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Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello Di Montalcino 2013 (1x75cl)

The 2012 vintage was Awarded 93 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Brunelllo di Montalcino 2012 (see blue links below).

Antinori PdV Brunello 2012 - November 2017 Decanter review

The Pian delle Vigne estate is located six kilometers (3.5 miles) to the south of the town of Montalcino  above the Orcia river valley. The property consists of 184 hectares (460 acres) , 65 of which (some 160 acres) are planted to vines situated between 130 and 200 meters (440-660 feet) above sea level and with an exposure which is principally to the southeast. The soil consists prevalently of clay and limestone and is rich in small stones. It takes its name from a period-style 19th century railroad station situated within the estate’s confines. 

This wine is 100% Sangiovese.

To see an excellent 3 page information sheet and tasting note that has been prepared by the team at Antinori, please click on the blue link below.

Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello di Montalcino 2013 - fiche technique

£45.60

Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino 2014 (1x75cl)

The 2013 vintage was awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their May 2019 review - Brunello: Tuscany's treasure plus top wines worth seeking out (see blue link below).

Fattoria di Barbi Brunello di Montalcino 2013 - May 2019 Decanter review

The Colombini family traces its roots back to the middle ages when, among other things, it had a hand in governing the city-state of Siena. During the twentieth century, the Fattoria dei Barbi was headed by Pio Colombini, then by Giovanni, and then by Francesca. It is currently run by Stefano Cinelli Colombini. Each of these family members helped to develop the estate as part of a long-standing family tradition. The Cinelli Colombini family’s philosophy has always been that of marrying state-of-the-art technology with tradition in order to improve their wines without ever altering their classic character.

This red wine has been produced since 1892 and has received many awards for its quality. This wine is the heart of Barbi's production and it is made with 100% Sangiovese grapes from their best vineyards in Montalcino.

Before fermentation, the grapes were subjected to a cold pre-fermentative maceration which consists of cooling the grapes at a temperature of 16° C in an environment protected by CO². This process increases the extraction of polyphenols and aroma compounds. The regular alcoholic fermentation followed and lasted 16/17 days at a controlled temperature of 27°- 28°C. After the racking and the malolactic fermentation, the wine aged in small-medium size oak barrels (2,25 – 15 hl) for several months. Later it completed the ageing process in larger oak barrels, for a total period of two years and then is bottled at least 4 months before being released for sale.

Powerfully structured, this is an austere, warm, amply flavoured wine with a deep ruby to brick-red colour and a richly complex, dry, full and soft palate. A muscular, full-bodied wine with great richness.

£36.70

Barbi Brunello Di Montalcino Riserva 2011 (1x 75cl)

Fattoria dei Barbi is among a prestigious group of estates that has played an integral part in writing the history of Italian wine. In fact, the estate is one of only five in Montalcino that have continuously operated for over 100 years. The Colombini family, one of region’s most influential families, founded the estate in 1790. The family has owned land in Montalcino since 1352, first building the “Poggio alle Mura” estate (now Castello Banfi), then “Argiano”, and finally they began assembling “Fattoria dei Barbi” in 1790, where they have produced wine ever since. The estate is currently owned and managed by the 20th generation heir, Stefano Cinelli Colombini, who carries on constantly seeking innovation through research and the application of new techniques.

Along with the Biondi-Santi family, the Colombini family helped build the reputation of Brunello di Montalcino as a wine of great quality and prestige worldwide. Fattoria dei Barbi is among the original producers of Brunello di Montalcino with bottles dating back to the 1892 vintage in its cellar. The estate, whose name is derived from “Barbo”, a reference to the seashell fossils found throughout the vineyards, received top awards at exhibitions all over Europe since the first vintages.

