Italian Red Wine

What a fabulous country. Nowhere in all my travels have I ever encountered such a love of good food and wine. In my opinion Italy produces some of the best wine in the world. Anyone who has been to Italy knows the Italian attitude to life - rules are there to be broken, and the same is true in their wine industry. The government introduced a classification system loosely based on the French Appellation Controlee. However, many Italian wine makers refused to be restricted and continued to make fantastic wine as they wanted, just labelling it 'vino da tavola' table wine.

To the Italians in the know this was no problem, as good wines earned strong reputations locally. However this is no help to consumers in the UK. Italy more than any other country is one cauldron of confusion when it comes to selecting wine from looking at the bottle. Always look out on the label for a reputable producer. The Italian wine guides like 'Gambero Rosso' can be very helpful and their award system is very reliable.

 
 
Italy
 
 

Veneto

Veneto is probably Italy's most reliable area for consistency. Everyone has heard of Soave and Valpolicella, although in the 1980s and 90s this did more to harm the reputation of Italian wines than enhance it, due to the large quantities of poor quality wine imported into the UK. They do however make excellent examples of these wines in the Classico areas in the hills. Avoid the standard wines from the plains, which tend to be weak and thin. Again a good producer is essential. There are plenty of cooperatives and a few unreliable producers churning out DOC wines which are not value for money. Zenato and Campagnola are amongst the regions very best producers and are widely recognised in the Italian wine guides, where they consistently win awards.
 
 

Amarone Antichello Santa Sofia 2009 75cl

Wine Enthusiast 90 Points

Mundus Vini 2014 - Gold

An excellent Amarone at a great price. Santa Sofia winery was established in 1811 and makes a range of wines. By our standard they are quite large, but I enjoyed a bottle of this Amarone in a restaurant and thought it was so good I wanted to list it.

It's a blend of the typical grapes, Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara, all pre-dried for 90 days on straw mats in the traditional manner. After fermentation the wine was aged for 2 years in Slovakian oak followed by some time in bottle before release. It's big of course, full bodied with sweet fruit. Very smooth with a long finish. It 's not in the same league as Zenato of course (not many are!) but then it's not in the same price bracket either. I believe for the money this wine is excellent value.

Santa Sofia website

Further Information on Amarone Antichello Santa Sofia 2009 75cl

Price: £24.00



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

90 Points

Quantity:  


Amarone Antichello Santa Sofia 2009 75cl
 
 

Amarone Tinazzi La Bastia Ca de Rocchi 2011 75cl

A host of Awards for this and previous vintages including:

Decanter World Wine Awards 2013 - Gold Medal

International Wine Challenge 2013 - Silver Medal

Concours Mondial de Bruxelles 2013 - Silver Medal

2013 Edizione del Concorso Enologico - Verona Wine Top

PSWC: Premium Select Wine Challenge - Silver Medal

Robert Parker 89 Points

This is a delicious wine in the more savoury style. I'm a huge Amarone fan, with Zenato being my favourite, but I also love this Tinazzi wine although it is quite different in style. Made from Corvina 80%, Rondinella 15%, Molinara 5% aged in oak for 2 years. It is big and powerful with savoury flavours of dark chocolate. Perfect with roast meats.

Tinazzi website

Further Information on Amarone Tinazzi La Bastia Ca de Rocchi 2011 75cl

Price: £34.99



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

DEC
John's Rating

91 Points

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Amarone Tinazzi La Bastia Ca de Rocchi 2011 75cl
 
 

Amarone Caterina Zardini Campagnola 2010 75cl

2009 received 93 Points - Robert Parker

Gambero Rosso Due Bicchieri

Duemilavini 4 Grappoli

'An Amarone of immense character and depth' from Guiseppe Campagnola in Verona, named after his late grandmother. It has won many awards and is a beautiful wine. If you're an Amarone lover I can't recommend this wine strongly enough.

www.campagnola.com

Further Information on Amarone Caterina Zardini Campagnola 2010 75cl

Price: £38.40



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

Parker
John's Rating

93 Points

Quantity:  


Amarone Caterina Zardini Campagnola 2010 75cl
 
 

Amarone Guiseppe Campagnola 2012 75cl

A delicious Amarone. Soft smooth and very long. Flavours of raisins from the pre dried grapes (100 days) and noticeable oak. This is a great food wine.

www.campagnola.com

Further Information on Amarone Guiseppe Campagnola 2012 75cl

Price: £24.95



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

92 Points

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Amarone Guiseppe Campagnola 2012 75cl
 
 

Valpolicella Classico Superiore Caterina Zardini Campagnola 2013 75cl

This is a top class Valpolicella - it's both a "Classico" denoting it comes from the best region in Valpolicella, and a "Superiore" denoting it has at least one year bottle age prior to release, but the biggest clue to just how good this wine is, is that Guiseppe has labelled it under his special "Caterina Zardini" range named after his late grandmother. Only his very best wines are released under this label.

