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Antinori Prunotto Barolo 2015 (1x75cl)

Prunotto was founded in 1904 by Alfredo Prunotto under the name Ai Vini delle Langhe. In 1989, the Marchesi Antinori family began its collaboration with the Prunotto Company, at first handling distribution and later getting directly involved in the production process, maintaining the excellent level of quality which Alfredo Prunotto had always insisted upon.

This wine comes from vineyards in the townships of Monforte, Castiglione Falletto, and Serralunga. The soils from the Tortonian-Messinian period - the so-called “Sant’Agata fossil marls” - are particularly rich in calcareous clays and elements such as magnesium and manganese.

The selected grape bunches were destemmed and pressed. The fermentation with skin contact lasted a total of ten days at maximum temperatures of 30° centigrade (86° Fahrenheit). The malolactic fermentation terminated before the end of the winter. The wine ages for at least 18 months in French oak casks. A further period of bottle ageing in the Prunotto cellars preceded commercial release.

This wine was made using 100% Nebbiolo.

The 2015 Barolo stands on firm ground thanks to the dark and savory qualities that lift heavily from the bouquet. This wine is saturated and rich with dark aromas that are firmly stitched together with spice, licorice and pressed blue flowers. There is power and richness at the deep inner core of this wine. It will unfold and become softer with time (perhaps five years or more). 

ABV = 13.5%. 

£36.90

Bertani Catullo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition's panel tasting of Valpolicella Ripassos (see blue link below).

Bertani Catullo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2016 - May 2020 Decanter review

We have created a 3-minute video tasting of this Ripasso.

In 1957, the Bertani family bought the Tenuta Novare, a unique place in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica area. The estate is situated in a green hollow, in a sort of natural amphitheatre, where the vineyards alternate with woods and lush nature. It is an extraordinary land where constant water is guaranteed by 7 natural springs. Amarone Bertani wouldn’t be the authentic and distinctive wine we know today, if this unique place didn’t exist.

Tenuta Novare has a continuous and unusual alternation of soils: clay at the bottom of the valley, calcareous soils rich in iron and manganese and soils rich in basalt, ideal for producing grapes destined to making great red wines.

The mild climate, as shown by the presence of cypresses and olive trees, defines this welcoming and noble profile of Valpolicella.

From this same site, the Catullo Ripasso is produced, an elegant, balanced and harmonious wine with a classic style made with the second fermentation ripasso technique.

70% Corvina Veronese, 20% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella.

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

Bertani Catullo Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore 2016 - fiche technique

This is a wine of medium body, with gentle spicy notes of vanilla and chocolate and the typical notes of cherry, black cherry and white pepper. On the palate, freshness and drinkability (typical of Valpolicella) combine with a silky tannic structure and an intense aromatic persistence, more typical of Amarone. Fresh, soft and sapid finish.

Exel note: it has a markedly lower residual sugar level than many ripassos.

ABV = 13.0%.

£34.40

Caggiano Taurasi Vigna Macchia dei Gotti DOCG 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded Tre Bicchieri - 2020 by Gambero Rosso.

The 2013 vintage was awarded 95 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 edition review of Italian Icon Wines (see blue link below) ....

Caggiano Taurasi Vigna Macchia dei Gotti 2013 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

... and awarded 93 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 Italy supplement article on Aglianico (see blue link below).

Caggiano Vigna Macchia dei Gotti Taurasi 2013 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

The estate was established in 1990 by Antonio Caggiano with the help of Professor Luigi Moio, who is one of the major experts on Aglianico. Antonio is also a professional and very talented photographer. Antonio used to have a building enterprise and he decided to build a cellar, in 1990, that was supposed to amaze. The cellar, which is hewn in rock and built underground, is really amazing and was completed in 1995. In the meantime vineyards from the finest crus were bought and plots of land were purchased and planted with selected clones of Aglianico. The new part of the cellar with very modern equipment was designed by Pino and Lorella, both architects and son and daughter of Antonio, and was completed in 2008. Pino, who has a real passion for wine, is now at the helm with the support of Antonio.

The estate could potentially produce one million bottles/year, but Antonio and Pino have chosen to keep production at 150,000-160,000 bottles/year. The total vineyard extension is 26 hectares, 23 hectares of Aglianico and 3 hectares of Fiano. The vineyards of Aglianico are all in Contrada Sala. The zone of Contrada Sala is airy, the altitude is 350-450 meters above sea level. The exposure is south-west. The great Aglianico grape finds ideal conditions here. The Fiano vineyards are in Lapio. Vineyards of Greco (located in Tufo) and vineyards of Falanghina (in the area of Benevento) are contracted. Disease and pest control is carried out following a programme of the Campania region for the respect of the environment and for the care of vines. 

