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Alpha Zeta A Amarone 2016 (1x75cl)

Alpha Zeta was created in 1999 by UK wine importer, David Gleave MW, and New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson with this belief in mind. They realised that the key is to marry local grape growers with impeccable winemaking. All Alpha Zeta wines are made from indigenous grape varieties grown in the hills north-east of Verona.  The flavours of the grape shine through in the glass offering great value, quality and balance. Matt works with local Veronese grape growers in hillside vineyards to select parcels of fruit, rather than buying in bulk wine. They have worked together to reduce yields and the grapes are now picked later. In this way, they have been able to improve grape quality and obtain riper flavours.

The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is a mixture of clay and limestone with good drainage. The vineyards are south-facing and therefore warmer than other parts of Valpolicella.

The 2016 harvest was quite similar to 2015, with a cold winter and abundant rainfall. The beginning of the growing season was characterised by the alternation of dry and rainy periods, which allowed for perfect vine development. The following hot and dry summer led to an abundant harvest with healthy grapes.

Selected grapes were picked in mid September and left to dry in specially ventilated rooms until the end of January. During this time the grapes lost about 40% of their natural weight. The grapes were destemmed and crushed at the end of January. Fermentation temperature was between 18°-22°C with daily periodic pumping over, while the length of maceration was 20 days. This Amarone was matured in oak (a mixture of large 'botti' and French oak barriques) for 18 months before bottling.

85% Corvina/Corvinone , 15% Rondinella,

This Amarone is deep and intense on the nose with aromas of dried cherries and blueberries and notes of spiced autumn fruit compote. On the palate it is powerful, with a lovely balance of ripe tannins and spiced, concentrated savoury cherry fruit character. A touch of woodsmoke completes the long finish.

ABV = 15.0%.

£24.65

Cantina Valle Isarco, Kerner Aristos, Alto Adige 2018 (1x75cl)

** PLEASE NOTE: NOT WITH US UNTIL THE END OF OCTOBER (this wine is nowhere in the UK currently) - A SHORT FURTHER DELAY IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE **

Awarded a Platinum medal, Best In Show medal and 97 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

Located in the Valle Isarco, the most Northerly wine producing area of the majestic mountainous region of Alto Adige. Cantina Valle Isarco is one of the youngest cooperatives here, but has swiftly built a reputation for producing high quality wines of regional distinction. Though the cooperative itself may be young, evidence suggests that Valle Isarco has very old winemaking roots, dating back as far as 500 BC!

The Cantina was founded 1961 by 24 members, at which time it was located in the cellars of Reinthalerhof estate. After a series of unfortunate events, resulting in the devastation of the winery, not once but twice! In 1975 they consolidated their resources to build a brand new, state of the art winery, equipped with the latest technology and modern equipment.

Today the Cantina is made up of 135 members, located across the valley on steep terraced vineyards, ranging from 300m – 950m above sea level. Because of how steep the slopes are, almost all the grapes are hand harvested, ensuring uncompromised quality of fruit. The vignerons benefit from dry, sunny ripening periods and mineral rich soils, ideal conditions for these expressive, aromatic white wines. White wine makes up 95% of their production, working with classic regional varieties such as Kerner, Sylvaner, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Müller Thurgau and Gewürztraminer. Although whites are their focus, they have also found success with varietals such as Pinot Noir, Zweigelt, Lagrein and Schiava.

Cantina Valle Isarco’s wines display beautiful freshness, minerality and regional typicity, their entry level range offers fantastic value for money. Their premium Aristos range uses top quality grapes from across the Valley to produce wines with brilliant focus, strong character, depth and elegance.

Strict controls, from pruning to ripeness, and the selection of exceptionally good-quality grapes are the criteria allowing the production of this fantastic Kerner wine, with its intense fruitiness and robust and expressive body. The Aristos line is characterized by wines made from lower yields and select vineyards with mature vines and careful selection process. The Kerner Aristos is made from grapes grown at 700m-800m altitude on nutrient-poor, shallow top soils and minerals such as quartz.

100% Kerner.

For this wine, see the blue link below for the fiche technique/technical and tasting note from the winemakers themselves. This is for the new 2019 vintage (not in UK or rated by DWWA), but the details are fundamentally the same.

Cantina Valle Isarco, Kerner Aristos, Alto Adige 2018 - fiche technique

This is an aromatic white wine with a signficant structure.