The grapes were hand harvested and sorted with only the best selected. Then they were pre dried for 20 days to concentrate the sugars. It's a delicious big round wine, packed with intense flavours. It's extremely smooth with a very long finish. Perfectly suited to enjoy with food (like virtually all Italian wines) but also big enough to be enjoyed on it's own. Cheap mass produced Valpolicellas over the years have lowered the image of Valpolicella in the UK, but get a top class one like this and it will show you exactly why it is one of the most popular red wines in all Italy. This wine is superb.

www.campagnola.com

Further Information on Valpolicella Classico Superiore Caterina Zardini Campagnola 2013 75cl

Price: £18.49



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

92 Points

Quantity:  


Valpolicella Classico Superiore Caterina Zardini Campagnola 2013 75cl
 
 

Ripasso della Valpolicella Classico Superiore Campagnola 2013 75cl

I love Ripasso wines. They are made by re-fermenting the grapes on the skins of the Amarone grapes which imparts extra colour, flavour and alcohol. Ripassa Zenato has long been a firm favourite here, and a very big seller for us, so we were delighted to discover this wine from Guiseppe Campagnola which is equally delicious but in a slightly lighter style.

The grapes were hand harvested from selected vineyards in the premier Classico region. The wine is soft and smooth with raisin flavours and a long finish. Ideal accompaniment to red meats or game.

www.campagnola.com

Further Information on Ripasso della Valpolicella Classico Superiore Campagnola 2013 75cl

Price: £11.95



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Ripasso della Valpolicella Classico Superiore Campagnola 2013 75cl
 
 

Sergio Zenato

International Wine & Spirits Competition - Italian Wine Producer of the Year 2008

The Zenato family are one of the Veneto region's best producers. Their wines are some of the very best I have ever tasted. Their reds are all beautifully smooth and full of flavour. I drink the Valpolicella Classico Superiore with food and the Ripassa for a long lingering wine on it's own. The Amarone is stunning, one of the biggest Amarones I've ever had the pleasure to try. Then there's Sergio's Riserva! Visit Zenato.com or check out their fantastic review in the 'Gambero Rosso' Italian wine guide.
 
 

Sansonina 2013 75cl

A truly remarkable wine from initial concept right through to the finished article. Sansonina was created by Carla Prospero, and Nadia Zenato - wife and daughter of the late great Sergio Zenato. They bought a 12 hectare estate in the Lugana region, famous for white wine of course, which also had some old Merlot vines. They planted new Merlot and set out to prove that two women could make a powerful, elegant wine to rival any in Italy, and possibly the world.

Naturally everything is done by hand with dedication and passion. The grapes are collected in small boxes and soft pressed to avoid extracting too much tannin. The wine is aged in small oak casks for 18 months then further bottle aged prior to release. It is a stunning wine. Ruby in colour with a rich, complex nose. On the palate it is both powerful and elegant, complex with an array of flavours of red fruits, jam, cocoa and slight mint and vanilla. Full bodied, extremely smooth, supple and elegant with a really long finish. This is a very special wine. Jane absolutely loved it!

Sansonina Website

Further Information on Sansonina 2013 75cl

Price: £40.00



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

94 Points

Quantity:  


Sansonina 2013 75cl
 
 

Santa Cristina Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 75cl

Santa Cristina is a beautiful small winery near Lake Garda, owned and run by the Zenato family. They make some very, very good wines in a more hands on natural style than the larger production "Zenato" wines - which themselves are something special as many of you will know. I have been a fan of Zenato Amarone and their other wines for many years.

Nadia Zenato (with Carla Prospero) has her own "Sansonina" winery producing an exceptional Merlot (available on this page) and a superb Lugana. The Santa Cristina wines are actually made by Nadia's brother, Alberto, and they too are famous for outstanding Lugana as they own several of the best vineyard sites around Lake Garda.

They also produce this premium Cabernet Sauvignon which I (and Jane) believe is outstanding. It could be it appeals to us because it is so natural in style as we struggle with anything that has been manipulated. It is packed with flavour yet still elegant, super smooth with a long dry finish. It tastes natural and I suspect has only had a very light filtering. This is a beautiful wine, great with or without food.

Zenato.com

Further Information on Santa Cristina Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 75cl

Price: £19.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

92 Points

Quantity:  


Santa Cristina Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 75cl
 
 

Recioto della Valpolicella Classico Zenato 2007 500ml

A stunning dessert wine from Zenato! I've always been a massive fan of good Recioto, and this is the best I've ever tried. I tasted it with Nadia and was blown away by the intensity of the fruit. It's super smooth with a really long finish. This wine is sensational. It's not cheap, but it is worth every penny! Very very limited production.

Zenato.com

Further Information on Recioto della Valpolicella Classico Zenato 2007 500ml

Price: £29.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

95 Points

Quantity:  


Recioto della Valpolicella Classico Zenato 2007 500ml
 
 

Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella Superiore 2012 75cl

Decanter 2014 Trophy Best Blend over £15 for the 2011

Sommelier Wine Awards 2015 - Silver Medal for the 2011

Correctly titled Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripassa, this is one of Zenato's most successful wines. Most Veneto producers make a Ripassa - often termed the masculine "Ripasso" but just the same. The wine derives it's name from the process of "repassing" the Valpolicella wine over the Amarone lees which induces a mild secondary fermentation resulting in an increase in colour, flavour and alcohol content.

