Decanter May 2019

May’s Decanter ( has just been released and looks like this:

And in this very Italian edition, we offer the Outstanding panel toppers from the Amarone (della Valpolicella) panel review (the month’s leading panel, we would suggest). These score 96 and 95 points respectively, are two very contrasting specimens and represent a very interesting pair indeed.

We have now also managed to source one of the Outstanding (95 points) wines from the Chianti Classico 2010 review.

With the number of committed Italian wine fans – and of Amarone and Chianti in particular – from whom we hear, this is a doubly exciting review and magazine.

There’s a lot more detail on a separate page we've created on the Amarone review, the two wines and how you get hold of them.

The wines featured this month in Decanter - and that we list - appear at the foot of this page. The reviews for each wine from this current Decanter appear on each product page (although they may still be being uploaded as you read!).


The two main panel reviews this month are Premium Amarone (as above) and Chianti Classico 2010.

If you've not followed the links to the Amarone by now, you're looking for the other items this month... :

- Chianti Classico (CC) is a wonderful thing. In fact, it's this Exel staff member's favourite red category (along with Cahors). Decanter's interesting idea in the last few months has been to revisit the great vintage of 2010 - in many regions: Bordeaux, Rioja, California, now Tuscany - and see just how good the wines are now. Which is great for the first two categories there - there's plenty of those wines still about. Sadly, it seems that most 2010 CC has already been consumed. However, we have managed to source one of them (arriving by end of April); although most of the bottles available have now been sold to pre-order, we have ~30 bottles remaining.

- Brunello di Montalcino gets a feature by Andrew Jefford: we have (or can obtain) the amazing (but £300+) classic that is Biondi-Santi's Riserva 2011 and the more-attainable Barbi 'standard' Brunello 2013 at £36. We've also recently been able to source the 2017 DWWA Best in Show Brunello (95 points) at a very reasonable (for Brunello) £31.50, the Villa al Cortile Brunello 2012.

- Donnafugata are one of the greats of Italian wine production, and all the more unusual for being Sicilian (with other Med island outposts, most notably Pantellaria). They get a special feature this month, with their Vigna di Gabri Bianco 2017 and wonderful Mille e Una Notte Rosso 2015 landing 94 and 96 points respectively. These are stunning wines indeed, as are all of those from this producer.

- We've a couple of the featured value Barolo alternatives - which is to say, really, Langhe Nebbiolo, from the superb Massolino and GD Vajra. Drinking young Nebbiolo may come as anathema to many, but, based on a recent bottle of the former, these two wines make it surprisingly palatable (with food...).

- We always seem to feature well in Sicily: this month we've:

- No Italian review would be complete without an appearance from one of Pieropan's 'standard' Soave Classico or the luxury versions of La Rocca or Calvarino: this month, the last of these makes the cut (but all are brilliant and consistent high-scorers).

- And beyond Italy, we've just one major inclusion in this issue: the Croatian Matosevic Grimalda, which picks up 92 points in Steven Spurrier's round-up (NB: this is a surprisingly affordable bottle for him). 

Stop press: excellent and affordable late inclusions from De LoachEsporao and Alma Atlantica in Weekday Wines (see below).