The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress which helps to produce superior quality fruit.
The grapes were hand harvested, de-stemmed, crushed and chilled on the way to the press with no addition of sulphur. The juice was naturally settled, racked and cultured yeasts were added to initiate fermentation which took place at 12-14°C. Half the wine was fermented in oak, and one third of the blend was put through malolactic fermentation in order to add complexity.
Straw yellow and bright in the glass, this wine is ripe and concentrated with a thread of minerality. The palate is clean, fresh and fruit driven, with a weighty mouth-feel and long finish.
The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1860s. Indeed, they were the first to bottle a wine with the name Soave on the label, in the early 1930s. Nino Pieropan took over from his father in 1970 and was the first to make a single vineyard wine, Calvarino, in 1971. Nino’s two sons, Andrea and Dario, now work with him running the estate.
The soil is clay-basalt and volcanic in origin. Yields are low and the vines south facing. No pesticides or chemicals are used. With the recent changes to DOC law this wine can now be closed under screwcap and labelled as Soave Classico.
The grapes, 85% Garganega & 15% Trebbiano di Soave, were hand picked over several passes in the vineyard and then pressed and the juice separated from the skins. The must settled and clarified before a slow fermentation in temperature controlled cement vats at 20ºC. The wine was aged in stainless steel tanks until bottling under stelvin closure in the spring.
A fresh and expressive Soave, with classic white flower, almond blossom and a touch of citrus. Rounded, ripe fruit is perfectly balanced by a fresh, clean acidity. Long and fragrant, it has a note of fine, almond pastry on the finish.
The Cantine Belisario co-operative was founded in 1971 and today, it is the biggest producer of Verdicchio in the Matelica DOC, a smaller zone than Castello di Jesi. The climate here is more continental than in Castelli di Jesi and the combination of warm days and cool nights gives a longer growing season, and lovely aromatic qualities to the wines.
The Terre di Valbona is a blend of grapes selected from some of the best vineyards included in the co-op. The vineyards are situated on a south-facing hillside 350-450 metres above sea level. The vines are between 9-24 years old.
Fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at temperatures of between 15-17ºC for a period of 20 days. After fermentation the wine was aged in stainless steel vats of 300 hectolitre capacity for two months. The Terre di Valbona is unoaked to maximise freshness.
A pale lemon wine with a lovely aromatic and clean bouquet showing perfumes of acacia and a touch of honey. Surprisingly full-bodied but with a lovely balance between a crisp green apple character and rich, honey and lemon. The finish is dry and vibrant.
All of Allegrini’s impeccable wines are produced from estate-grown fruit from their 90 hectares of vineyard in the communes of Sant’ Ambrogio and Fumane. Across the range and from vintage to vintage, they have superb fruit, balance, intensity, length, elegance, tipicity and, above all, drinkability.
Each wine has winemaker Franco Allegrini’s distinct stamp of quality, but every one has its own distinctive character. They are among the elite of the world’s best producers of red wines.
The south-east facing vineyards are located in the hills of the Valpolicella Classico region at 150-250 metres above sea level. The soil there is very varied but mostly chalky, of volcanic origin. The vines are 32 years old on average.
The grapes were de-stalked before crushing, after which fermentation occurred at 25-31ºC in temperature-controlled stainless steel. Maceration lasted nine days and malolactic fermentation took place in December. The wine was held in stainless steel tanks until bottling in mid-February where it spent a further two months before release.
Ruby red in colour, with purplish-blue highlights. Fragrant fruit with prominent notes of dark cherries are echoed by fresher hints of pepper and aromatic herbs, typical of Corvina and its genetic cousin Corvinone, the historic varietals of this appellation. Whilst young, the Valpolicella is impressively lively and fresh and with age it takes on a fuller, rounder character.
Marco & Vittorio Adriano’s beautiful estate is centred on the village of San Rocco Seno d’Elvio, a few kilometres south east of Alba and two or so west of Treiso, as the crow flies. They have 23 hectares of perfectly tended vines, and make excellent wines marked by real elegance, great purity of fruit and suppleness. They are wines that are carefully produced to give real pleasure. They also offer extraordinary value for money.