** PLEASE NOTE: NOT WITH US UNTIL THE END OF OCTOBER (this wine is nowhere in the UK currently) - A SHORT FURTHER DELAY IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE **

£23.50

Cascina Val Del Prete Vigna di Lino (Roero DOCG) 2016 (1x75cl)

** IN STOCK **

The 2016 Roero Vigna di Lino offers a broader, richer expression of Nebbiolo from Roero. Dark fruit, leather, menthol and spice all flesh out in striking, beautifully layered wine that dazzles from the very first taste. The purity of the flavors is just remarkable. There is a bit of oak influence that gives the wine an element of raciness. I do wonder what a more transparent expression of Nebbiolo might be like here, but there is no denying the beauty of what is in the glass. 93 points.” Antonio Galloni

Here's our video tasting here of this wine, which follows that for a rare Emilia-Romagna Sangiovese.

Cascina Val del Prete - or valley of the priest - takes its name from the exiled Bishop of Asti who lived there in 1850. In 1977 Bartolomeo Roagna and his wife Carolina bought the farm Val del Prete where they had worked as sharecroppers. Their first task was  to replace some grain and fruit with vines. The grapes are planted on south-facing slopes in a splendid natural amphitheater. Over the years, they have increased the area under vine to 27 acres. Their son, Mario, has entered the family business and now takes care of the vineyards. Cascina Val del Prete continues to be well received due to Mario’s commitment to great wine.

The Roero is situated in the north-eastern most part of the province of Cuneo and it owes its name to an ancient family that held the district, a hilly area, as a feudal possession. The sandy soil of the Roero hills yields an intense red wine, bearing the district’s name, that differs from the other great Piedmontese wines in that it quickly attains good balance while the others require aging. The wine was created through the tenacity of the producers and their stubbornness and diligence in identifying the areas with exposures and soils best suited to vines.

Mario Roagna is one of Roero’s rising winemakers. In a certain sense, his story is symbolic of a territory that has grown and asserted itself as one of winning quality. His philosophy is to plant only native grape varieties such as Arneis, Barbera and Nebbiolo and to let the characteristics of the terroir speak through the wine. Farming is done biodynamically and the estate has converted to organic farming. Fermentation in the cellars is spontaneous with indigenous yeasts.

The Vigna di Lino vineyard extends for about 3 acres on the left bank of the Tanaro river in the commune of Priocca. It lies at around 250m above sea level and enjoys an exposure to the south. The vines are 30+ years old with a density of 2,300 vines per acre.

The harvest is made by hand at the end of October to ensure optimum physiological ripeness of the late-ripening Nebbiolo. 

A 25-day maceration and fermentation in stainless steel tanks with 6-7 daily pump-overs. Racking into French oak barrels where the malolactic fermentation takes place. Ageing for 16 months in used French oak barriques and then 8 months in-bottle.

Annual production is just 4,500 bottles.

100% Nebbiolo. 

A red wine of great structure. Ruby red color with garnet hues developing with age. Elegant tannins and notes of blackberries, mushrooms and roses. This can (and will) age for years. Pairs well with roast lamb, game and dry cheeses.

ABV = 15.0%.

£23.50

Cenatiempo Per e Palummo Ischia DOC 2018 (1x75cl)

As Cenatiempo will tell you, Ischia wine is mountain wine. The vineyards all over the island are influenced by the close proximity to the Tyrrhenian Sea (off the West Coast of Italy, not far from Naples) but also from their elevation – their grapes are grown up to elevations of 600 meters. The winery is run by Pasquale Cenatiempo and his partner, Federica Predoni. They make compelling, focused, mineral-driven wines from the island’s indigenous varieties on the volcanic slopes of Ischia. 

Ischia is situated just off the coast of Naples. Here the soil is volcanic. In fact, the island was formed by a volcano which last erupted in 1302. The winery was founded in 1945 by Pasquale’s father Francesco, who, like Pasquale today, made wine from his own grapes as well as from some of his friends and neighbors throughout the island. Not much has changed over the last 70 years. 

Sites located on different sides of the island of Ischia at elevations ranging from 50-450 m ASL with diverse exposures.

Vines are guyot, sapling, and spur-pruned cordon trained: All grapes are hand-harvested in October.

Grapes are macerated for 4-6 days and fermented in stainless steel tank under temperature control using indeginous yeasts, with minimal use of sulphites and minimal intervention.

Aged 4 months on the lees in concrete and stainless steel followed by 1 month bottle ageing in the cellar prior to release.

