Perhaps unfairly better known in its North American guise - Zinfandel - the Primitivo grape in Puglia produces vibrant and lively reds. This is no exception, with ruby red, even violet colour, with a body and nose redolent of cherries and cooked plums. This is a clean and well balanced wine, yet has a full body backed up by assertive medium-bodied tannins.
Grapes: Primitivo 100%
The Sorricchio family has owned the baronial fief of Valforte since the 13th Century.
The Tenuta Barone di Valforte vineyards cover 42 hectares of vineyards in various communes in the hills around Città Sant’Angelo, more or less 6 kilometers from the Adriatic Sea, at 3-400 meters in altitude.
This wine is made with the Montepulciano grape and has a very approachable juicy and fruit-driven style. A ruby red with tints of violet, aromas of plums, dark fruits and spice explode out of the glass with flavors of cherry, chocolate notes and coffee. The wine is easy drinking and super juicy.
In the Decanter World Wine Awards 2013 the 2011 vintage was declared the best red under fifteen pounds!
This is a good Chianti 'Classico', meaning it comes from a sub-region containing the big names of Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole in Chianti, Greve in Chianti and Radda in Chianti. The Lilliano winery is located to the south west of Castellina, Tuscany, and has consistently been praised for the quality of production. Wine Spectator magazine said this of the 2010 vintage, awarding it 90 points:
"This has a bright bouquet of iris, crushed cherry and mint. A mouthwatering black-cherry flavor leads the palate, with accents of nutmeg and white pepper. Made in a straightforward style, this will pair wonderfully with mildly seasoned cheeses or pasta topped with ragù."
Clear ruby red, scents and tastes of cherries and blackberries, violets, quince and rosemary. Round and fresh, moderately tannic with soft fruity finish. Food pairing: roast red meats, game and medium to mature cheeses.
Grapes: 80% Sangiovese, 20% Colorino and Merlot
Named after the small medieval town of Castellinaldo, near Alba, long associated with top notch Barbera, this classic wine is medium bodied and shows the best of this dry and smooth red. The colour is a deep ruby red with light garnet red reflections. The nose is intense, with sensations of ripe fruit and spicy hints of wood. On the palate it is full, very well structured, long lasting and with moderate silky tannins.
Try it with mushroom risotto, pasta with tomatoes and olives, cheese fondue, roasted pork.
From the highest point of La Morra hills in the Barolo region, Vini Italiani has selected, with a local producer from La Morra, the best Nebbiolo grapes for a wine that is no doubt very approachable even if fairly young for its category.
Surprisingly soft and brilliant, it unleashes fabulous notes of ginger, violet and vanilla. An intense nose of red cherry, roses, violet, sweet spices and walnuts. Ripe, spicy and smoky with good fruit aromas. Fresh and juicy with aniseed-toned fruit flavours and aromas.
Complex, full bodied and yet balanced, this Barolo will complement an important meal or be of assistance as a special gift!
Try it with mushroom risotto and roasted venison.
Ticks all the usual boxes for Pinot Grigio - clean, light, crisp and fruity, but this example from the Veneto also ticks a slightly rare one - it's organic!
Yes it's a good aperitivo or party all-rounder, but also sits well alongside vegetable broths, light fish dishes and simple omelettes.
Grapes: 100% Pinot Grigio.
Produced in the area of Arzachena - Gallura, just inland from Sardinia's famous Costa Smeralda, this Vermentino is a great example of this perfect summer holiday wine - perfume and exotic fruits with soft, fresh and persistent flavours and pleasing citric acidity. Good with most light to medium fish dishes, it is also ideal as an aperitif wine.
Grapes: 100% Vermentino
La Corsa winery is located on the gentle slopes of Tuscany’s Maremma, within the impressive triangle of the Golden Valley, whose apex is overlooking Ansedonia’s bay, close to Capalbio.
This 100% Vermentino has a bright straw yellow color with greenish reflections. Aromas of salty minerality fading into tones of orange blossom, wisteria leaf and lemongrass. Initial fresh tasting palate with well a balanced flavor.
The dominance of mineral is a testament to the wine’s longevity, which is reminiscent of certain Riesling wines, the source of its inspiration.
Great aperitif wine, it also goes well with light fish dishes and fried calamari.
The Azienda Agricola Casa di Baal (Baal is the short form of Annibale – Hannibal – hence the elephant logo) is immersed in the Salernitan hills, 30 kilometers from the Amalfi Coast and about the same distance from the Avellino, at 150 mts above sea level.
A generations-old establishment, things were somewhat reinvented in 2006 when vineyards were replanted with new and better suited vines and an emphasis on quality hand-in-hand with natural methods was begun. The goal is to produce classic, clean and simple wines, with a small quantity of labels and limited bottling.
This Fiano 100% has a lively and brilliant colour with aromas of white peaches, apples, honey and chamomile. It finishes on the palate with a very light smokiness which compliments the fruit and adds complexity to the wine.
The Villa Russiz Foundation is located in the Collio wine region, an area that is particularly conducive to grape-growing, thanks to its ideal climate and the types of soil present.
50 of the 100 hectares that make up the estate are cultivated as vineyards and the wines, made with indigenous and international varietals, are constantly highlighted and continue to win recognition from prestigious guides and magazines in Italy and abroad.