Ripassa Zenato is a powerful wine with sweet fruit initially, balanced by more savoury mid palate flavours and a long finish. It's very smooth, and like all good Italian wines is superb with food. This one from Zenato is often referred to as "baby Amarone" and is certainly better than many co-operative produced or supermarket listed Amarones out there. While Zenato are very highly regarded for all their wines, particularly their Amarones, they are the undisputed Ripassa champions with this wine.

It's been one of our personal favourites for many years and has been consistently excellent year on year.

Zenato.com

Further Information on Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella Superiore 2012 75cl

Price: £16.49



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

DEC
John's Rating

90 Points

Quantity:  


Zenato Ripassa Valpolicella Superiore  2012 75cl
 
 

Valpolicella Classico Superiore Zenato 2014 75cl

This wine is delicious. It's wonderfully smooth with great fruit and a long finish.

Zenato.com

Further Information on Valpolicella Classico Superiore Zenato 2014 75cl

Price: £10.00



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Valpolicella Classico Superiore Zenato 2014 75cl
 
 

Amarone Zenato 2011 75cl

Sommelier Wine Awards 2015 - Gold Medal for the 2010

Already drinking superbly.

For Amarone enthusiasts Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Zenato needs no introduction. It is one of the best Amarones on the market, and is consistently superb year on year. In fact in all my years of drinking this wine I've never had a disappointing bottle, although I've had other Amarones which haven't been up to scratch.

Zenato are one of the region's (Veneto) most respected producers, and are regarded as one of the best producers in all Italy. They have a portfolio of excellent wines, but it is their Amarone for which they are most famous. There are plenty of other big name Amarones out there like Cesari, Tedeschi & Allegrini to name a few, but none are in my opinion as consistently excellent as Zenato.

The wine is big, bursting with fruit and sweet tannins. Very powerful, wonderfully smooth with a really long finish. Perfect with good fillet steak, but also smooth enough to enjoy with lighter dishes or to enjoy on it's own if you just want to treat yourself to a decadent bottle of wine!

Zenato.com

Further Information on Amarone Zenato 2011 75cl

Price: £34.80



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

SA
John's Rating

93 Points

Quantity:  


Amarone Zenato 2011 75cl
 
 

Amarone Sergio Zenato Riserva 2008 75cl

Sergio Zenato's personal Riserva Amarone is something special. We've been stocking it for years and enjoyed many great vintages. It is the one wine we turn to when we decide to treat ourselves to a special wine.

Zenato.com



Further Information on Amarone Sergio Zenato Riserva 2008 75cl

Price: £68.40



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

RP
John's Rating

94 Points

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Amarone Sergio Zenato Riserva 2008 75cl
 
 

Schiopetto Podere dei Blumeri 2005 75cl

IGT Venezia Giulia. Mario Schiopetto is the 'godfather' of the Friulian wine industry, as he pioneered the transformation from strong, rustic wines to classic, structured wines of quality, reflecting Friuli's unique terroir. Since his death his children, Mario, Carlo and Giorgio have continued running the estate making elegant, complex wines with a dedication to quality over commercialism. They're world famous for their whites but they make two excellent reds as well. The winery was named Winery of the Year 2009 by Wine & Spirits Magazine.

This Blumeri is a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the local red grape, Refosco, all aged in barrique for 15 months with subsequent bottle ageing before release. It's a structured wine with balanced fruit flavours and integrated tannins. Smooth with good acidity making it ideal to enjoy with food.

Schiopetto website

Further Information on Schiopetto Podere dei Blumeri 2005 75cl

Price: £20.38



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

90 Points

Quantity:  


Schiopetto Podere dei Blumeri 2005 75cl
 
 

Tuscany

The subject of Tuscan wine is absolutely vast and you'd need to spend a lot of time studying it to understand even the basics. Tuscany's success is largely due to it's hilly terrain and the vast number of individual mesoclimates. The predominant grape is Sangiovese, although there are at least 14 different clones of this variety such as Prugnello and Brunello, both famous in their own right, in their own DOCs where they can command upwards of £40 per bottle.

Tuscany's vines were wiped out by a severe frost in 1956 and were quickly replanted with high yielding clones, which produced vast quantities of mediocre wines. In the last 25 years or so there has been a firm swing over to lower yielding higher quality vines. Many producers were unhappy with the DOC restrictions and used their expertise to produce stunning wines outside the system, simply labelled as Vino da Tavola. This was the birth of the 'Super Tuscans'. The laws were altered in 1992 and they now have to have either IGT or DOC status to display a vintage or provenance on the label. There can be tremendous differences between two wines with the same classification, which makes selecting Tuscan wines very difficult for the amateur enthusiast. All the ones we are recommending below are superb. Most have a typical Tuscan dry finish. If this is not your style, consider the slightly sweeter Veneto wines instead.
 