In this wine, the typical characteristics of the Brunello, great body intensity, complex and developed aromas, capability for long aging, are stressed. In the “Riserva”, everything is extraordinary, but nothing is excessive. It is a Brunello that respect the character of elegance typical of the Barbi farm, demonstrating at the same time wine of great potency. It is a selection done amongst the best barrels and it is produced only in the best harvests. The aging is of five years of which three in barrels: the refining in a bottle is of at least six months.

Before the fermentation the grapes were subjected to a cold pre-fermentative maceration which consists in cooling the grapes at a temperature of 16° C in an environment protected by CO². This process increases the extraction of polyphenols and aroma compounds. The regular alcoholic fermentation followed and lasted 16/17 days at a controlled temperature of 27°- 28°C. After the racking and the malolactic fermentation the wine aged in small-medium size oak barrels (2,25 – 15 hl) for the first months Later it completed the aging in larger oak barrels, for a total period of three years. This Brunello Riserva is bottled at least 6 months before being released for sale.

Brick red in colour with earthy brown edges. The nose is pronounced and complex, offering an entertaining array of red and black berry fruits, spices and oaky aromas. The palate is medium to full bodied with a richly complex middle and an everlasting, elegant finish. The tannic structure that dominated the wine in its youth is beginning to mellow and allow mature, secondary characteristics to show. A stunning wine with enormous appeal. This wine has the structure to allow it to age for up to 25 years.

Brunello di Montalcino is the King of Tuscan wines. It should accompany strongly flavoured meats and game, it is definetely a wine to be contemplated, and such is the perfect partner to accompany a selection of cheeses at the end of a good meal.

£75.80

Capezzana Carmignano `Villa di Capezzana` 2016 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2019 Claret Alternatives article (see blue link below)

Tenuta di Capezzana, Villa di Capezzana 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review

The Capezzana estate, 24 kilometres north west of Florence, is owned by the Contini Bonacossi family. The younger generation is now firmly in charge of the estate's 100 hectares of vineyard, with daughter Benedetta Contini Bonacossi as winemaker and Francesco Bernabei as consultant winemaker. The wines and the olive oil have an elegance which marks this estate out from the crowd.

Grapes are grown on the estate's 104 hectares of vineyard which have been converted to organic production. Vines are situated at approximately 150-200 metres above sea level, facing south, south-east and south-west. Soils are schistous clay with limestone.

The 2016 vintage was characterised by a very mild winter with regular spells of rain until early June allowing for important underground water reserves to build up. Conditions through the growing season were good, with a large crop of healthy grapes flourishing during the dry, sunny and warm summer days that were balanced by cool evenings. Although heavy rainfall (80ml over three days) arrived on the 15th September, overall this vintage is characterised by the large diurnal temperature variation during summer which has given the 2016 vintage an aromatic note more defined than in previous years.

Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks for 25 days at temperatures between 18-25°C. At the end of the alcoholic fermentation the wine was put in French oak for the malolactic fermentation and then aged in 3.5 hectolitre tonneaux for 12 months, followed by 12 months in bottle before release.

75% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Canaiolo, 5% Cabernet Franc.

Ruby red in colour with a restrained, elegant nose. Perfumes of dark cherry and liquorice give way to spice and plums on the palate. Rounded tannins from the Sangiovese are lifted by the cassis concentration of the Cabernet and melt into a long, perfumed finish.

£25.55

Carpineto, Brunello di Montalcino 2013 (1x75cl)

The 2012 vintage of this wine was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Brunelllo di Montalcino 2012 (see blue links below).

Carpineto Brunelllo 2012 - November 2017 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.

2013 was considered to be a more classic vintage, as the harvest took place later than in recent years. The season was marked by a cool, wet spring, followed by cool weather during the early summer. Warm, dry weather during the latter part of the summer encouraged the ripening and maturation of the berries. The resulting wines are harmoniously balanced, with excellent phenolic maturity and delicate bouquets.