Their Moscato d’Asti is from 20 year old vines grown at 250 metres above sea level. After careful selection in both the vineyard and the winery, the grapes are gently pressed and the must fermented in temperature controlled stainless steel. When the wine reaches an alcohol level of 5% the fermentation is halted and the wine is transferred to temperature controlled stainless steel tanks where it rest for a few weeks before bottling.
Pale straw with hints of green the wine is very lightly sparkling with a nose full of white fruit aromas (apricot and peach) with notes of sage and citrus. Light and elegant on the palate the gentle sweetness and low alcohol make this the ideal wine to accompany light fruit puddings.
Winemaker Filippo Baccalaro, a native of Piemonte, has been working in Puglia for almost two decades. He was attracted by the rich, ripe flavours of the fruit, and the ability to capture these flavours with minimal use of technology and a lot of know-how. Filippo has the latter, as is illustrated by these wines.
The vineyards are mostly situated in the communes of Manduria and Sava and are owned by growers with whom Filippo has been working for many years. Production is lower than its potential, which ensures the best quality grapes are selected. 80% of the grapes come from old bush vines and the rest from trained vines that are at least 20 years old.
The grapes were gently pressed and cooled to 10ºC for a maceration period of 10-12 days with regular pumping over. Yeasts were added to start fermentation, which took place under temperature controlled conditions of up to 20ºC. The wine was then transferred to oak barriques for a short time for fining, before bottling.
Deep ruby red colour with violet reflections. This wine has red berry fruit perfumes with a hint of spice. Full-bodied with firm tannins, this wine is well balanced with lots of ripe fruit flavours.
The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress helping to produce superior quality fruit.
The grapes were hand harvested, de-stemmed, crushed and pumped to stainless steel tanks purpose built for fermenting red wine. The must was left in contact with the skins for seven days, then fermentation took place at up to 30°C. Malolactic fermentation took place in stainless steel tank in which the wine was held until bottling.
A lively, youthful ruby wine with fresh cherry aromas that develop into a rich cherry pie character in the mouth. Body comes from soft, supple tannins that match the concentrated fruit through to the characterful finish.
The Gran Sasso wines are made by winemaker Filippo Baccalaro and display a freshness and directness of fruit that sets them apart from other wines from this area.
Most Montepulciano at this price comes either from negociants buying bulk wines or from co-ops, neither of whom work as well or as closely with their growers as Filippo and his team. The grapes for this wine are grown in 15-20 year old vineyards in the production zones of Ortona, San Salvo and Pollutri.
The grapes were handpicked. On arrival at the winery, only 10% of grapes were put in fermentation tanks with their stems – all others were destemmed before fermentation and skin contact that lasted for 15 days. Continuous racking and punch-downs took place in stainless steel and concrete tanks at a controlled temperature of 28°C. Malolactic fermentation took place in 80% stainless steel tanks and 20% oak barrels.
Made in an early-drinking style, this wine is ruby red with violet highlights. Cherry, sour cherry and blackberry aromas are supported with an intense balsamic note. The palate is full bodied with good, supple tannins supporting the juicy fruit. Well-balanced with good structure and a long finish.
Mark Shannon and Elvezia Sbalchiero, the duo behind A Mano, have worked in the wine business for most of their lives.
Elvezia is a northern Italian wine marketing expert and Mark is a Californian winemaker. They fell in love with Puglia and, when they decided to start their own label, made it their home. They pay high prices for the best grapes from 70-100 year old vines and focus solely on quality and a modern style. After over a decade of vintages, they are now getting access to some of Salento’s best grapes.
The Negroamaro grapes for this wine are grown in an 11 hectare vineyard, in the heart of Salice Salentino. An old vineyard, it is dry farmed and trained on trellises to prevent the sensitive grapes suffering from sunburn.
On arrival at the cellars, the grapes were pressed, destemmed and cooled to 18°C and the must was allowed to ferment at its own pace. After racking in mid-November, the wine remained in an underground cement tank where the temperature did not exceed 10°C until bottling under stelvin closure.
Deep ruby in the glass. Aromas begin with crushed berries, black cherries and spices followed by a light floral note. The exuberant palate is full and rich with lingering spice on the finish.
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