 

Celli Bron & Ruseval Bertinoro Sangiovese Riserva Romagna DOC 2012 75cl

Vini Veronelli 3 Stars, 92 Points

Vinibuoni D'Italia 2016: 3 Stars

And a host of praise from Italy's wine magazines. This is a stunning Sangiovese from the boutique Celli winery. True handcrafted wine made with real passion. This 2012 is only the second vintage of this wine ever made, with only 5000 bottles produced.

100% Sangiovese matured in wood for 12 months, then a further 2 years in bottle prior to release. The wine is beautifully soft and smooth, elegant and refined yet powerful. This is something special.

Celli are actually a bit further east in Emilia Romagna but we have included them in Tuscany as we have no Emilia Romagna section, and of course they are working with Sangiovese.

Last bottle in stock.

Celli website

Further Information on Celli Bron & Ruseval Bertinoro Sangiovese Riserva Romagna DOC 2012 75cl

Price: £16.99



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

Ver
John's Rating

92 Points
Free Sulphur
20 mg/l

Quantity:  


Celli Bron & Ruseval Bertinoro Sangiovese Riserva Romagna DOC 2012 75cl
 
 

Celli Le Grillae Sangiovese Superiore Riserva Romagna DOC 2012 75cl

Vini D'Italia 2 Glasses

Vinibuoni D'Italia 2016: 2 Stars

100% Sangiovese matured in wood for 12 months. This is very good wine with plenty of flavour. 2012 was an unusual year in this region with very little rainfall which resulted in the early ripening of the grapes and the earliest harvest of Sangiovese in memory. The grapes had plenty of natural sugars of course but Celli have balanced the wine with great integration of wood and tannins.

Celli are actually a bit further east in Emilia Romagna but we have included them in Tuscany as we have no Emilia Romagna section, and of course they are working with Sangiovese.

Celli website

Further Information on Celli Le Grillae Sangiovese Superiore Riserva Romagna DOC 2012 75cl

Price: £12.49



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

VI
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
20 mg/l

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Celli Le Grillae Sangiovese Superiore Riserva Romagna DOC 2012 75cl
 
 

La Selva Organic Ciliegiolo Maremma DOC 2012 75cl

World Organic Wine Awards - Silver Medal

Organically certified by ICEA, Naturland and NOP

Now we're getting into some seriously good Italian reds. Ciliegiolo is a local grape with strong cherry flavours. This wine was aged in French oak barriqies for 8 months then aged for a further 6 months in bottle prior to release.

Plenty of ripe fruit (cherry unsurprisingly) and a little spice. Very smooth with great balance, thoroughly delicious. Have this with anything from pasta to game or roast meats. And remember this is a genuine organic wine extremely low in sulphites so is not only delicious but also actively good for you!

La Selva Website

Further Information on La Selva Organic Ciliegiolo Maremma DOC 2012 75cl

Price: £14.99



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

WOWA
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
7 mg/l
Gluten free
Organic Certification
Vegan
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


La Selva Organic Ciliegiolo Maremma DOC 2012 75cl
 
 

La Selva Organic Prima Causa Maremma IGT 2012 75cl

Organically certified by ICEA, Naturland and NOP

A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot aged for 12 months in French oak barriques and a further 6 months in bottle prior to release. This wine is a beauty - you'd have to pay double for it's better known close neighbour, a DOC Bolgheri, anywhere near this quality.

Intense flavours of ripe fruits, cassis and spices all tempered beautifully by the oak. Great balance between tannins, fruit, oak and acidity, and a long persistent finish.

La Selva Website

Further Information on La Selva Organic Prima Causa Maremma IGT 2012 75cl

Price: £17.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

92 Points
Free Sulphur
8 mg/l
Gluten free
Organic Certification
Vegan
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


La Selva Organic Prima Causa Maremma IGT 2012 75cl
 
 

La Selva Organic Privo NAS Sangiovese 2014 75cl Sulphite free natural wine

Free From Awards - Gold Medal

Organically certified by ICEA, Naturland and NOP

A sulphite free Sangiovese (with a little Alicante). Aged for 8 months in steel tanks then a further three months in bottle prior to release. Delicious red cherry fruit, soft and round. Smooth and very easy drinking.

La Selva Website

Further Information on La Selva Organic Privo NAS Sangiovese 2014 75cl Sulphite free natural wine

Price: £10.99



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

FF
John's Rating

Gluten free
No wood used
Organic Certification
Vegan
Sustainable Farming

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La Selva Organic Privo NAS Sangiovese 2014 75cl Sulphite free natural wine
 
 

La Selva Organic Morellino di Scansano Colli del Uccellina DOCG 2012 75cl

Wine Spectator 90 Points

World Organic Wine Awards - Silver Medal

Organically certified by ICEA, Naturland and NOP

85% Sangiovese and 15% Merlot aged in French oak barriques for 8 months. The DOCG (the highest rank in the Italian system) was formed in 2006 to guarantee the superior quality of wines bearing the words Morellino di Scansano DOCG on the label. They must contain 85% Sangiovese minimum and yields per hectare are restricted to ensure the fruit is of high quality.

Morellino di Scansano DOCG has already developed a reputation worldwide for high quality wines. Intense flavour, great balance and a long dry finish.