Carpineto's Montalcino estate is one of the highest in the appellation at an altitude of 450 metres above sea level, with 10 hectares of vineyard planted to Sangiovese Grosso on a dry farmed hillside. Planted at a density of 2.20 x 0.90 metres, which is the equivalent of over 5,000 vines per hectare, the vines are trained on a unilateral cordon system. The sedimentary soil has a galestro frame with clay accumulations dating to the Eocene era, some 15 million years ago. With a slightly northern exposure, the vineyard is surrounded by thick woods, which protect it from the warm and humid westerly winds that come up from the Maremma.

The grapes were harvested at optimum maturity levels and carefully selected. The fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats followed by maceration on the skins to extract flavour, colour and fine tannins. The wine was aged in Slovenian oak barrels for three years, followed by at least six months bottle ageing.

A mature Brunello showing a decisive and fine bouquet of hints of vanilla, deep red cherries, raspberry and a touch of liquorice. Elegant and well textured, with a warm and smooth palate and a long finish. Ideal with a bistecca all fiorentina, a fine roast leg of lamb with rosemary, pot roasted pheasant or fine, mature cheese.

£34.80

Castello di Cacchiano, Millennio, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 (1x 75cl)

Awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter in their May 2019 panel tasting of 2010 Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Castello Di Cacchiano, Millennio, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2010 - May 2019 Decanter review

Castello di Cacchiano was founded in the 10th century and has been in the Ricasoli family for over 1,000 years. The estate is situated near Gaiole in Chianti, some 20km north-east of Siena.

Winemaking at the estate dates back to the 12th century. Today, this estate consists of ~200 hectares with some 32 hectares dedicated to vineyards (with the remainder dedicated to olive oil production). The vineyards are situated some 400m above sea level with most slopes south-facing, being ideal for hard-to-ripen Sangiovese. The soil composition, which is made of calcareous clay with substantial portions of crumbled limestone and sandstone - Chianti's famous albarese soil - provides an excellent substratum for the cultivation of vines. Thanks to the soil and to the ideal microclimate, the vines are able to develop to their full potential.

Castello di Cacchiano produce about 120,000 bottles of wine annually. This wine saw production of ~6,400 bottles in 2010; now only ~300 remain at the castello.

This is the estate flagship and standard-bearer. It has been produced for many years since its inception (to celebrate the 1,000th anniversary of the estate), previously as a Riserva; however, its strictly estate-based production and extended ageing qualify it for the more stringent criteria of Chianti Classico's Gran Selezione (GS) classification, which was introduced in 2010 (this is the first vintage of the Millennio to bear the GS label). 

100% Sangiovese.

The wine underwent a warm fermentation and was macerated on its skins for a period of 4 weeks to maximise tannin extraction. It was aged in a mixture of small oak barriques and larger tonneaux - both of French oak - for a total of 30 months. Total ageing before release was 5 years.

Tasting note: we would refer you to the Decanter review link above. We take Andrew Jefford's comments here:

"Very refined, mature aromas of meat stock, laurel and a touch of cream unveil a poised and graceful palate with bright-eyed acidity and deft tannins, contriving to give a sense of balletic energy. Enticing and mouthwatering, as well as very classic".

£32.00

Castello Nipozzano, Montesodi, Toscana 2015 (1x 75cl)

Tradition, innate elegance and the essence of the Renaissance: Tuscany exudes an aura of timelessness that has inspired generations of the Frescobaldi family and is now an integral part of their vineyards. The Nipozzano Estate is located in one of the traditional areas of Chianti: Chianti Rufina, which is the smallest and most elevated Chianti sub-appellation. The 11th century castle is located in the heart of the prestigious Chianti Rufina, which holds the family cellar including wines dating back to 1864. The uniqueness of the Nipozzano terroir continues to produce wines with a wide range of aromas and extraordinary longevity.