For this flagship Taurasi, fermentation is temperature-controlled, in stainless steel.

Intense maceration with the skins and alcoholic fermentation at 28 deg C for 20-25 days in steel. Malolactic fermentation in barriques. The wine matures in French oak (Troncais, Centre and Vosges) barriques for 18 months. Finishing in the bottle for another 18 months.

100% Aglianico.

This is an intense and complex wine with aromas of red berry fruits on the nose and hints of vanilla and licorice appear on the palate along with wild strawberries and cranberries.

ABV = 14.5%

£31.35

Feudi di San Gregorio Serpico Irpinia DOC Aglianico 2012 (1x75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition article on Aglianico (see blue link below).

Feudi di San Gregorio Serpico Taurasi 2012 - May 2020 Decanter review

One of the main protagonists in the renaissance of Southern Italian wines, Feudi di San Gregorio has carved out a reputation for making truly world-class wines in less than 30 years. The company began in the mid 1980s with the aim of safeguarding local traditions, unlocking the potential of key indigenous grapes such as Fiano, Greco, Falanghina and Aglianico.

The Aglianico grapes are produced in a historic vineyard named "Dal Re". This historic region of the Appennine countryside is known as Irpinia and it has a unique terroir and climate in which vineyards coexist with fruit trees, olives and aromatic herbs. The winds here divert a beneficial rainfall which creates a microclimate in Irpinia that differs from Campania, the winters though brief are snowy and cold and the summers can be wet and prolonged. The soils are uniquely volcanic, sandstone and marl. Each vineyard is closely monitored with a meteorological station, and the technologies of the new state-of-the-art wine cellar ensures that each vintage comes as close to perfection as possible.

Fermentation and maceration took place in stainless steel tanksand lasted for approximately three to four weeks. The wine was matured for a minimum of 12 months in medium-toasted French barriques and barrels of 50hl. The wine was then aged for a minimum of 12 months in bottle, prior to release.

Aglianico 100%.

A complex wine bursting with cherry jam, sweet spices, liquorice, coffee and cocoa notes balanced with a beautiful spicy, minerality. A well structured wine with great length.

Excellent with roasted red meats, the finest poultry, game and aged cheese.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 14.0%.

£40.10

Pieropan Amarone Vigna Garzon 2015 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition article on the next generation of Italian wine producers (see blue link below).

Pieropan Amarone Vigna Garzon 2015 - May 2020 Decanter review

Pieropan's estate covers 58 hectares of vineyard which are situated on the stony hills of Soave Classico. The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1890s. Indeed, they were the first producer to bottle a wine with the name Soave on the label in the early 1930s. Nino Pieropan took over from his father in 1970 and was the first producer in Soave to make a single vineyard wine, 'Calvarino', in 1971. Nino's two sons, Andrea and Dario, took over the running of the estate in 2017 when Nino fell ill and before he passed away in April 2018. From the 2015 vintage onwards, all Pieropan wines are organically certified.

In 1999, The Pieropan family bought uncultivated land on the hill of Garzon, which is 400 metres above sea level in Cellore Illasi. The Illasi valley is to the west of Soave and has long been known for the quality of its Valpolicella. Pieropan planted vines here in 2000. The vineyard is south-facing with good exposure that ensures excellent ripening of the Valpolicella varieties (Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and Croatina). The limestone and clay soil and the windy and dry micro-climate are all ideal conditions for the production of rich yet elegant wines. The vines are trained using the Guyot system, with 5,800 vines per hectare. The vineyard is certified organic.

Mild temperatures and moderate rains accompanied the winter season. The beginning of the vines’ growth cycle saw abundant rain, but was thankfully followed by a hot and dry period. This allowed for perfect health and organoleptic qualities in the grapes, making this 2015 vintage one of the best, if not the best, of the last 20 years.

The grapes were hand-picked and dried naturally, then pressed and de-stemmed. The must was fermented at 23-24ºC for approximately 30 days during which time pumping over and punching down the cap took place every day. The wine was aged in 500 litre barrels for 36 months followed by a year in bottle before release.