100% Per e' Palummo.

Ruby colour, very bright. On the nose a mix of red fruit, strawberry and red berries with hints of violets and spices. On the palate it is dry and clean with a refreshing and pleasant character.

ABV = 13.0%.

£16.00

Chiara Condello Romagna Sangiovese Predappio (normale) 2017 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK. **

For the curious, interested and time-rich, see this excellent webinar/tasting with Chiara Condello from May 2020.

Here's our video tasting here of the 2016, which was combined with one for a rare Roero DOCG Nebbiolo.

"Notes of spicy cherry, wild berries and purple flowers lift from Chiara Condello’s 2017 Romagna Sangiovese Predappio, followed by hints of white pepper and animal musk. On the palate, silky textures soothe the senses, ushering in ripe red and hints of blue fruit laced with saline-minerals, which create a tactile expression. The finish is long and fresh, revealing a hint of sour melon that mixes with the residual acids to create a sweet and sour effect. While the 2016 might color a little more within the classic lines and last a bit longer in the cellar, this 2017 is perfectly balanced, fruit-forward and ready to give a lot of pleasure". Eric Guido, Vinous.

Chiara Condello is a young winemaker located in the town of Predappio in Emilia-Romagna, specifically Romagna. Chiara owns 7 hectares of land, 4.8 of which are planted to Sangiovese; the rest are split between woods and olive trees.  Her family also makes wine in Predappio under their own label called Condè, but Chiara works in her own way, with her own vineyards and own cellar.  Her first vintage was 2015, and in short time she’s combined her bright-eyed enthusiasm with a clear vision of what her Sangiovese should be.

Romagna is no stranger to Sangiovese; many ampelographers believe it originates here and not in Tuscany. Predappio is one of twelve villages that give their names to Sangiovese subzones authorized as of the 2011 vintage. It is located in the foothills of the Apennines, and is characterized by a sedimentary soil called spungone, which is relatively young (three million years old, from the Pliocene epoch).  It contains abundant, intact shells of marine life, often quite large, and is chunky and porous, held together by a calcareous sandstone 'cement'.

A Romagna Sangiovese with an authorized subzone on the label must be 95% Sangiovese, with lower yields and more stringent ageing requirements compared to a regular Romagna Sangiovese.  Chiara’s two wines—a normale (this wine) and a Riserva called Le Lucciole (an emerging superstar wine retailing at ~£60 and on strict allocation) - are both 100% Sangiovese and go above and beyond what is required by the appellation.  Farming is organic, making use of cover crops and the occasional application of horse manure. In the cellar, Chiara draws inspiration from the late Giulio Gambelli, often using open-top fermenters with extended maceration (sometimes with whole clusters), and a preference for ageing in large neutral vessels.

This wine: Harvested late September/early October 2017 (earlier than in 2016; crop riper earlier). 100% Sangiovese from three vineyards parcels between 150m and 350m above sea level, with a north/northeast exposure.  One is clay-limestone, one is red clay with high spungone content, and the last is clay-limestone with veins of spungone. The vines are approximately 40 years old. The grapes were partially destemmed but not crushed, leaving whole berries intact. Fermentation was spontaneous in small stainless steel tanks (with temperature control), and open-top tronconic wood vats and tonneaux. Macerations lasted 15-25 days. Ageing was for one year in used 3500-litre Slavonian oak botti plus 6 months in bottle. Unfined and unfiltered.

Annual production is just 12,000 bottles.

Organically produced.

Exel tasting note: Clear (in that way Sangiovese is), with a bright ruby colour. The Predappio has an intense, seriously fruity nose: classic (and very ripe) red cherries, married with blacker-than-usual fruits for Sangiovese – most notably, blackberries and black cherries. There’s florality and complexity here: hints of violets and rose allied with soft, sweet vanilla tones from the oak. Very balanced in the mouth with silky tannins and beautiful acidity; long and elegant. This is ripe, rich and sumptuous for a Sangiovese, reflecting the warmth of the vineyards. This is thus a more easy-drinking (and ready-to-drink) style of Sangiovese, with acidity and tannins tamed (a little) more than usual, yet lacking neither in complexity or the ability to age (easily five years, and probably ten).