The castle of Nipozzano is the most famous property of the Frescobaldi family. It was built around the year 1000 in the heart of the Chianti Rufina area on the hills that overlook the river Arno. Due to the perfect balance of altitude, soil and a cool, ventilated microclimate, the grape varieties enjoy ideal conditions for perfect growth. The vineyard covers 18 hectares and is situated at 400 metres above sea level with a south westerly orientation. The soils are dry and rocky limestone with calcareous clay, which are well drained and poor in organic substances. The vines are over 20 years old. They are trained according to the Guyot method and are planted at a density of 5,850 vines per hectare. The wines of the estate have been cherished since Renaissance times for their balance and longevity.

The grapes were hand harvested in early October. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at less than 35˚C and lasted for 10 days. Maceration lasted for 30 days including the alcoholic fermentation with periodical stirring to obtain maximum colour and softer tannins. The wine went through malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged for 18 months in oak.

This wine has an intense aroma profile with hints of cherry, strawberry, plum and dried flowers. The palate is warm and savoury with soft evolved tannins resulting in a wine which is harmonious and balanced. A wonderful match for Porcini mushroom pasta or liver parfait.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£33.55

Castello Nipozzano, Mormoreto, Toscana 2015 (1x 75cl)

Tradition, innate elegance and the essence of the Renaissance: Tuscany exudes an aura of timelessness that has inspired generations of the Frescobaldi family and is now an integral part of their vineyards. The Nipozzano Estate is located in one of the traditional areas of Chianti: Chianti Rufina, which is the smallest and most elevated Chianti sub-appellation. The 11th century castle is located in the heart of the prestigious Chianti Rufina, which holds the family cellar including wines dating back to 1864. The uniqueness of the Nipozzano terroir continues to produce wines with a wide range of aromas and extraordinary longevity.

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

Castello Nipozzano, Mormoreto, Toscana 2015 - fiche technique

The grapes were hand harvested and then softly pressed. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at less than 30°C and lasted for 12 days. Maceration lasted for 28 days. Malolactic fermentation took place in barriques immediately following alcoholic fermentation. The wine was aged for 24 months in barrique and six months in bottle.

Cabernet Sauvignon 60%, Cabernet Franc 20%, Sangiovese 15%, Petit Verdot 5%.

Ruby, red with violet highlights. Aromas of blueberry and blackberry are followed by black cherry and balsamic notes. On the palate the tannins are textured and dense. It is rich and velvety with a very long finish maked by eucalyptus and balsamic notes. A terrific partner to slow-cooked meat dishes, marinades and stews.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

£53.15

Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 (1x75cl)

The 2013 vintage was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of the top tiers of Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Castello Vicchiomaggio La Prima Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2013 - May 2018 Decanter review

The historical origins of Castello Vicchiomaggio can be traced back to the 5th century. The present owners, the Matta family, acquired the property in 1964 and restored it back to its former splendour. The estate, with 150 hectares, is one of the largest in the area, and of these, 32 hectares are dedicated to the vine. Castello Vicchiomaggio produces several styles of wine, from the traditional to the innovative. In order to achieve this, the estate has been carefully classified according to its soil type and exposure. All production and winemaking is supervised by John Matta. The hallmark of John's wines is elegance, perfumed, stylish and all have beautiful balance. These wines truly show off the Sangiovese grape at its best. Vicchiomaggio is consistently classified amongst Italy's top estates and John Matta has been named IWSC Italian Winemaker of the Year four times in the last 14 years.

The Chianti Classico region experienced a balanced climate during the 2015 vintage. Warm weather in spring allowed the buds to flower evenly. This was followed by fantastic weather conditions during the growing season, warm, sunny days with low rainfall were balanced by cooler nights, enabling the grapes to reach excellent maturity levels in a healthy condition and with concentrated flavours. 2015 is considered an excellent vintage.