Straw-yellow colour with greenish highlights and an extremely aromatic, delicate nose. Contains notes of fresh exotic fruit such as pineapple, but also peach and sage. Full-bodied, easy to drink wine with an elegant, velvety flavour.
Try it with spinach and ricotta cannelloni and prosciutto di San Daniele.
You know about Prosecco - light, delicately floral, sweet fruit, relatively low alcohol and the definitive party fizz. This is all of the above and organic to boot!
Equally at home as an aperitif wine or as a base for fun cocktails, Prosecco Barocco is from the noted Valdobbiadene area of the Veneto.
Not the most common of wines - a sparkling Nebbiolo - this one is yet more unusual in that it has absolutely no added sulphites - the producer aims for a policy of sustainable agriculture to boot.
Pale golden copper in colour, the palate is full of fruit - cooked strawberries, apricots and cherries - with a pleasant silkiness and a touch of pepper spice. A soft and warm summer wine.
December 2013 - Jancis Robinson has included Madre Natura in the first part of the Financial Times festive wines feature, their 'guide to the best of Christmas drinking'.
"The combination of 100 per cent Nebbiolo and 0 per cent sulphites produces a very gentle, unusual, rose-scented Piemontese fizz that would make a most distinctive aperitif."
Francesco, Gabriella, Marcello, Roberto and Pia Donata, own the Fratelli Berlucchi Winery.
They strive to improve vines and wines every year, with solemn respect for the history and traditions perpetuated by their father Antonio in the modern era, and by centuries of generations before him. The winery is in the heart of Franciacorta, surrounded by the morainic hills of the prealpine lanscape.
Wine is produced using only those grapes which come from 70 hectares of owned vineyards which are D.O.C.G. and D.O.C.The most recent addition to the award winning Fratelli Berlucchi sparkling range. '25' is so named after the number of months from the grape to the glass.
Made of 100% Chardonnay it has a pale lemon colour and a stream of pinpoint bubbles.
It is immediately fresh, lively and appetising with aromas of apple and delicate blossom, and a little nutty note adding a hint of vanillin creamy richness.
Bright and most enjoyable in an aperitif or shellfish and seafood dishes.
Francesco, Gabriella, Marcello, Roberto and Pia Donata, own the Fratelli Berlucchi Winery.
They strive to improve vines and wines every year, with solemn respect for the history and traditions perpetuated by their father Antonio in the modern era, and by centuries of generations before him. The winery is in the heart of Franciacorta, surrounded by the morainic hills of the prealpine lanscape. Wine is produced using only those grapes which come from 70 Hectares of owned vineyards which are D.O.C.G. and D.O.C.
The Brut Nature, which is a Pas Dose’- with no added sugar - is a blend of Chardonnay, which gives elegance and finesse, and Pinot Nero to strengthen the product that in fact, despite being very dry, lends itself to a myriad of gastronomic combinations.
Straw yellow in colour, the nose shows spice and toasted aromas, along with notes of pineapple citrus fruits and hazelnut, with subtle hints of balsamic and menthol in the background. Complex taste and character, it has a good fresh savory balance and a long mineral aftertaste.
Excellent for the whole meal, it is perfect with sweet and sour swordfish.
The epitomy of a light and fruity summer Rosé - Rosato - this wine is made from 100% Sangiovese by Condé, producers of some of our favourite and top-value Sangiovese reds.
Every care is taken to place the emphasis on clean, flowery fruit, with the natural refreshing acidity and juiciness of Sangiovese coming through at all times, especially on the refreshing finish.
Pale pink with reflections of orange, this is as fresh and fruity a Rosé as you could wish for, great as an aperitif or partner to light summer dishes.
Grapes: 100% Sangiovese
Luigi Einaudi was highly qualified as a politician, bursar and economist, but despite his honour he wouldn’t forget his humble manners.
The “Professor”, as he became affectionately known in Dogliani, never neglected his vineyards, notwithstanding his numerous professional obligations, which eventually led to the demanding responsibility of President of the first Republic of Italy (1948).
This is a wine for serene, friendly natter. For extending the convivial pleasure, a delicious companion of a sunny summer afternoon.
It has a bright straw yellow colour, an intense fresh, fruity bouquet with a definite Moscato fragrance and a typical sweet, aromatic taste.
Born out of Gianollis’ passion for land, farming and wine, La Collina dei Ciliegi's winery sits on the Valpantena hills near Verona, a 45-hectare estate adorned with sprawling vineyards and lush cherry trees, hence its idyllic name - which translates to cherry tree hill. Well known for their intense, powerful red wines such as Amarone, Corvina, Valpolicella Superiore and Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso as well as its fresh and fine white wines, such as the Lugana and Garganega.
Made following the traditional method of using partially dried grapes that have therefore a naturally high level of concentrated sugars, Recioto is a 'meditation' wine, a wine to savour after a meal or to sip and ponder with some dried fruits or herby or mature cheeses.
Ruby red colour the nose has hints of preserved cherries and jam with enlivening scents of spice and cocoa. The palate is full and intense with velvety tannins, a pleasing persistence and round warmth.