martedì 3 giugno 2014




Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Castello di Pomino Blanco 2012

Dennis Sodomka, writing in the Augusta Chronicle, recommended this Tuscan white from one of the region’s most “highly regarded areas for white wine”.

He said: “The wine is primarily Chardonnay with about five percent Pinot Blanc, all from hillside vineyards in one of Tuscany’s most highly regarded areas for white wine. In the glass you get a pleasant floral aroma, leading to smooth citrus and apple flavors. There is a touch of mineral in the long finish with a crisp acidity and plenty of elegance and finesse. But the lasting impression you get from this wine is the lush fruit flavors.

“The grapes are fermented separately in stainless steel (75%) and French oak barriques (25%). After 21 days of fermentation, the wine is aged four months in stainless steel and three months in oak barriques.”

Price: $16-18

2011 Castello Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio

Gail Appleson, writing for the St Louis Post-Dispatch, picked two “well-priced Pinot Grigios” – a variety which she said often gets a “bad rap from critics who consider it bland and pedestrian.” 

She said: “Pinot Grigio has come a long way over the last 20 years or so. You can find modestly priced Pinot Grigios from Italy, the United States and other parts of the world that have lively floral and citrus flavors, crisp minerality and clean, refreshing finishes.

She added: “The Banfi San Angelo Pinot Grigio, which has a 13% abv, is a richer wine than the Terra d’Oro, with a bit more complexity and a fuller mouthfeel. The San Angelo also has some nice spice notes that complement its pear and peach flavors. However, it’s not quite as fruit-forward as the Terra d’Oro. This is also a quaffable wine that ends with a long, crisp citrusy finish. The San Angelo is a light- to medium-bodied wine that would go well with fish and seafood, as well as lighter pasta dishes.”

Price: $12

2008 Rocca delle Macie Campo Maccione, Morellino di Scansano

Gil Lempert-Schwarz, writing in the Las Vegas Review Journal, picked this Tuscan red featuring a blend of Sangiovese Grosso, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

He said: “In the glass: Campo Maccione wine is a deep garnet-red color with a dense core going out into a fine light garnet to slight tinted antique rose rim definition with medium-high viscosity.

“On the nose: There is powerful mature black fruit, dominated by wild black cherries, loganberries, crushed sloe fruit and even anise and earthy mineral notes right off the bat, then underlying and quite supple hints of spice, aged wood and freshly tilled earth.

“On the palate: The wine is progressive in its black fruit flavors, dominated by crushed wild cherries and plums, but retains the typical Tuscan rounded, yet rustic cherry character without losing suppleness or balance. The small Merlot component helps keep the rustic tannins in check and embellishes the crushed aged cherry fruit. The wine finishes deliciously with slight clove spice, general smoothness and well-integrated character. This wine is medium-bodied in character and ready to drink now.”

Price: $13


2013 La Piuma, Orvieto Classico

Another of Juke’s selections was for this “utterly delicious” white from the Italian region of Orvieto. 

He said: “It seems that the white wines of Orvieto, in central Italy, have fallen out of fashion but I can’t put my finger on why because they are always inexpensive, cheery, crisp, refreshing and uplifting. Always drink them young and you can’t go wrong. La Piuma is a steal and it’s also utterly delicious!”

Price: £7.49, reduced to £5.99 until 20 May, Waitrose

Col Fondo Prosecco NV Casa Belfi

Atkins also highlighted this natural Prosecco from Italy’s Veneto. 

She said: “Bottle-fermented with no sulphur, this Prosecco is slightly cloudy and has a floral, lilies-of-the-valley quality and hint of savoury crushed rice. Only 10.5 per cent – a great spring apéritif.”

Price: Vini Italiani, £16.50, italianwines.com

GD Vajra Luigi Baudana Dragon Langhe Bianco, 2012

David Williams, writing in The Observer, recommended three wines “made from grape varieties that have travelled to new homes”. 

He said: “All other things being equal, I’d almost always choose a wine made from a local grape variety rather than an imported international one. I like to think I’m committing a mild act of political defiance, a kind of gastronomic environmentalism, protecting the endangered species against the globalising forces of Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz et al. But I can’t always keep it up. Lately, for example, I keep coming across great wines made from that most ubiquitous of white grapes, Chardonnay, from a country with a greater stock of indigenous varieties than anywhere else, Italy. And it’s hard to feel guilty when the wine is as posied, racy and distinctive as top Barolo producer Giuseppe Vajra’s version.”

Price: £9.95, The Wine Society

Carpineto Dogajolo, IGT Toscana 2012

Another of Williams’ examples of a local wine going “global” was this Italian red which blends the local Sangiovese with the international Cabernet. 

He said: “Many of the best Italian Chardonnays come from the far north – I’m thinking of Jermann’s rich, creamy but fresh and flowing Dreams (£39, greatwesternwine.co.uk) or Tesco’s poised Finest Dolimiti Chardonnay (£14.99). But the pick of the bunch is arguably from further south – Tuscan producer Querciabella’s stunning, Burgundian Batar 2011, a 50-50 blend with Pinot Bianco. The same producer pulls off a similar trick with its reds, making exquisitely silky reds from the local Sangiovese (in its Chianti Classico) and international Merlot (Palafreno). None of these wines come cheap (see armitwines.co.uk), but the more affordable Tuscan blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet from Carpineto also shows how a dose of the international need not compromise local character.”

Price: £11.49, or £9.76 if you buy two bottles, Majestic

Masi Masianco 2012

Terry Kirby, writing in The Independent, said this Pinot Grigio would be perfect for a summer Sunday lunch packing flavours of apricots, peaches and honey. 

He said: “The sometimes lightweight Italian staple Pinot Grigio is given a turbo-charged boost from semi-dried Verduzzo grapes to create a full-bodied wine of substance and power. Lingering flavours of apricots, peaches and a hint of honey, but with a long dry finish. Drink with antipasti or almost any chicken or pork dishes.”

Price: £10.92, thedrinkshop.com; £11.99, farehamwinecellar.co.uk

Allegrini Valpolicella 2013

Kirby picked another Italian wine, this “fresh and fragrant” Corvina from Valpolicella, as his “midweek meal” wine of the week. 

He said: “Another modern Italian wine, but rooted in the traditions of a family business dating from the 16th century. From Corvina grapes grown near Lake Como, this is medium-bodied, fresh and fragrant, with aromas of cherries and tastes of raspberries. Just the ticket for a bowl of pasta in the garden of a warm evening.”

Price: £9.95, thewinesociety.com