martedì 31 marzo 2015




Vietti, Barbera d’Asti DOC, Tre Vigne 2011, Piedmont, Italy

Rebecca Murphy, writing for Dallas News, recommended this 2011 Italian red from Vietti this week, a winery founded by Mario Vietti. Later Mario’s son-in-law, Alfredo Currado, became the first in the region to make single-vineyard Barolos, and is widely credited with bringing back the indigenous white grape variety Arneis from near extinction.

She said: “Currado considers their Barbera d’Asti wines to be more powerful and age-worthy than their Barbera d’Alba. This 2011 is showing savory blackberry and cherry fruit brightened by the grape’s trademark vibrant acidity. It is medium-bodied with ripe, integrated tannins. Its bright acidity handles tomato sauces beautifully, and its soft tannins make it a perfect companion for grilled tuna.”

Price: $15.99 to $19.99

2010 Salvioni Brunello di Montalcino

“There’s a feeling in the wine industry that a wave of commercial success is about to hit Italy’s Montalcino region” writes Will Lyon in the Wall Street Journal, before recommending a number of its Sangiovese-based wines.

“At their best, these wines display a piercing purity of fruit, with notes that range from rose petal, dark cherry and red berries to spice, black pepper and wild herbs”, he said. “Their medium-bodied texture can, on occasion, be concentrated and powerful, and their style can vary, not just from vintage to vintage but in the same growing season as well.”

Of this example from Salvoni he said: “This small, family-owned winery has been producing exquisite Brunello since 1985. The 2010 is ethereal, savory and delicate. I loved its lacy tannins and gentle texture. The aromatics were tightly knit when I tasted it, suggesting it will keep for another two decades.”

Price: €125 or $180

2010 Poggio di Sotto Brunello di Montalcino

Lyon also recommended this Brunello from Poggio di Sotto, a winery that was founded in 1989.

He said: “I love the structure of these wines, which benefit from the cooler climate of the estate’s higher vineyards. The 2010 will evolve for many years to come.”

Price: €125 or $180

Cantina Riff-Progetto Lageder, Delle Venezie IGT, Pinot Grigio 2013

Rebecca Murphy, writing for Dallas News, recommended this Pinot Grigio from Alois Lageder – a “legendary” biodynamic grape grower and winemaker in Italy’s northernmost province of South Tyrol.

She said: “This Pinot Grigio is one of his négociant wines, which means he and his team obtain wines from trusted vintners throughout the Tre Venezie region, then blend and bottle them at the Lageder winery. Therefore, he is able to produce a wine that meets his quality standards at a reasonable price.

“In turn, we get to enjoy a distinctive wine with inviting aromas of ripe pears, citrus and chalky mineral notes. It’s round and luscious in the mouth, brightened with crisp, citrusy acidity. It’s a mouthwatering match for a grilled chicken breast with a tropical fruit salsa.”

Price: $8.49 to $10.99


Cantina Terlano Pinot Bianco Alto Adige DOC 2014

Sandra Silfven of Detroit News honed in on Italy’s Alto Adige this week, a landlocked region in the north that sits up against Austria and Switzerland.

Creating “magical wines with amazing structure and flavor”, the region is home to grape varieties including Chardonnay, Pinot Bianco, Pinot Grigio, Gewürztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.

Of this Punot Biano she said: “The tall, slender, dark green bottle with the understated brown label contains a dry white wine that wakes up and refreshes every sensitive spot in your mouth. The mineral-woven flavors wash over the palate like the water of a stony mountain brook. Aromas of green apple, grapefruit, herbs and floral tones are mirrored on the palate. It’s so crisp and clean with acidity as sharp as the edge of paper.”

Price: $18


Pasqua Passimento 2013, IGT Veneto, Italy

David Williams meanwhile picked three “of the best” Italian red wines writing in The Guardian, including this red blend from the Veneto made from the Merlot, Corvina and Croatina grapes.
He said: “Generally speaking, the taste of raisins is not a good thing in red wines. It tends to come with spirity alcoholic heat and a lack of zip. I do, however, have a soft spot for wines made from raisins, especially those from the traditional home of the technique around Verona in Valpolicella. At their best these wines are sumptuously fleshy, big in alcohol, but balanced with vibrant acidity; deep in colour but deeply distinctive in dark cherry and chocolate flavour. At its offer price of £7.99 for the next couple of weeks, Pasqua’s version is a robust, sweetly spicy, good-value introduction.”

Price: £11.99, or £7.99 if you buy two bottles,

Le Salette La Marega Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2011, Italy

Amarone is an Italian dry red wine made largely from the partially dried grapes of the Corvina and Rondinella grape varieties, typically rich with a high alcohol content.
Recommending this example, Williams said: “Amarone producers have tried to rein in the alcohol in recent years, but the unusual production process means their wines will always be more alcoholic than others (sometimes as high as 16.5%) This is the sort of wine that works better at the end of an evening than the beginning, best enjoyed with a hunk of parmesan and a book at hand. Le Salette’s La Marega (15%), with its suavely presented layers of dark cherry, chocolate and savoury meatiness, is what the Italians call a vino di meditazione – a real treat for slow-sipping reflection.”

Price: £45.75, Lea & Sandeman,

2013 Masi, Masianco, Veneto, Italy

“This is not only a great looking bottle it is also a very clever wine”, said Matthew Jukes of this Venetian Pinot Grigio writing in the Daily Mail. “Made from Pinot Grigio with a touch of and semi-dried Verduzzo grapes in the mix to give it more depth and richness this is a hauntingly beautiful, pear-scented wine. I have tasted the 2014, too, and it is equally delicious!”

Price: £12.25,; £12.99,

Gulfi Cerasuolo di Vittoria DOCG 2013, Sicily

Terry Kirby recommended this “sumptuous” Sicilian organic wine writing in The Independent.

“An organic blend of Frappato and Nero d’Avola, it has aromatic, vibrant and intense dark fruits, with lovely clean acidity”, he said. “Goes with lighter meats such as veal or chicken, or even a fish stew.”

Price: £21.50 (when bought as part of six mixed bottles),

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