The sustainably cultivated vines are grown in La Prima vineyard where the soils are marl and clay. Gran Selezione is a DOCG Chianti category and is produced exclusively with grapes from single vineyards or selected from the estate's best-suited vineyards. In addition to having stricter technical and organoleptic characteristics, Gran Selezione wines can only be released to the market 30 months after the grape harvest, having spent at least three months in bottle. These features place this at the summit of the Chianti Classico quality pyramid.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled tanks, with regular pump-overs of the cap to ensure the desired levels of aeration. The wine was matured in French oak barriques for a period of 20 months, followed by one year maturation in the bottle.

This wine is made using Sangiovese 90%, Merlot 10%.

A complex bouquet showing aromas of red and black berried fruit, with hints of lemon, tobacco leaves and a touch of toasted oak. Full, velvety and complex flavours shine through on the sublimely smooth palate leading to a fresh and elegant finish. A superb pairing with roast beef, a rack of lamb, steak or mushroom ravioli.

£36.05

Cigliano Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 (1x75cl)

** SADLY, THIS WINE HAS NOW ALL GONE AND NO MORE IS AVALABLE FROM THE PRODUCER - THIS WAS VERY MUCH 'END OF VINTAGE'.

HOWEVER, IF TOP-END, AWARD (DWWA19)-WINNING, CHIANTI CLASSICO IS YOUR DESIRE, WE HEARTILY RECOMMEND THIS (click this link) **

Awarded a Platinum & Best in Show medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).

For other 2019 DWWA winners, click here.

Also awarded 94 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter in their February 2019 tasting of Chianti Classico new releases (see blue link below).

Cigliano Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 - Feb 2019 Decanter review

The Villa del Cigliano has been in the Antinori family since 1500. The Villa is situated in the Chianti Classico area near the village of San Casciano in Val di Pesa in the Tuscan countryside, 20 km from the center of Florence. It was built in the second half of the 1400s on existing medieval buildings. Alessandro di Niccolò Antinori bought it at the end of that century, and it still belongs to the descendants of Eleonora Antinori. Today, the wine estate is still a family-run business. The company aims year after year to improve the sustainability and the eco-friendliness of the process while making traditional wines, pure expression of the terroir of this specific area of Chianti Classico, San Casciano in Val di Pesa.

The property, situated at an altitude of 300 meters consists of 60 hectares, 25 hectares of which comprise vineyards and the remainder olive trees. The wine production includes: Chianti Classico DOCG (stndard and the Riserva, as here), Vin Santo of the Chianti Classico DOC and extra virgin olive oil.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note on this, the 2016 Riserva, from the winemakers at Villa del Cigliano.

Cigliano Chianti Classico Riserva 2016 - fiche technique

"We saw a huge number of masterfully impressive Tuscan red wines this year, as you can see if you check out our Gold and Platinum winners, yet in the end the wine which stole our judges' hearts was an almost light-bodied, fine-profiled, filigree-textured, ultra-classic Chianti Classico. Don't be misled, though, by that lightness and stealthiness; the quality of its fresh fruits is outstanding, its balance is impeccable and the detail which will come with full articulacy is still a year or two away. Redcurrant and red plum purity and a veil-like subtlety of texture will beckon you on into a bottle that seems hard-wired to its vineyard origin: Tuscan earth juice. Drink 2019-2026" (DWWA19 tasting note/review)

£25.00

Il Paradiso Di Manfredi Brunello Di Montalcino 2011 (1x 75cl)

Il Paradiso di Manfredi is a tiny estate of 2.5 ha in the heart of Montalcino. In the 1950s Manfredi worked for the famous Biondi Santi estate. In 1958 he bought Il Paradiso di Manfredi where there were more olive trees than vines and indeed in that period in Montalcino the olive oil production was higher than the wine production. Initially they were harvesting around10000 kg of olives each year but at the beginning of the 1960’s a big freeze destroyed all the olive trees and Manfredi decided to replant everything with vines. In 1982 Manfredi died, and Florio, Manfred’s son in law, decided to work on the estate full time. 