How does the 2017 differ from the 2016? As per Vinous's note at the top of this page, it's softereasier and more voluptuous (the 2017, that is). 2017 was a very hot vintage throughout Italy. It imposed a challenge on all top-end wine producers in crafting elegant, balanced wines. What the 2017 normale/Predappio lacks in elegance and multi-layered structure, it more than makes up for immediacy and approachability ... and this was already an approachable Sangiovese. It is very more-ish and a highly enjoyable glass of red wine (and that is to undersing its praises). Note that these are not shorthand terms for a wine that is 'too hot' - Chiara has managed to tame the heat and make a very well-balanced and excellent Sangiovese, espeially at this rice-point, but it inherently darker, blacker, riper and softer in nature than the 2016.

ABV = 14.0%.

£17.25

Fatalone Primitivo Gioia Del Colle Riserva Speciale 2017 (1x75cl)

Fatalone are a small, historic, family winery. In the late 19th Century, ancestor Petrera Nicola decided to build his home within the winery and chose the hill called Spinomarino, for its lofty, well-aired and sunny position, among the best in the entire area of Gaudella (south-eastern area of Gioia del Colle) to grow Primitivo grapes. Fatalone's tradition of artisan vine-dressers can be traced back to that time. The land was cleared, with the trees replanted in another area of the property, and cisterns were dug out to ensure an adequate water supply. The excavated stones were used to build the ancient farm or Masseria. A triangle, carved on the highest stone of the building and used as a symbol for the winery, defines the farm as the oldest historical building in the countryside and as a cartographic point of reference. Nicola Petrera’s passion for Primitivo grapes has been handed down from father to son along with the following words: “Who loves and respects Nature, loves God and himself”.

In 1988, inside the small cellar dug out within the rocks, the first bottle of Primitivo DOC Gioia del Colle marked Fatalone (vintage 1987) was born. The brand name of the wine originated with Filippo Petrera (2nd generation), Nicola’s son, who was, in his time, nicknamed Il Fatalone. It quickly caught on becoming the family nickname. Fatalone translates literally into “Lady Killer” or “one who can boast to be an irresistible seducer of women” much like the legendary Don Juan. Filippo Petrera lived until the age of 98, metaphorically speaking between Bacchus and Venus, having breakfast every morning till his last day with half a litre of Primitivo and half a litre of fresh milk.

In 1987, Fatalone were the first winery to produce and bottle the Gioia del Colle DOC. Primitivo as a single varietal wine. Their winery, with its strict family management, has always practiced organic farming; since 2000, they have been Certified Organic by the Institute for Ecology and Ethics Certification (ICEA).

For this wine, there is spontaneous fermentation of the must in contact with the skin for 240-300 hours at controlled temperature and just with autochthonous yeasts. Open-cycle process with frequent pumping of the must over the pomace. Natural malolactic fermentation. No addition of sulphites during the whole vinification process.  Only after the end of the malolactic, re-integration of the sulphites lost during the vinification steps to restore the initial natural value.

This wine spends 12 months in stainless steel tanks, 12 months in Slavonic oak 750-liter-casks with the application of music therapy to optimize the spontaneous microxigenation process and improve the fining of the wine, 6 months in bottle.

100% Primitivo.

Ruby red intense colour with slight burgundy hues. Scent typical of very ripe fruits and slightly toasted wood and spices, with some balsamic notes. Full bodied, rich in minerality and freshness, balanced smooth taste of black sour cherry and plum tending to velvety with ripe fruity notes of blackberry and mulberry, and spices like clove and cacao. The feature that makes our natural authentic Primitivo of Gioia del Colle unique is the toasted almond aftertaste.

This wine is best when served with strong flavoured dishes like pasta with rich sauces, roasted beef, game, grilled meat as well as fish and aged cheese. The Riserva is also particularly fine with dark chocolate sweets.

ABV = 15.5%.

£16.55

Il Palagio di Panzano Torgentile IGT 2015 (1x75cl)

For our article on Chianti Classico and Il Palagio di Panzano, click here.

Il Palagio di Panzano produces wines that mirror the unique character of the area. They are members of the Unione Viticoltori di Panzano and have made the decision to produce organic wine. For the family, sustainability for us is a synonym for “family-run”, too. They have the belief that they can guarantee the high quality of their wines by remaining as a small, family-run winery

The Torgentile is an unusual wine for the very heart of Chianti Classico country. It is 100% Merlot, but made with all the same love, care and attention used for Il Palagio's Chianti Classicos. Chianti Classico must (absolutely must) be 80% Sangiovese, and although that allows for a blend light on Merlot, it does not allow for a full Merlot blend... which is a shame given how very well it grows here. Hence, the Torgentile steps outside the Chianti Classico DOCG rules and into the denominazione of IGT Toscana which allows for the use of Merlot.