This wine is made using 60% Corvina, 15% Croatina, 15% Rondinella, 10% Other Native Red Varietals.

To see an excellent technical sheet for this wine with a tasting note from the winemakers, please click on the blue link below.

Pieropan Amarone Vigna Garzon - fiche technique

Brilliant and intense ruby red in colour, this is a wine with a heady perfume of black cherries and red summer fruits with notes of pepper and sweet spice. On the palate it is complex and rounded, with a powerful structure supporting the fruit and a lovely freshness on the finish. A wine with plenty of character with the potential to age well.

ABV = 16.5%.

£47.05

Pio Cesare Barbaresco 2014 (1x75cl)

Established in 1881, Pio Cesare, now run by fifth generation Pio Boffa, was one of the very first producers to believe in the potential and quality of the great wines of Piemonte and to export to the UK.  A ceaseless devotion to the individuality of each of the region’s wines informs Pio’s choices in the vineyards and cellar. He applies a ‘minimal intervention’ philosophy to wine making, creating wines that year after year, are ranked among the world’s best wines.

The grapes are sourced exclusively from family owned vineyards in Treiso (Il Bricco, San Stefanetto and Bongiovanni) and in San Rocco Seno d’Elvio (Rocche di Massalupo).

The grapes are hand-harvested, then gently pressed and fermented on the skins for 20 days at 25 to 26°C in stainless steel. 35% of the wine is then aged in mid-toasted French oak (a third new) for 30 months. The remaining 65% spends three years in 20 to 50 hectolitre casks.

This wine is 100% Nebbiolo.

This vintage has extraordinary elegance, complexity and character. Silky and intense bouquet. Full body, great structure, right tannins, incredible aging potential, precise and classic Nebbiolo style. The wine has sweet and very elegant tannins.

Serve with red meat dishes, game or seasonal truffle, mature cheeses.

ABV = 14.0%. 

£45.85

Poggio al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 (1x75cl)

** THE WONDERFUL, AWARD-WINNING 2015 VINTAGE HAS NOW ALL GONE. WE WILL BE BRINGING IN THE 2016 AND 2017 VINTAGES IN MID-LATE AUGUST. 

BOTH COME HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ... AS OUR VIDEO TASTING HERE EXPLAINS (click blue link) AND SEE ALSO THE BOX BELOW.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO JOIN OUR WAITING LIST FOR THE INCOMING CASASILIAS (NB: THERE IS ONLY LIMITED 2016, SPEED RECOMMENDED!), PLEASE EMAIL US ON communications@exelwines.co.uk SPECIFYING HOW MANY BOTTLES YOU WOULD LIKE.

We also highly recommend the 'everyday' Chianti Classico and Super-Tuscan from Poggio al Sole. **

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Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition panel tasting of top-end Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Poggio Al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 - April 2020 Decanter review

The 2016 vintage was awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

The 2014 vintage was also awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of the top tiers of Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Poggio Al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2014 - May 2018 Decanter review

 

How does the 2016 compare with the 2015? Here's the word from Valentino Davaz, winemaker at Poggio al Sole:

 

"From a winemaking perspective, the 2016 vintage was almost a perfect wine year. During flowering there was a lot of sun and wind, which had an ideal effect on the young grapes and set us up with abundant quantities for the season. Between spring and summer, we had an ideal balance between rain and sunshine. A few very warm August and September weeks put the vines under some water-stress. From previous years we know that has a positive impact on the intensity of the aromas and acidity.

 

Throughout the year we identify the grapes for our Gran Selezione Casasilia and reduce quantity in favour of quality through multiple selection steps. At the beginning of October, we were able to harvest wonderfully ripe Sangiovese grapes of the highest quality. During the destemming of the berries we run a last selection of the Sangiovese grapes, which leaves us with the top berries destined for the Casasilia.

 

In terms of structure, fruitiness and acidity balance, the 2016 vintage is certainly on a par with its predecessor. It distinguishes itself through round and well integrated tannins, which gives the wine an extra layer of elegance, whereas the 2015 had more power and structure. Here, at the winery, we like to say that 2016 has probably been the best vintage in the decade (2010-2020) that just ended. Our base Chianti Classico 2016 already impressed with a very fruity and intense bouquet and a fresh and juicy palate. The just -eleased Merlot-Cabernet Sauvignon Seraselva 2016 reaffirms the vintage by standing out with above average aroma intensity in the bouquet and a round, complex and long palate and finish".

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.