Il Paradiso di Manfredi today is one of the best expressions of traditional Brunello di Montalcino. Viticulture and vineyard rhythm is effectively biodynamic (but not certified). Pesticides and weedkillers are eschewed, the waxing and waning of the moon determines activity in the vineyard and the winery. They hand-pick the grapes (yields are around 42hl/ha) ,the wild ferment takes place in concrete vats (no temperature control… ) after which the wine spends 36/40 months in big casks of Slavonian oak (25/ /30 hl ). By law a Brunello di Montalcino may be ready for the market in January five years after the harvest. For Florio a Brunello is ready when… it is ready.

After having obtained the recognition of the Commissione del Consorzio del Brunello and from the Chamber of Commerce of Siena, the wine is bottled "by gravity" to avoid the stress caused by mechanical pumps. The wine develops in bottles for many years and is strengthened thanks to its natural and pure characteristics.

This wine is 100% Sangiovese.

It is an intense wine with flavours of leather and truffle, summer berries and spice, firm tannins and a touch of minerality.

£78.05

Il Poggione Brunello Di Montalcino 2013 (1x 75cl)

The 2012 was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their November 2017 edition review of Brunelllo di Montalcino 2012 (see blue links below).

Il Poggione Brunello 2012 - November 2017 Decanter review

The 2011 vintage - alas, no longer available - was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status, and won a Platinum Best in Category award  (www.decanter.com), in the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards  (see blue link below). 

Il Poggione 2011 - 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards

High on its perch overlooking the lush Maremma, Tenuta Il Poggione has been a byword for top-quality Brunello for more than a century. Its dramatic scenery proved irresistible to Florentine landowner Lavinio Franceschi in the late 19th century, drawn to the area by the tales of a local shepherd whose sheep spent the summer months on the sunlit slopes between Montalcino and Sant’Angelo. This was wild country in those days, and agricultural techniques verged on the medieval, but Franceschi did not allow this to blind him to the land’s clear potential for making great wine. His modern approach married the best Sangiovese clones to the best vineyard land in the area – a philosophy handed down to current owners Leopoldo and Livia Franceschi, representing the fifth generation to run the winery. Il Poggione has about 125 hectares of the finest Brunello vineyards and a 10-year-old winery that combines modern equipment with a traditional approach, not least in the large French oak barrels so vital to the development of its classic Brunello and Rosso di Montalcino. But there’s much more to the 600-hectare estate than vineyard: a variety of crops are interspersed among the vines, and wild animals are encouraged to thrive, transforming what might be a monoculture of the vine into a thriving example of biodiversity in practice.

Produced from the winery's oldest vineyards, planted between 150 and 450 metres (490 - 1475 ft) above sea level. The grapes were harvested by hand, while, in the winery, the wine sees 15 to 20 days of 'submerged cap' fermentation in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts at a controlled temperature 25/28 °C (77/82 F). Malolactic fermentation occurs in stainless steel before aging for 36 months in large French oak barrels (30 - 50 hl) followed by a long bottle aging.

See blue link below for the fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Il Poggione.

Il Poggione Brunello Di Montalcino 2013 - fiche technique

A ruby red wine with garnet hues and a very intense, lingering and stylish bouquet with small dark berry fruit notes. The palate is dry, warm, quite smooth and tannic and the after-aroma is long-lasting.

£32.10

Isole e Olena Chianti Classico 2016 (1x 75cl)

The 2015 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their Italy 2019 supplement as part of an article on Chianti Classico (see blue link below).

Isole e Olena, Chianti Classico 2015 - February 2019 Decanter review

The name 'Isole e Olena' came about in the 1950s when two adjoining estates, 'Isole' and 'Olena', were purchased by the De Marchi family and combined to form one. The history of both estates dates back many hundreds of years, and the earliest documentation of the village of Olena goes as far back as the 12th century. During the 1950s, the De Marchi family planted specialised vineyards and expanded the cellars. Today, the estate is run by Paolo De Marchi and his wife Marta. Paolo comes from a family with three generations of winemaking experience in the northern part of Piemonte and his older son, Luca, now runs the family estate there, Proprietà Sperino.

