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Castiglion Del Bosco Rosso di Montalcino 2011 (1x 75cl)

Purchased by Massimo Ferragamo in 2003, Castiglion del Bosco, after major investment in the vineyards and winery, has been restored to its position as a leading Montalcino estate. The estate, with 62 hectares of vineyards (51 of which are permitted for Brunello production) is located in the Val d’Orcia National Park, a UNESCO site, to the north west of Montalcino, near Buonconvento. Locally trained oenologist, Cecilia Leoneschi, who has been working at the winery since 2003 oversees the vineyards and the cellar.

The grapes are sourced from the 20 hectare Guaggiole vineyard on the northern side of the estate which lies at altitude of 260-300 metres above sea level. The soil is predominantly clay resulting in a structured Rosso. Vines are spur pruned, cordon trained and planted at a density of 4,500 vines per hectare.

The grapes were harvested in the second half of September, being hand-picked and whole-bunch pressed. There is static settling of the lees. The wine is fermented in stainless steel at 28° for 15 days. After fermentation, the juice is matured in French barriques, 20% new and 80% second-use, for six months before bottling. After bottling, the wine spends a further six months in bottle before release.

100% Sangiovese.

A ruby red hue and delicate bouquet announce a remarkably luscious wine, well balanced and firmly structured, with a long-lingering finish. Serve with aubergine or mushroom dishes, lasagne or meat-based pasta.

ABV = 14.5%.

£15.90

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

Le Volte dell Ornellaia 2012 (1x 75cl)

We don't have a Decanter review of the 2012 vintage, but here's one of 2014 giving a flavour of the bargain the Volte represents:

Le Volte dell Ornellaia 2014 - February 2019 Decanter review

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.

See here for Ornallaia's producer profile from Decanter.

50% Merlot, 30% Sangiovese, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.

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

Le Volte dell'Ornellaia 2012 - fiche technique

ABV = 13.5%.

£20.15

Ornellaia (L'Incanto) 2012 (1x75cl)

Awarded 94 points by Decanter in their February 2019 tasting of Ornellaia(s) (see blue link below).

Ornellaia 2012 - February 2019 Decanter review

NB: the label in the review differs from ours; that in the review is on the "art" edition - see here - but the wine in the bottle is the same!

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.

See here for Ornallaia's producer profile from Decanter.

56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot.

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

Ornellaia 2012 - fiche technique

Ornellaia 2012 appears a deep ruby, and a remarkably beguiling bouquet boasts rich fruit and spices notes.  The palate shows well-rounded, full, and generous, with glossy tannins and a complete absence of any roughness. The 2012 lacks none of the proverbial concentration that distinguishes Ornellaia’s, great vintages, but this vintage adroitly masks that richness behind an expansive, magisterial structure, then concludes with a near-endless finish.

ABV = 14.5%.

£113.00

Poggio al Sole 'Casasilia' Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 (1x75cl)

** PLENTY MORE STOCK, BUT THIS IS NOW THE LAST OF THIS AWARD-WINNING VINTAGE! **

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.

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

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

The forthcoming 2016 vintage was awarded 90 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

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 2015 - fiche technique

Additionally, the wine is matured in French oak barrels/barriques of 225 litres, 30% of which are made of new oak, the remainder being one-year old barrels. Ageing period is 18 months in barrel + 12 month bottle rest.

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 2016 (1x75cl)

** NOW BACK IN STOCK!! **

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-Platinum winning Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2015 (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 2016.

Poggio al Sole Chianti Classico 2016 - 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).

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 14.0%.

£16.75

Poggio al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert tasting of Global Bordeaux blends (see blue link below).

Poggio Al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2016 - April 2020 Decanter review

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.

2016 is/was another vintage to remember, defined by many as one of the earliest on record in Bolgheri. After a rather mild winter, albeit with heavy rainfall, the spring months enjoyed regular rainfall that fostered uniform bud development. The summer months were dry and breezy with some rain showers in early September and the pre-harvest period saw wide variations in day-night temperatures which encouraged phenolic and aromatic ripening while maintaining acidity levels. The resulting grapes were harvested in perfect health. Vintage 2016 promises intriguing wines with marked varietal personality, good structure and great ageing potential.

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

Poggio Al Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2016 - 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 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 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

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2011 (1x75cl)

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

Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2011 - February 2019 Decanter review 

"2011 was a majestic Sassicaia vintage, truly comparable with 1988. It has all the best this wine can express starting with its bright and intense ruby color. The aromas are wrapping, elegant and classic with fruity and balsamic notes performing a duet in a delicious organoleptic counterpoint that in a way recalls certain Vivaldi compositions. The full flavor has extraordinary class with subtle and velvety tannins. The finish is extremely long." Daniele Cernilli

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 2011 - fiche technique

ABV = 13.5%

£150.00
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