The Casasilia - Poggio al Sole's premium Chianti Classico from the top-tier Gran Selezione classification - is ample testament to that.

Here's Poggio al Sole's own data sheet/fiche technique on the Casasilia.

Poggio Al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 - fiche technique

Additional detail (for those that like it): the wine is

- fermented in steel vessels (for best temperature control); 

- put through malolactic fermentation in a mix of stainless steel and old oak; 

- first matured in French (esp Nevers region) oak barrels/barriques of 225 litres, ~20% of which are made of new oak, the remainder being one-year old barrels, for some 9 months; 

- then matured for a further 9 months in much larger (30 hectolitre/3,000 litre) Stockinger vessels of Austrian oak (currently 2-5 years of age, but these will be used until 15-20 years of age), for a slower polymerisation than occurs in the barriques; and

- allowed to rest and develop in stainless steel (with occasional extra time in the Stockingers) for another 12 months before bottling.

100% Sangiovese.

"This wine gushes with aromas of black and red fruits, mint, chalk, dried herbs and the vanilla and spice of high quality oak, which lead on to a full-bodied, yet velvety, palate with finely detailed tannins. It really pulsates with its energy, mesmerising your palate as it swoops by, culminating in a long and elegant finish" (DWWA19 tasting note).

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 14.5%.

£30.95

Poggiotondo Chianti Riserva Vigna delle Conchiglie 2011 (1x75cl)

The Poggiotondo estate is situated in the hills to the northwest of Empoli in western Tuscany. These hills are south and southwest facing, and are planted primarily with Sangiovese. Alberto Antonini’s estate has been certified organic since the 2014 vintage. It takes many years of following organic practices before a wine can be deemed organic, so this wine, whilst not certified as organic, has been made following organic principles.

This wine is made soley from Sangiovese grown in a one hectare vineyard planted in 1990. It is situated on top of a south-east facing hill and is called "Vigna delle Conchiglie". The name comes from the old marine soils which are rich with calcareous seashells. Planting density is 5,950 vines per hectare, trained with vertical shoot positioning and Guyot pruning. Yields are kept low at less than a kilo per vine, the equivalent of 5 tonnes per hectare. In 2011, Alberto started the conversion to biodynamic production. 

Good rains throughout the winter and at the beginning of spring gave an excellent start to the growing season of 2011. Towards the end of the season a warmer spell arrived which gave the grapes good concentration and flavour ripeness.

Grapes were hand picked in small 16 kilo cases and then delivered to the winery and gently destemmed and crushed. Grapes were not pumped but went into the fermenters with a gravity flow system. They were fermented in oak fermenters of varying sizes, at a maximum of 28°C for 10-12 days. Fermentation occurred with natural native yeasts to preserve the character of the single vineyard. The cap was punched down gently a few times a day, and the lees were stirred regularly during fermentation. After primary fermentation, the wine underwent an extended maceration of two weeks, after which it was racked into tight grained French oak barrels (20% new) where malolactic fermentation occurred. This was followed by ageing for 20 months. The wine was bottled without any fining or filtering to preserve the integrity of the flavours.

Ripe dark and red fruit aromas combine with delicate spiciness on the nose. The palate is full and rich with a velvety texture from the fine grained tannins. The finish is long with great persistence in the mouth supported by good acidity and minerality.

ABV = 14.0%.

£38.60

Tenuta Castelgiocondo (Frescobaldi), Brunello di Montalcino 2015 (1x75cl)

"This is a pure and beautiful Brunello with super fine and abundant tannins that are comprehensive and expansive. Builds on the palate. Full body. Round and firm with beautiful fruit and length. Lively and vivid. From organically grown grapes. Needs a year or two to soften, but already gorgeous.– 97 points - James Suckling, 2020.

Aromas of ripe dark-skinned berry, violet, underbrush and warm spice emerge in the glass, along with a whiff of camphor. Full bodied and enveloping, the structured palate delivers raspberry jam, dried black cherry, licorice and tobacco alongside firm fine-grained tannins. It closes on an espresso note. Drink 2023–2030. - 96 points - Wine Enthusiast, 2020.

Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Premium article: Brunello di Montalcino 2015: Vintage report and top wines (see blue link below). 