The grapes for the Torgentile are always harvested by hand from Il Palagio's single hectare of Merlot. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks at a maximum temperature of  28° for 21 days. Malolactic fermentation is then allowed to occur before a full 24 months of maturation in French oak barriques.

100% Merlot.

The Torgentile is bright ruby red in colour with light reflections. The aromas are intense with hints of red fruits, spices and oak. The palate is well structured and harmonious with well-rounded, persistent tannins. The finish is reminiscent of spices, oak and liquorice. 

ABV = 14.0%.

£18.00

Planeta Mamertino DOC 2017 (1x75cl)

As sampled at Exel Wines' November 2018 tasting. See here for the report of that evening.

The 2015 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition article on Sicily (see blue link below).

Planeta Mamertino 2015 - May 2018 Decanter review

In Planeta’s early years, expertise came from a surprising source: Australia. The winemaker brought in by Diego Planeta was an Italian – Carlo Corino – but one who had soaked in the latest warm-climate winemaking secrets during a stint in New South Wales. Ever since, Planeta has managed to captured the intrinsic perfume and fresh flavours of Sicily’s grapes in their wines.  The island estate pursued an unconventional approach to winemaking, with Planeta establishing a cult following for its barrel-aged Chardonnay, at a time when most other Italian whites were typically consumed straight out of the fermenter. This early success gave Planeta the credibility it needed to open the world’s eyes to the charms of Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties, ushering in a broad range of wines that today owes as much to Grecanico and Nero d’Avola as it does to the winery’s signature Chardonnay.

For this particular wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Planeta.

Planeta Mamertino 2016 - fiche technique

60% Nero d’Avola, 40% Nocera.

Brilliant, intense ruby colour with dark violet reflexes. Explosive nose with notes of Mediterranian maquis, blue fruits and jammy berries. On the palate thick but refined tannins, well integrated with the oak.

ABV = 13.5%.

£20.65

Poggio al Sole Chianti Classico 2017 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK! **

The 2016 vintage was awarded a Silver medal and 91 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

See also the DWWA19-winning Chianti Classico Gran Selezione (the Casasilia) from Poggio al Sole and also their Super-Tuscan, the Seraselva.

Documents in the archives of the abbey of Badia a Passignano, which owned Poggio al Sole until the 1960s, show that olives and wine were grown there as early as the 12th century. The Davaz family, which acquired Poggio al Sole in 1990, has grown wine in the Bündner Herrschaft in Switzerland since the 1970s. The eighteen contigous hectares of sloping schistose-clay vineyards are among the very highest in Chianti,  and are perfectly sheltered from the Tramontane wind by the surrounding oak forest. Alessandro Masnaghetti, the brilliant taster, journalist, and publisher of Enogea, believes that Poggio al Sole is one of the top three vineyard sites in all Chianti Classico.

Here's Poggio al Sole's own data sheet/fiche technique on this, their Chianti Classico.

Poggio al Sole Chianti Classico 2017 - fiche technique

90% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo, 5% Merlot.

"Pretty cherry and plum nose with a touch of leather. The palate is balanced by fresh acidity and velvety tannins. Long, smoky finish." (DWWA19 tasting note of the 2016).

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 14.0%.

£16.75

Poggio al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2017 (1x75cl)

** SOME STOCK, MORE WITH US THURS 1st OCTOBER! **

Awarded a Gold medal and 96 points at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details and review).

For other 2020 DWWA winners, click here.

The 2014 vintage was awarded a Platinum Medal, 98 points and Best in Show status at the 2018 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

One of the most exciting estates to have emerged from Italy in recent years, Poggio al Tesoro is a 70-hectare property in Bolgheri acquired in 2002 by the Allegrini family. The first vineyard they bought, Le Sondraia, is next door to Ornellaia and was previously rented by them. It is 12 hectares in size and is planted with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon.

‘Seggio’ is the name of the creek that runs through Bolgheri - its course from above is represented on the label. This wine is produced from different plots of vineyards in the Poggio al Tesoro estate. The Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in the Via Bolgherese vineyards, at 53 meters above sea level. Here soils are deep, with coarse-grained red sand, that is gravelly and well-drained with a layer of clay at 120 centimetre below the surface. The other varieties are grown on the Le Sondraia vineyard, at 35 meters above sea level. Its soils are clayey with well-drained sandy silt and high concentrations of magnesium and iron. The average age of the vines is 17 years and they are spur-pruned and cordon-trained.

