375ml)

    £37.99

    “The 2009 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico is so beautiful. Orange confit, dried figs, caramel, hazelnut and honeyed flavors abound. Medium in body, with striking depth and texture. It’s a classic Vin Santo from white grapes, as well as a reference-point for the region. It is at once rich, but not at all heavy. Drinking window: 2020-2030. 96 points

    If there is one winery that merits special recognition this year it is without question Isole e Olena. Paolo De Marchi presented a dazzling set of wines, starting with the 2017 Chianti Classico, a terrific example of the how the warm growing season added an extra element of dimension to some wines. Cepparello is so distinguished. What else is new? Today, readers don’t care much about international varieties in Italy. I will freely admit it – I am not a huge fan. But De Marchi has a rare talent in coaxing so much personality from his Chardonnay, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, all of which are fabulous. I don’t think there is another winemaker in Italy who can match his skill across that many different varieties. And then there is the Vin Santo, which is everything Vin Santo can and should be. Don’t miss these wines.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/20)

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  • Marco de Bartoli Bukkuram Sole d’Agosto Passito di Pantellaria 2019

    £48.99

    “Marco de Bartoli has long been one of the best wine estates not just in Sicily but in all of Italy. Sadly, Marco, a very likable man who did so much for Marsala production, is no longer with us, but his son Renato has followed brilliantly in his footsteps, expanding the winery’s portfolio and promoting research of old local vines. For example, de Bartoli’s is the first Catarratto bottling made exclusively from the Lucido biotype (not a clone) of Catarratto Comune , of which there are three: Comune, Lucido and Extralucido. Although generations of growers has repeated the received wisdom that the last two gave the best wines, until de Bartoli came along with his Lucido bottling nobody had bothered to see if that was really the case. Those consumers who have never found a Marsala wine to like owe it to themselves to try the ones by made by de Bartoli.”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (12/15)

    Sold Out