Tenuta Castelgiocondo Frescobaldi Brunello Di Montalcino 2015 - Feb 2020 Decanter review

CastelGiocondo epitomises the spirit of Montalcino. It is considered to be one of the most historical estates of Montalcino, as it was one of the first producers of Brunello di Montalcino during the 1800s. The vines are overlooked by the castle and the small medieval town of Montalcino. The combination of the unique location of the vineyard, which is situated at 300 to 400 metres altitude; the south western orientation, which benefits from the warming afternoon sun; and the free draining marl soil culminates to produce this top quality Sangiovese. The CastelGiocondo wines are distinguished by their opulence, power and extraordinary longevity. Gambero Rosso awarded Frescobaldi with the Tre Bicchieri Winery of the Year Award 2020, in recognition of its uncompromising commitment to quality and innovation.

The high density vineyards are planted at between 250 and 400 metres above sea level, with 5,500 vines per hectare. The vines have an average age of 15 years and are Cordon spur and Guyot trained. Meticulous vineyard management takes place by hand. There are two types of soil on the estate; the first is rich in sand with a high presence of calcium, while the second is calcareous, rich in both clay and calcium with a more alkaline pH.

The CastelGiocondo Sangiovese vines sprouted in the first week of April and continued to grow well, taking advantage of the abundant water reserves left over from 2014 and the normal levels of rain that fell in winter 2015. During the spring and early summer seasons, the weather was dry and sunny, supporting the even growth of the vines. July was very warm and dry with temperatures 5°C higher than the norm. Thanks to our established agronomic practices, such as tilling the land in autumn, green manure sowing and canopy management, the vines were not overly affected by the high July temperatures. In the first week of August, two significant rain showers brought some respite for the plants, reducing temperatures and allowing aromas, anthocyanins and essential tannins to condense

The grapes were hand-harvested and underwent a scrupulous selection process in the cellar. Fermentation took place in stainless steel controlled temperatures, with frequent pump-overs in the initial stages of vinification. The wine was aged in wood, where it matured for a period of five full years, resulting in a refined and balanced wine. It received further bottle ageing for several months, prior to release.

Sangiovese 100%.

Brunello CastelGiocondo 2015 first appeals to the eye with its bright, rich ruby-red hue. On the nose, fruity notes dominate, ranging from raspberry to blackcurrant, with vague hints of blueberry. Elegant floral notes emerge, offering striking and surprising scents of violet.  Spicy tertiary notes are then released, due to the lengthy ageing process. Cinnamon, pepper and leather combine in an experience of extreme elegance, finishing on a balsamic note. The wine envelops the mouth completely and impresses with its balance, its dense tannic texture and its minerality, as well as its long, persistent finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£42.85

Tenuta CastelGiocondo (Frescobaldi), Brunello di Montalcino 2014 (1x 75cl)

CastelGiocondo epitomises the spirit of Montalcino. It is considered to be one of the most historical estates of Montalcino, as it was one of the first producers of Brunello di Montalcino during the 1800s. The vines are overlooked by the castle and the small medieval town of Montalcino. The combination of the unique location of the vineyard, which is situated at 300 to 400 metres altitude; the south western orientation, which benefits from the warming afternoon sun; and the free draining marl soil culminates to produce this top quality Sangiovese. The CastelGiocondo wines are distinguished by their opulence, power and extraordinary longevity.

The high density vineyards are planted at between 250 and 400 metres above sea level, with 5,500 vines per hectare. The vines have an average age of 15 years and are Cordon spur and Guyot trained. Meticulous vineyard management takes place by hand. There are two types of soil on the estate; the first is rich in sand with a high presence of calcium, while the second is calcareous, rich in both clay and calcium with a more alkaline pH.

As to the 2014 vintage: the winter season was characterised by quite mild temperatures, unusual for the time of year. The reawakening vines were greeted with warm and sunny spring days. The cool and particularly rainy summer encouraged longer vegetative development. The second half of September was characterised by lack of rain, ample sun and significant diurnal-nocturnal temperature variations, which accelerated maturation, delivering rich grapes with aromatic, colourful and structural components.

The grapes were hand-harvested and underwent a scrupulous selection process in the cellar. Fermentation took place in stainless steel controlled temperatures. The wine was aged in wood, where it matured for a period of five full years, resulting in a refined and balanced wine. It received further bottle ageing for several months, prior to release.

See the blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers themselves.

Tenuta CastelGiocondo, Brunello Di Montalcino 2014 - fiche technique

100% Sangiovese.