La Selva Website

Further Information on La Selva Organic Morellino di Scansano Colli del Uccellina DOCG 2012 75cl

Price: £14.99



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

WS
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
11 mg/l
Gluten free
Organic Certification
Vegan
Sustainable Farming

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La Selva Organic Morellino di Scansano Colli del Uccellina DOCG 2012 75cl
 
 

La Selva Organic Avorio IGT Toscana 2014 75cl

Organically certified by ICEA, Naturland and NOP

This is a great value Italian for everyday drinking as it is natural and good for you. No hangover and no long term damage from harmful chemicals.

A blend of Sangiovese, Malvasia Nera, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot fermented and aged in steel tanks for 6 months.

It's lively, fruity, smooth and elegant for such an affordable wine.

La Selva Website

Further Information on La Selva Organic Avorio IGT Toscana 2014 75cl

Price: £8.99



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
13 mg/l
Gluten free
No wood used
Organic Certification
Vegan
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


La Selva Organic Avorio IGT Toscana 2014 75cl
 
 

La Selva Organic Sangiovese IGT 2014 75cl

Organically certified by ICEA, Naturland and NOP

A lovely soft and smooth Sangiovese, natural and healthy. Pairs with virtually any food from pasta to red meats. We thoroughly enjoyed this on it's own then with some minted lamb. There aren't many wines at this price point I would choose to drink but we loved this.

La Selva Website

Further Information on La Selva Organic Sangiovese IGT 2014 75cl

Price: £10.00



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

Free Sulphur
4 mg/l
Gluten free
No wood used
Organic Certification
Vegan
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


La Selva Organic Sangiovese IGT 2014 75cl
 
 

La Selva Organic Pugnitello Maremma IGT 2011 75cl

Organically certified by ICEA, Naturland and NOP

Pugnitello is an ancient Tuscan grape that very few people have heard about but it makes some outstanding wines. It was widely planted but declined as it is a low yielding vine and was quickly superseded by Sangiovese for commercial regions. These days there are literally only a handful of producers growing Pugnitello.

I love this wine. I actually remarked on my tasting notes that it was virtually Brunello quality - but a lot cheaper of course as you have to pay over £30 for a good Brunello and considerably more for a great one! We took a bottle to Carlo's and it was beautiful. Exceptionally smooth with a really silky mouthfeel. Give this wine a try, it is fantastic.

La Selva Website

Further Information on La Selva Organic Pugnitello Maremma IGT 2011 75cl

Price: £25.00



Sulphite Content:
John's Rating

93 Points
Free Sulphur
5 mg/l
Gluten free
Organic Certification
Vegan
Sustainable Farming

Quantity:  


La Selva Organic Pugnitello Maremma IGT 2011 75cl
 
 

Badia di Morrona Rosso dei Poggi IGT Toscana 2014 75cl

Badia di Morrona is a small estate owned by the Gaslini Alberti family, a highly passionate producer focussing on quality. Their holdings are reasonably large by our standards, around 1500 acres with a little under 300 planted with vines, around half being Sangiovese. The rest is olive groves and farmland. They have restored the old farmhouses for guests and have a restaurant and even a monastery dating back to the eleventh century.

Their wines are well made blending both traditional methods and state of the art technology. They are great quality at affordable prices. Their dedication to producing high quality wines is earning them a reputation and they've been hotly tipped as a winery to watch out for in the near future.

This Rosso is a blend of 85% Sangiovese and some unstated grapes, fermented in stainless steel for freshness. It's soft, round and smooth with berry flavours. Very easy drinking and particularly suited to Italian cuisine of course.

Badia di Morrona Website

Further Information on Badia di Morrona Rosso dei Poggi IGT Toscana 2014 75cl

Price: £8.99



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Badia di Morrona Rosso dei Poggi IGT Toscana 2014 75cl
 
 

Badia di Morrona I Sodi del Paretaio Chianti DOCg 2014 75cl

Badia di Morrona is a small estate owned by the Gaslini Alberti family, a highly passionate producer focussing on quality. Their holdings are reasonably large by our standards, around 1500 acres with a little under 300 planted with vines, around half being Sangiovese. The rest is olive groves and farmland. They have restored the old farmhouses for guests and have a restaurant and even a monastery dating back to the eleventh century.

Their wines are well made blending both traditional methods and state of the art technology. They are great quality at affordable prices. Their dedication to producing high quality wines is earning them a reputation and they've been hotly tipped as a winery to watch out for in the near future.

This Chianti is a blend of 85% Sangiovese with the other 15% made up of Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot (Chianti has to contain at least 85% Sangiovese). It's unoaked, having been aged in concrete or stainless steel for ten months. It's very fresh with plenty of fruit upfront. Ripe and juicey with soft tannins. Ideal to partner with a bit of cold meat and cheeses.

