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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

Carpineto Dogajolo Toscana Rosso 2017

Awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition review of Best High Street Italian Reds (see blue link below).

Carpineto Dogajolo Toscana Rosso 2017 - May 2020 Decanter review

Founded in 1967 by Antonio Zaccheo and Giovanni Sacchet, Carpineto farms 500 hectares of land spread over four estates among Tuscany's most prestigious appellations. The original aim of the producers – to make modern, world-class red wine from the Chianti Classico appellation, has been admirably fulfilled. The Farnito and Dogajolo wines demonstrate the winery’s pioneering approach to making wines from international varieties in Tuscany. Formerly IWSC Italian Wine Producer of the Year, Carpineto was the also the first ever Italian winery to be awarded the IWSC International Winemaker of the Year. Antonio Zaccheo is now assisted by his son Antonio and daughter Francesca, who have both previously worked in the wine trade in the USA. Giovanni Sacchet's daughter, Caterina, joined the Carpineto winemaking team after finishing her viticulture and oenology degree.

This was a unique vintage due to the severe drought that affected the vineyards, which resulted significantly reduced yields and a limited production. The wines show excellent concentration of ripe fruit flavours.

The vines are grown in the heart of Tuscany in sand, clay and limestone soils.

Whole bunches were carefully selected at harvest. The grape varieties were vinified separately, as they reached maturity at different times. Fermentation took place in stainless steel vats at 25°C, followed by 15 to 20 days maceration with frequent aerations, pump overs and punch-downs of the cap for optimal polyphenol extraction. Towards the end of fermentation they were blended and placed in small wooden casks where they slowly completed alcoholic and malolactic fermentation.

Sangiovese 70%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20% and other varieties 10%.

Modern Tuscan style displaying red cherry flavours with a rich mouthfeel, smooth and juicy. An innovative baby Super-Tuscan, Dogajolo combines the power and deep flavours of a young wine, with the elegance and balance from the oak ageing. Full bodied, yet soft on the palate with fruity cherry notes interlaced with coffee, vanilla and spice, this is complex and well-developed. 

ABV = 13.0%.

£11.50

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

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

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

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

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 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 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). **

___

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

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). **

___

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

___

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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