A dense, warm, full-flavoured and complex Brunello with leather and earthy, savoury notes combined with violets and toasted coffee. Intense ruby red in colour, CastelGiocondo Brunello 2014 expresses itself through complex aromas of raspberry and blackcurrant, with subtle hints of blueberry, which are further enriched by elegant floral notes and the tertiary spice of cinnamon, pepper and leather. On the palate, it envelops the palate with impressive balance, dense tannic texture and minerality through to a long finish. Braised red meats or aged cheese.

ABV = 14.5%.

£42.50

Tenuta di Bibbiano Vigna del Capannino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 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 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition panel tasting of top-end Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Tenuta Di Bibbiano Vigna Del Capannino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 - May 2020 Decanter review

For a short Exel tasting video of both this wine and another Outstanding (the Perano Riserva) from that review, click here.

Also awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) at their Feb 2020 tasting of new Chianti Classico releases (see blue link below).

Tenuta Di Bibbiano Vigna Del Capannino Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2016 - Feb 2020 Decanter review

"This 100% Sangiovese Grosso, single vineyard Gran Selezione is a wonderfully expressive and balanced wine. It has a multifaceted bouquet and a deeply flavored, admirably concentrated, harmonious palate. There’s terrific fruit and graphite minerals at its core, and fine-grained tannins lend just enough spine. Finishes with an exceptionally long and pure aftertaste. 15% alc. Great value! 94 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 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.

Sloping to the south-west, the Vigna del Capannino vineyard - which overlooks Monteriggioni - sits on calcareous clay soil stratified with alberese. It totals 7ha and is planted with a massal selection of Sangiovese clones (Sangiovese Grosso) from Montalcino.

Vigna del Capannino is made only in the finest years. Some 30,000 bottles of the 2016 vintage was produced.

The harvest started on October 10th.

Fermentation was for 33 days in cement vats, with cap management/maceratin/extraction managed by rack-and-return (delestage). 

Ageing was for 24 months, part in cement, part in French oak tonneaux (large barrels) and part in botti (even larger barrels) of Slavonian oak, followed by 6 months in bottle before release. 

100% Sangiovese (Grosso). 

Intense ruby red, with purple hues. The nose is classic Chianti Classico: sour black cherry, prune, balsamic with sweet spices, cinnamon and cloves. On the palate, the wine has outstanding flavor wrapped in an elegant softness.

Or as Anthony Jefford put it in Decanter "A gorgeously teased, poised aromatic ripeness here: subtle incense spice just hidden behind the refined, perfumed plums; a hint of orange peel. Shapely, fresh, vivid and vigorous: super purity, admirable finesse".

ABV = 15.0%.

£29.30

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2000 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points by Decanter in their October 2016 vertical tasting of Sassicaia(s) (see blue link below).

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2000 - February 2019 Decanter review 

Within the estate of Tenuta San Guido, in the hills close to the Tuscan coast, between Livorno and Grosseto, are some beautiful, historical buildings, including the Castiglioncello di Bolgheri, a retreat which dates back to AD 780, and the Oratorio di San Guido, the 1803 church at the end of a classic Tuscan avenue of tall cypresses. However, it was in the early 20th century that even more historic foundations were established on the Tenuta San Guido estate.

When he acquired the property in the 1930s, the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta noted the similarity between the stony ground of his land, as well as the sea breezes coming in off the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the terroir of Graves. When planting began in the 1940s, he opted primarily for Cabernet Sauvignon, rather than the province’s dominant Sangiovese grape. For several decades, the Bordeaux-style wine produced from that Cabernet Sauvignon, with some Cabernet Franc, was a strictly private treat. But when, in 1968, Sassicaia wine was finally released to the world, it revolutionised Italian wine, creating a new genre: the Super-Tuscan. It was the Marchese’s son, Nicolò, who pushed for the move to commercial production, along with his cousin and nephew Piero Antinori (who also happened to be a member of a longer established winemaking family). They called on the expertise of the late Giacomo Tachis, who introduced innovations such as a switch to fermentation in steel but ageing en barrique. Soon, Sassicaia wine established the region’s reputation and led to the 1994 declaration of the DOC Bolgheri.

Cabernet Sauvignon 85%, Cabernet Franc 15%.

To see Tenuta San Guido's excellent information and tasting sheet for this wine, please click on the blue link below.

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2000 - fiche technique

The Original Super Tuscan in the millenial vintage. Medium to full body. A dominance of rich red fruits is heightened by fine peppery spices.  Drinking well but will keep.

ABV = 13.5%

£240.00 £210.00
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