Throughout the winter the weather was good, with very little rain and slightly lower than usual average temperatures that helped to combat insect infestations that can damage the vines. Spring was marked by early bud burst, while the frosts that hit various Italian regions did not adversely affect the vegetation in Montalcino. The summer picked up on the trend in spring, with sunny days and constant breezes. Early July was marked by relatively elevated humidity for the coastal area. The first significant rainfall occurred in mid-September, followed again by warm, bright days. The prolonged drought helped Poggio Al Tesoro combat both fungal and parasitic diseases. Irrigation management was more complex, coordinated with the help of mini weather stations equipped with sensors capable of detecting soil moisture and the release of vapour. But as always, human observation was invaluable: visual and manual monitoring of swelling in the leaves and grapes prompted timely interventions with exactly the right amount of water, enabling them to keep the grapes fresh and well-toned, and the leaf canopy actively engaged in photosynthesis.

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique / technical note from the winemakers at Poggio al Tesoro.

Poggio Al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2017 - fiche technique

50% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot.

The grapes were destemmed and softly pressed. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 28-30°C for 12 days. Malolactic fermentation was carried out naturally in barriques in November. The wine was then aged for 15 months in 225-litre French oak barriques from Allier (30% new, 70% second use).

This wine has an intense ruby red colour, and there are red berry and cassis aromas with mineral and spicy notes on the nose. The palate is medium bodiedand the tannins are elegant and silky. The wine has a lively finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£24.30

Talenti Rosso Di Montalcino 2018 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition sponsored guide of Rosso di Montalcino (see blue link below).

Talenti Rosso Di Montalcino 2016 - December 2018 Decanter review

The winery was established in 1980, when Pierluigi Talenti decided to buy the fascinating property and grounds with which he had fallen in love in the fifties, when he had decided to leave the mountains of his native Romagna for the sweet and sunny hills of Montalcino. The Talenti estate is located south of Montalcino, close to the small medieval village of San Angelo in Colle. Ricardo Talenti has overseen plenty of improvements in both the vineyards and cellar since taking over from grandfather Pierluigi.

The Talenti vineyards are situated in the southern hills of Montalcino (220-400m above sea level).

This wine is made in a hands-off, traditional style. Temperature controlled maceration and alcoholic fermentation take place for 20-25 days in stainless steel tanks (24-26°C). After an ageing period of 8 months partially in French oak tonneau and Slavonian oak barrels, the wine spends an additional 4 months in bottle before release. 

100% Sangiovese.

The Talenti Rosso di Montalcino is ruby red and intense in colour with a violet shimmer. It is medium-bodied with crisp red and black cherry fruit, savoury earthy notes and a sprinkling of spice. The tannins are ripe and firm with fresh acidity.

ABV = 14.5%.

£17.55

Tenuta di Bibbiano Chianti Classico 2018 (1x75cl)

** NOW IN STOCK! **

PLEASE SEE ALSO THE FULL CHIANTI CLASSICO RANGE WE TAKE FROM BIBBIANO (all with Decanter scores).

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Awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) at their Chianti Classico & Brunello Value Picks Tasting in Feb 2020 (see blue link below).

Tenuta Di Bibbiano Chianti Classico 2018 - Feb 2020 Decanter review

"The 2018 Chianti Classico reveals the promise of the excellent 2018 vintage in Tuscany. It shows good concentration with appealing complexity of dark red plum, dried cherry, underbrush, and a hint of dried Tuscan herbs. It’s bright on the attach and very fresh on the palate. A 100% Sangiovese fermented stainless steel with malolactic occurring in cement. This wine is a blend of grapes from both sides of the estate, mostly Sangiovese but with a bit of Colorino, too. 91 points", International Wine Review (reviewer, Donald Winkler), June 2020, full article here

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Founded in 1865, Bibbiano is located in the historiic Chianti region, in the municipality of Castellina-in-Chianti, overlooking the Elsa Valley towards the castle of Monteriggioni. Today’s owners, Tommaso and Federico Marrocchesi Marzi, are the fifth generation. Surrounded by vast olive groves consisting of over three thousand trees, Bibbiano’s vineyards cover an area of about 25 hectares, at an altitude ranging from 270 to 300 meters, with enviable exposure and excellent microclimate. The vineyards consist of plants of Sangiovese and Sangiovese Grosso grapes as well as a smaller quantity of Colorino.