Badia di Morrona Website

Further Information on Badia di Morrona I Sodi del Paretaio Chianti DOCg 2014 75cl

Price: £11.50



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Badia di Morrona I Sodi del Paretaio Chianti DOCg 2014 75cl
 
 

Badia di Morrona Taneto IGT Toscana 2013 75cl

UK exclusive - only 24 bottles available

Badia di Morrona is a small estate owned by the Gaslini Alberti family, a highly passionate producer focussing on quality. Their holdings are reasonably large by our standards, around 1500 acres with a little under 300 planted with vines, around half being Sangiovese. The rest is olive groves and farmland. They have restored the old farmhouses for guests and have a restaurant and even a monastery dating back to the eleventh century.

Their wines are well made blending both traditional methods and state of the art technology. They are great quality at affordable prices. Their dedication to producing high quality wines is earning them a reputation and they've been hotly tipped as a winery to watch out for in the near future.

Syrah grows superbly in certain parts of Tuscany and helps make some really outstanding wines. This Taneto is 70% Syrah with 15% each Merlot and Sangiovese, aged in 300 litre French barrels for 12 months. It's soft and smooth with a big mouthful of flavour. It's not going to win any prizes for complexity but is great value at this price, in a heavyweight bottle too.

Badia di Morrona Website

Further Information on Badia di Morrona Taneto IGT Toscana 2013 75cl

Price: £10.99



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Badia di Morrona Taneto IGT Toscana 2013 75cl
 
 

Borgo Salcetino Chianti Classico DOCg 2013 75cl

Gambero Rosso - Tre Bicchieri

What a great find this was at Vinitaly! I've been a fan of Livon wines from the far north eastern Friuli region but I didn't know they owned a boutique winery in Tuscany! So at the end of a long day when they sat me down to a tasting - a seat is really hard to find at Vinitaly! - then brought out a selection of their delicious crisp whites and a platter of sausage and cheeses, I thought it couldn't get any better. Then, wow! Two superb Chiantis.

This Classico was awarded Gambero Rosso's highest award of Tre Bicchieri - very rare for a red retailing at only £13.99.

95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo. Made from handpicked grapes, fermented in wood. It's got a bit of spice to it, plus plenty of fruit. Very very smooth with good acidity cleansing the palate. This is excellent wine and superb value!

Borgo Salcetino Website

Further Information on Borgo Salcetino Chianti Classico DOCg 2013 75cl

Price: £13.99



Sulphite Content:
Awards:

GR
John's Rating

91 Points

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Borgo Salcetino Chianti Classico DOCg 2013 75cl
 
 

Borgo Salcetino Chianti Classico Lucarello Riserva DOCg 2011 75cl

Like their Classico this Riserva is 95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo. Made from handpicked grapes, fermented in wood. Then further aged in wooden casks for 24 months with extensive further bottle ageing before release.

This is a big wine, with huge flavour. Full bodied with balanced tannins and a very long finish.

Borgo Salcetino Website

Further Information on Borgo Salcetino Chianti Classico Lucarello Riserva DOCg 2011 75cl

Price: £18.49



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92 Points

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Borgo Salcetino Chianti Classico Lucarello Riserva DOCg 2011 75cl
 
 

Chianti Classico Capraia 2012 75cl

Awaiting awards info for this 2012. Due Bicchieri - Gambero Rosso 2008

Made from 90% Sangiovese with equal amounts of Colorino and Canaiolo. Tenuta di Capraia is owned by the Cali family of Rocca di Castagnoli who purchased it in 1998. It's an historic estate with a unique messoclimate which has earned it the name 'the golden basin' for it's superb conditions for the production of the above three grapes. They only make the two wines, both of which are superb. This Classico is made with grapes from 25 year old vines, fermented in stainless steel then aged in oak barriques for 15 months with a further 6 months in bottle prior to release. Intense nose with rich fruit on the palate, medium bodied with really good length. This is a very good Chianti, suited to a range of foods from pizza and pasta to red meats and hard cheese.

Tenuta di Capraia Website

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Price: £13.00



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Chianti Classico Capraia 2012 75cl
 
 

Chianti Classico Riserva Capraia 2011 75cl

91 Points Wine Spectator for previos vintage.

IWC Bronze Medal

Tenuta di Capraia is owned by the Cali family of Rocca di Castagnoli who purchased it in 1998. It's an historic estate with a unique messoclimate which has earned it the name 'the golden basin' for it's superb conditions for the production of Sangiovese and other Chianti grapes. They only make the two wines, both of which are superb. This Riserva is made with grapes from 25 year old vines, fermented in stainless steel then aged in oak barriques for 15 months with a further 12 months in bottle prior to release. This is a big, rich wine with good fruit and a slight spice, well rounded with a long, warming finish.

Tenuta di Capraia Website

Further Information on Chianti Classico Riserva Capraia 2011 75cl

Price: £18.89



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Gambero
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91 Points

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Chianti Classico Riserva Capraia 2011 75cl
 
 

Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio a Frati Rocca di Castagnoli 2011/12 75cl

95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo. One of the best Chiantis available.

