Our goal is to revolutionise the perception of Italian wines by introducing high quality, single estate wines to the UK market.

Comments on the WINETRADERS 20/20 TASTING:

“remarkable purity in all these wines” – Steven Spurrier 

“it goes without saying that everything was good” – Stuart George

 

 

Discover Winetraders' Italian Wine Regions Single estate wines from Piemonte Single estate wines from Liguria Single estate wines from Veneto Single estate wines from Emilia Romagna Single estate wines from Toscana Single estate wines from Marche Single estate wines from Abruzzo Single estate wines from Molise Single estate wines from Campania Single estate wines from Basilicata Single estate wines from Puglia Single estate wines from Calabria Single estate wines from Sicilia Single estate wines from Sardegna

La Dolce Vino: A visit to Italy reminds me that there’s more to Tuscan wine than hype

I had a long weekend recently in Florence, cautiously reacquainting myself with the pleasures and pitfalls of Tuscan wine – and came away feeling that I’ve been too timid about the region for too long. With good reason, I might add. I have drunk more duff bottles of wine from Italy than any other nation on earth. From metallic Pinot Grigios, antiseptic Proseccos and insipid Chiantis (with an aftertaste of gasoline) nowhere else has quite the same capacity to disappoint. The scandals are all too regular, the complex terroir rules seem made to be broken and it is so hard to choose the genuinely fine wines from the duds.

That hasn’t prevented Tuscany from becoming the height of wine-buying (or, more accurately, wine selling) fashion in the past year or so. Barely a week goes by without another missive extolling the virtues of Chianti or Brunello.

One man at the heart of the frenzy is Michael Palij, whose company Wine Traders imports a wide range of Italian wines. He agrees that Italy is a minefield for the unguided drinker and that Tuscany has become a hotspot. “It’s very much in vogue right now, partly because it’s filled a gap between poor vintages in Bordeaux and Burgundy. There’s been a huge influx of money, not least because Tuscany is so beautiful. If you’re a billionaire and you want to own a winery, where better?”

The money brings savvy marketing with it, says Palij, and the result is rave reviews for the 2010 vintage, which was good but nothing to write home about.

Whatever the causes, Tuscany and the Sangiovese grape are hot right now. And a few days in Florence gave me the chance to remember just how changeable this grape is. Young Chianti can be quite austere and refreshing on a summer’s evening – like a young Bordeaux without the tannin, and it’s relatively inexpensive, too. Among the ones I’ve tried recently I would recommend the Chianti Classico Baron Ricasoli, which is an excellent archetype.

But move up the hillsides towards the town of Montalcino and you get to the real action. This is where Brunello comes from, the wine that is attracting critics and collectors alike and enjoying soaring prices.

Brunello is Chianti’s alter ego. Here the Sangiovese grapes are grown at altitudes of 600 metres, cooled by the gigantic air conditioning unit of the Tramontana winds. The result is lower yields and a dark, intense wine with powerful fruit. A good Brunello is a showstopper.

For all its intensity Brunello is a relatively recent entry into the world of fine wine. The region, a small 2,000 hectare parcel, only achieved DOCG status (Italy’s top classification) in 1980. “We think Italy has ancient wines and wine makers, but it’s not true,” says Palij. “People are collecting Brunellos and asking how they will age.”

This is his way of saying that Brunellos are for drinking, not leaving to the grandchildren. And why not? In Florence I tried a 2009 Brunello, La Potazzine Gorelli, that was as wonderfully balanced and elegant as the Renaissance architecture around me. It more than made up for all those bad memories.

by Neil Bennett

The Definitive Italian Wine Tasting - 25th June 2015

The Definitive Italian Wine Tasting is the largest Italian wine event in the UK wine trade calendar exclusively for trade professionals and the wine-writing press. The UK's leading specialist importers of Italian wines will be exhibiting at the tasting.

Please visit us on Tables 31 and 32 on Thursday 25 June 2015 10.00 - 19.00 hrs

Venue: The Lindley Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls Elverton St, London SW1P 2QW

La Monacesca Verdicchio ‘Mirum’ DOCG 2012

This is a phenomenal white with sliced pear, apple and cream.  Wonderful richness, it’s full-bodied, layered and stylish.  A petrol, candle wax, and dried apricot character.  Savory finish.  Drink now.  94

James Suckling

2012 vintage Verdicchio praised in the UK press

A glowing review for La Monacesca's 2012 vintage Verdicchio from wine writer Matthew Jukes is highlighted in The Drinks Business' 'Top 10' Read more...

Stefano Inama talks with James Suckling

Follow the link to view Stefano Inama speaking with James Suckling See the video here ...

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