The Isole e Olena estate covers 290 hectares, of which 49 are planted with vines and 45 with olives. The vineyards are approximately 400 metres above sea level and face south-west. The oldest vines on the estate were planted in 1958 and the youngest in 2007. Paolo was one of the first producers in Chianti Classico to plant high density vineyards with new lower yielding clones of Sangiovese in the 1980s. In many cases he returned to the poor soils on hillside sites that had been abandoned when quantity took precedent over quality. As a result of these changes, Paolo gets better grapes, and hence better wines.

Fermentation took place in tank with 15 days of maceration, délestage (or rack-and-return) and pumping-over twice a day. De Marchi first experimented with the délestage method in 1996 and subsequently began using it for all red wines from the 1997 vintage. Maturation lasted one year and took place in barrel (of which 5% was new oak) and 4,000 litre oak casks.

80% Sangiovese , 15% Canaiolo, 5% Syrah/Shiraz.

This Chianti Classico is crimson in colour with typical sour cherry and bramble notes. The palate has a supple, lithe character full of perfumed fruit and is given depth by a mineral vein. Structure comes from the taut acidity and tannin structure.

£26.25

Ornellaia 2012 (1x75cl)

For 700 years the Frescobaldi family who own Ornellaia have combined tradition, experience and innovation with creativity and the pursuit of excellence. The family has always looked to develop and celebrate the diversity of Tuscany’s terroir, being proud owners of some of the greatest vineyards in this region. The production philosophy at Ornellaia revolves around their obsession with excellence – at all levels. Every choice they make is of absolute importance and implies an all-consuming attention to detail. At no point in the production process are shortcuts allowed or tolerated, and this is how they succeed in harvesting grapes that are of the very highest quality irrespective of the climatic conditions in any particular year.

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

Ornellaia L'Incanto 2012 - fiche technique

£132.00

Petra `Petra` IGT Toscana 2014 (1x 75cl)

This 300 hectare estate, created by the Moretti family of Bellavista, is situated in Suvereto in the Val di Cornia, Tuscany. When Vittorio Moretti, together with his daughter Francesca, set out in search of a property in the Maremma in 1997, they asked Attilio Scienza, Italy's most celebrated viticultural professor and consultant, to help them find the best spot. Scienza came up with Petra (the name is derived from the Latin for stone, or 'pietra' in Italian), which is to the south east of Bolgheri and inland from, although facing, the sea. The estate now has 94 hectares of vineyard across three separate plots, which surround a splendid modernist winery built by the Swiss architect Mario Botta. Francesca Moretti, CEO of Bellavista and Petra, and newly appointed winemaker Giuseppe Caviola, are working to ensure that the quality of fruit arriving in the winery is being captured in the finished wines. In the vineyard, they are in the process of organic conversion, while the gravity-fed winery has been designed to ensure as gentle a treatment of the grapes, must and wine as possible.

The soil at Petra, a cru vineyard, is perfectly suited to growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The Merlot is elegant and supple, grown on the cooler, hillside sites, while the Cabernet is grown on the well-hydrated, less fertile, flatter land.

The early part of summer 2014 was exceptionally fresh and rainy. By August, however, the rain had stopped. The good weather continued until harvest. Ripening was slower than usual, giving more elegant wines.

The grapes were harvested in the coolest hours of the day. After three days of cold-soaking, fermentation took place. Malolactic fermentation followed in barrel. The wine was then aged in French oak barriques and Demi-muide, of which 30% were new and the rest are second- and third-use, for 18 months. The wine continued to age for a further 10 months in bottle before release.

In the glass, this wine has a bright ruby red colour. The bouquet is full of red fruit, with hints of black cherry and blueberry. The wine has excellent balance and length with a tangy finish of blackberry and dried fruit.

£44.35
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