Tenuta di Bibbiano was the longest standing consultancy of famed winemaker Giulio Gambelli, also famous for his long relationships with Montevertine and Case Basse di Soldera. Their decades-long association with Gambelli, under whom Bibbiano’s current winemaker trained, still lives on in their traditional approach to winemaking and their commitment to 100%-pure Sangiovese wines. Their harvest is still conducted manually and grapes carefully selected, with different vinification procedures according to the position of the slopes on which the grapes were grown. They are committed to replanting vineyards using wood poles and columns and by planting only autochthonous grapes. Bibbiano is committed to promoting conservative renovation of the farms, in order to not lose their architectural and human heritage and its very ancient history. The estate was certified organic in 2011.

Tommaso Marrocchesi Marzi is a leading voice in the push to establish formal village appellations in Chianti Classico and is a great supporter of the new Gran Selezione category, which requires wines labeled as such to be made exclusively from estate fruit and bottled at the origin. With the 2014 vintage, Bibbiano raised their Montornello Riserva to a Gran Selezione, lowering production significantly. The Montornello, now a limited production single-vineyard Riserva, comes from the northern face of the estate where calcareous clay and stony alberese soils give the wine its distinctive acidity and red-fruited profile. This wine, the Capannino, continues as a Gran Selezione Riserva, featuring the dense structure and rich, black fruits that result from these reddish-brown, clay-rich soils planted exclusively to Sangiovese Grosso. There is also - and this - a Chianti Classico Riserva, made from exclusively from the Sangiovese da Chianti clone grown on the Montornello side of the property, selected after the very best bunches are picked for the Montornello single-vineyard bottling.

The Annata (or 'standard' Chianti Classico) is produced using grapes cultivated on both exposures of the property, across a vineyard area of 30 hectares including all the estates's vineyards in Bibbiano and Castellina-in-Chianti.

The 2018 harvest started on September 13th.

Fermentation was for 16 days in stainless steel. Ageing was for 12 month in concrete vats.

100% Sangiovese. 

Brilliant ruby red. A very floral, aromatic nose, especialy of red cherry and wild berries. Fresh and persistent flavours, with lively acidity.

ABV = 13.5%.

£16.95

Tenuta di Bibbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 (1x75cl)

** OUT OF STOCK, AT LEAST FOR JULY. **

** HOWEVER, IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN A WAITING LIST FOR THIS WINE, PLEASE EMAIL US ON communications@exelwines.co.uk. **

** PLEASE SEE ALSO THE FULL CHIANTI CLASSICO RANGE WE TAKE FROM BIBBIANO (all with Decanter scores). **

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Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) at their Chianti Classico New Releases Tasting in Feb 2019 (see blue link below).

Tenuta Di Bibbiano Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 - Feb 2019 Decanter review

"2016 was another excellent vintage for Tuscany, especially for the late ripening Sangiovese, albeit at below normal yields. This Riserva is outstanding from its vibrant and highly complex nose to the lovely, long finish. The palate is full and layered with bright fruit, firm acidity, and round, fine-grained tannins. Outstanding freshness and balance with dark berry/plum, cedar, and fresh herbal aromas and flavors. Matured in oak vats and cement for 18 months. 93 points", International Wine Review (reviewer, Donald Winkler), June 2020, full article here

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Founded in 1865, Bibbiano is located in the historiic Chianti region, in the municipality of Castellina-in-Chianti, overlooking the Elsa Valley towards the castle of Monteriggioni. Today’s owners, Tommaso and Federico Marrocchesi Marzi, are the fifth generation. Surrounded by vast olive groves consisting of over three thousand trees, Bibbiano’s vineyards cover an area of about 25 hectares, at an altitude ranging from 270 to 300 meters, with enviable exposure and excellent microclimate. The vineyards consist of plants of Sangiovese and Sangiovese Grosso grapes as well as a smaller quantity of Colorino.