Rocca di Castagnoli Website



Further Information on Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio a Frati Rocca di Castagnoli 2011/12 75cl

Price: £19.00



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92 Points

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Chianti Classico Riserva Poggio a Frati Rocca di Castagnoli 2011/12 75cl
 
 

Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Rocca di Castagnoli 2008 500ml

A truly sensational dessert wine from Castagnoli. The grapes (90% Malvasia Lunga del Chianti & 10% Trebbiano Toscano) were selected and harvested from two of their best individual vineyards, then pre dried on straw mats for 5 months prior to fermentation. The wine was then aged in barrel for 6 years before blending to produce the final assemblage, then bottle aged for a further 6 months prior to release.

I've stocked Castagnoli's superb Chiantis for several years now and was so impressed with this wine. Initial flavours of honey, apricots and vanilla with hazel nut on the amazingly long finish. This wine is beautiful!

Tiny production of course.

Rocca di Castagnoli Website



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Price: £29.99



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95 Points

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Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Rocca di Castagnoli 2008 500ml
 
 

Brunello di Montalcino Casanova di Neri 2011 DOCg 75cl

2011 just in. 2009 received 93 Points - Wine Advocate

92 points - International Wine Report

Wine Advocate

"The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is an impressive and impeccable wine that delivers a slow and sensual progression on the palate. Along the way, it leaves a steady stream of ripe fruit, spice, tobacco, licorice and balsam herb that is both impactful and vibrant. The wine’s aromas are very well-delineated, clean and never color outside the lines. The textural fabric of the wine is velvety and rich, thanks to a long 43 months in oak. Having had the opportunity to taste many older vintages of Giacomo’s wines, I find that they possess a great capacity for cellar aging."

Casa Nova di Neri Website

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Price: £40.00



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Brunello di Montalcino Casanova di Neri 2011 DOCg 75cl
 
 

Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Casanova di Neri 2006 DOC 75cl

100 points - James Suckling!

Simply one of the best Brunellos available.

Casa Nova di Neri Website

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Price: £90.00



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96 Points

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Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova Casanova di Neri 2006 DOC 75cl
 
 

Cristina Menicocci Biodynamic NAS Stamnos 75cl Sulphite free natural wine

A "no added sulphur wine" from this tiny family winery. Claudio founded the business in 1970 and now helps his daughter Cristina run the daily operations while she is also training to be a vet. His son, Fabrizio, handles the marketing, and mother Maria lends a hand everywhere else. They draft in a bit of extra labour at harvest time as they have 30 hectares of vineyards in the Cimini mountains north of Rome, surrounded by a further 25 hectares of olives, hazelnut trees and natural forest.

In 1987 they converted to organic farming and winemaking. They use no chemicals whatsoever and are certified Biodynamic by Demeter. Cristina takes it a step further and the whole winery is built around a natural philosophy, with the wines being certified Vegan, and the land around the vineyards given over to nature and the animals. They practice sustainable agriculture and sustainable living in general. And of course there is no added sulphur in the wines either.

This "Stamnos" is 100% Merlot. Soft, fruity and lovely with flavours of red fruits on the palate. I picked up an almond/hazelnut taste on the finish which I found really pleasant. Is it coincidence that Cristina has a hazelnut orchard on the edge of the vineyards?

This is a very nice sulphite free wine.

Menicocci Website

Further Information on Cristina Menicocci Biodynamic NAS Stamnos 75cl Sulphite free natural wine

Price: £10.99



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Bio Dynamic Wine
Organic Certification
Vegan
Sustainable Farming

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Cristina Menicocci Biodynamic NAS Stamnos 75cl Sulphite free natural wine
 
 

Le Marche

The Marche region lies level with Tuscany on the eastern coast, the other side of the Appenine Hills. Whilst Moncaro are a cooperative, they are one of the largest and most innovative wine producers in all Italy, with a huge range of wines, and an even larger array of medals and awards.
 
 

Atavico NAS Rosso Piceno Superiore 2012 Moncaro 75cl

This is a brand new wine for Moncaro made without the addition of any sulphites. They have been working within a consortium of other like minded winemakers (The Wine Research Team) to develop a process of minimising the additives they use in their wines. Although this wine does technically still contain some sulphites, they are produced naturally during fermentation, and this wine is fine for people with a sulphite allergy.

70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese carefully picked and transported to the winery. After fermentation in stainless steel the wine was aged for 12 months in barriques then further bottle aged prior to release.

Moncaro Website

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Price: £11.99



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Atavico NAS Rosso Piceno Superiore 2012 Moncaro 75cl
 
 

Moncaro Rosso Marche Region IGT 75cl
13% abv. This wine is a fruity, easy drinking blend of grapes. The wine making is handled by master winemaker Giuliano d'Ignazi and world famous consultant oenologist Riccardo Cottarella. The result is 'a soft easy drinking wine retaining the characteristics of the Marche region'. At this price, a great wine for barbeques in the summer or glug it down with your turkey at Christmas. It's fine for quaffing on it's own, but like all Italian wines, it's even better with food.

Moncaro Website

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Price: £6.60



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Moncaro Rosso Marche Region IGT 75cl
 
 

Moncaro Sangiovese Marche Region 2013 75cl

London Sommelier Awards 2015 - Gold (in the House Wine category)

This is a lovely, smooth, easy drinking Sangiovese. Good fruit and a pleasant dry finish. This is a great wine for everyday drinking, equally good with or without food, low in sulphites and preservatives. Great value.