Tenuta di Bibbiano was the longest standing consultancy of famed winemaker Giulio Gambelli, also famous for his long relationships with Montevertine and Case Basse di Soldera. Their decades-long association with Gambelli, under whom Bibbiano’s current winemaker trained, still lives on in their traditional approach to winemaking and their commitment to 100%-pure Sangiovese wines. Their harvest is still conducted manually and grapes carefully selected, with different vinification procedures according to the position of the slopes on which the grapes were grown. They are committed to replanting vineyards using wood poles and columns and by planting only autochthonous grapes. Bibbiano is committed to promoting conservative renovation of the farms, in order to not lose their architectural and human heritage and its very ancient history. The estate was certified organic in 2011.

Tommaso Marrocchesi Marzi is a leading voice in the push to establish formal village appellations in Chianti Classico and is a great supporter of the new Gran Selezione category, which requires wines labeled as such to be made exclusively from estate fruit and bottled at the origin. With the 2014 vintage, Bibbiano raised their Montornello Riserva to a Gran Selezione, lowering production significantly. The Montornello, now a limited production single-vineyard Riserva, comes from the northern face of the estate where calcareous clay and stony alberese soils give the wine its distinctive acidity and red-fruited profile. This wine, the Capannino, continues as a Gran Selezione Riserva, featuring the dense structure and rich, black fruits that result from these reddish-brown, clay-rich soils planted exclusively to Sangiovese Grosso. There is also - and this - a Chianti Classico Riserva, made from exclusively from the Sangiovese da Chianti clone grown on the Montornello side of the property, selected after the very best bunches are picked for the Montornello single-vineyard bottling.

The Riserva is produced using grapes cultivated on both exposures of the property, across a vineyard area of 30 hectares. It represents a real tribute to the tradition of Bibbiano's terroir.

Some 35,000 bottles of the 2016 Riserva were produced.

The harvest started on September 26th.

Fermentation was for 23 days in stainless steel and cement vats.

Ageing was for 18 months, part in cement vats, part in French oak tonneaux (large barrels). 

100% Sangiovese. 

Deep ruby red. Prune and cherry. Juicy and fruity with soft tannins. As Decanter said in the review above, "youthful and giving, this offers up aromas of celery, anise, pepper and oregano, giving nuance to the ripe red berries. Ample fruit on the palate fits nicely with firm tannins, while assertive acid gives lift and energy".

ABV = 14.5%.

£20.50

Varvaglione Vigne e Vini Papale Oro Primitivo di Manduria 2016 (1x75cl)

This wine originates from Primitivo grapes carefully selected and manually picked into cases.

The Primitivo varity has been cultivated for centuries in the Puglia region. It tends to have high vigour, mature relatively quickly and produce high yields. Drought and high temperatures can be a problem so using the alberello system of training allow for better vine management. Vines are planted in the province of Taranto at an altitude of 150/200 m above sea level and the harvest is done by hand.

Fermentation with maceration at a controlled temperature of 26° - 28° C. After malolactic fermentation, aging in oak barrels for at least 10 months.

100% Primitivo.

It is ruby-red-coloured and its taste is round and soft, reminding scents of mixed berries jam. Its good texture identifies with the local territory and its refined elegance is a distinctive feature. Like many fine Puglian Primitivos, given the high ripeness of the grapes at picking, this wine is fractionally off-dry and has a residual sugar level of 13g/litre.

ABV = 14.5%.

£20.00

Planeta Burdese 2015 (1x75cl)

In Planeta’s early years, expertise came from a surprising source: Australia. The winemaker brought in by Diego Planeta was an Italian – Carlo Corino – but one who had soaked in the latest warm-climate winemaking secrets during a stint in New South Wales. Ever since, Planeta has managed to captured the intrinsic perfume and fresh flavours of Sicily’s grapes in their wines.  The island estate pursued an unconventional approach to winemaking, with Planeta establishing a cult following for its barrel-aged Chardonnay, at a time when most other Italian whites were typically consumed straight out of the fermenter. This early success gave Planeta the credibility it needed to open the world’s eyes to the charms of Sicily’s indigenous grape varieties, ushering in a broad range of wines that today owes as much to Grecanico and Nero d’Avola as it does to the winery’s signature Chardonnay.

For this wine, see the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc.

Planeta Burdese 2014 - fiche technique

A Bordeaux made in Sicily from a selection of the best grapes of the company’s vineyards. A powerful red, structured on a dense and important tannin texture balanced by a decisive alcoholic content. Tasting strength based on a ripe, very dense, rich fruit. The flavours are those of bilberry and preserved sour cherries mixed with leather which gradually develop to intense aromas of cherry, cocoa, iodine and rosemary.

ABV = 14.0%.

£22.00
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