Moncaro Website

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Price: £6.98



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Moncaro Sangiovese Marche Region 2013 75cl
 
 

Moncaro Montepulciano D'Abruzzo DOC Moncaro 2013 75cl
Sommelier Wine Awards 2011 - Silver Medal for the 2009.

Moncaro are one of Italy's best Cooperatives, consistently producing quality wines at affordable prices. Their top wines are very highly regarded and awarded.

Further Information on Moncaro Montepulciano D'Abruzzo DOC Moncaro 2013 75cl

Price: £6.98



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Moncaro Montepulciano D'Abruzzo DOC Moncaro 2013 75cl
 
 

Campagnia, Puglia & Southern Italy

Perhaps the biggest current sensation in the Italian wine world. Southern Italy has unrivalled heat and sunshine. It also has some fantastic native grape varieties like Negroamaro, Aglianico and Primitivo which thrive in these hot conditions. This has now been combined with modern technology and individual mesoclimates to produce some sensational wines. Together with Sicily, this region is now producing superb fruit driven reds and full flavoured whites, all representing excellent value for money.
 
 

Tombacco Aglianico del Beneventano IGT 2013 75cl

Tombacco is a long established family business in Veneto producing their own good value wines and blending and bottling other peoples wines in much the same way as the "negociants" of France do. They also source a few wines from other areas of Italy such as this great Aglianico from Campania.

It is a beauty. Big, rich, warming and smooth. Plenty of fruit flavours with some spice on the long finish. This is fantastic value. Presented in a big heavyweight bottle too.



Further Information on Tombacco Aglianico del Beneventano IGT 2013 75cl

Price: £9.95



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89 Points

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Tombacco Aglianico del  Beneventano IGT 2013 75cl
 
 

Feudo di Santa Croce Primitivo di Manduria 2014 75cl

China Wine & Spirits Awards - Double Gold Medal

IWC - Silver

Decanter - Commended

for the 2103 - just moved onto 2014

A fantastic wine, in a suitably oppulent big heavyweight bottle. This wine is made by the Tinazzi family who make top class Amarone up in Veneto. Well they also planted 15 hectares down in Apulia - the heel of Italy.

This Primitivo is big and powerful, super smooth. Great wine.



Further Information on Feudo di Santa Croce Primitivo di Manduria 2014 75cl

Price: £19.99



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91 Points

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Feudo di Santa Croce Primitivo di Manduria 2014 75cl
 
 

Gran Maestro Appasimento Rosso IGT Puglia 2014 75cl

A blend of Sangiovese and Primitivo grapes, pre dried on mats to concentrate the sugars before fermentation. Soft, smooth good fruit with sweet tannins.



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Price: £10.00



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Gran Maestro Appasimento Rosso IGT Puglia 2014 75cl
 
 

Selvarossa Riserva DOC Salice Salentino Cantine due Palme 2011 75cl

Gambero Rosso - Tre Bicchieri for the 2010

Gambero Rosso - Tre Bicchieri for the 2009

Gambero Rosso - Tre Bicchieri for the 2008

Gambero Rosso - Tre Bicchieri for the 2007

Gambero Rosso - Tre Bicchieri for the 2006

Gambero Rosso - Tre Bicchieri for the 2005

Gambero Rosso - Tre Bicchieri for the 2004

Cantine due Palme was also recognised as Italy's Best Cantina at Vinitaly 2009.

A blend of Negroamaro and Malvasia Nera, hand picked. After the wine is fermented it is blended then aged in French oak for nine months with a further four months in bottle prior to release. It's a big, soft and warming red. Smooth, sweet tannins, bags of fruit and a very long finish. Great with food. If you enjoy the sweeter Southern Italian reds you'll love this. It's one of the region's very best wines. It was also listed in Gentleman's Magazine in the top 100 Italian wines.



Further Information on Selvarossa Riserva DOC Salice Salentino Cantine due Palme 2011 75cl

Price: £19.99



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GR
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91 Points

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Selvarossa Riserva DOC Salice Salentino Cantine due Palme 2011 75cl
 
 

Primitivo di Salentino Cantine due Palme 2014 75cl

A decent Primitivo for the money.



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Price: £8.99



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Primitivo di Salentino Cantine due Palme 2014 75cl
 
 

Primitivo di Salento IGT Il Medaglione Leone de Castris 75cl

Leone de Castris is one of the region's top wineries, established in 1665. They make some excellent wines which are great value and this is probably their very best value wine!

Soft, smooth and easy drinking. This is great wine for the money.

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Primitivo di Salento IGT Il Medaglione Leone de Castris 75cl
 
 

Salice Salento Riserva DOC Leone de Castris 2011 75cl

Leone de Castris is one of the region's top wineries, established in 1665. They make some excellent wines which are great value.



Further Information on Salice Salento Riserva DOC Leone de Castris 2011 75cl

Price: £14.50



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Salice Salento Riserva DOC Leone de Castris 2011 75cl