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Antinori Pian Delle Vigne Brunello Di Montalcino 2014 (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. 

Aromas of stewed plum, pressed violet, tobacco and a whiff of leather lead the way. The medium-bodied, linear palate offers succulent black cherry, crushed herb and star anise alongside fine-grained tannins and bright acidity.

This wine is 100% Sangiovese.

ABV = 14.0%.

£47.05

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.

100% Sangiovese.

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.

ABV = 14.5%.

£36.70

Capezzana Carmignano `Villa di Capezzana` 2016 (1x75cl)

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.

ABV = 14.0%.

£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.

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.

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.

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.

100% Sangiovese Grosso.

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.

ABV = 14.5%.

£34.80

Carpineto, Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 (1x75cl)

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.

In the beautiful olive and cypress-studded countryside between Florence and Siena lie the quaint hilltop villages of the Chianti Classico region. The wine of the same name is produced exclusively in this charming and beautiful area in stony soils.

The winter was cool and rainy, with temperatures warming up in spring. The 2015 summer experienced exceptionally hot temperatures, which produced small, concentrated bunches of Sangiovese grapes with excellent phenolic structure and balancing alcohol content. The crop was heathy at harvest time and the resulting wines show wonderful Sangiovese typicity.

Fermentation took place in temperature controlled vats, followed by a skin contact maceration to extract colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was transferred to a combination of oak barrels and casks of Slavonian and French origin for a minimum of 12 months. It was then transferred back into stainless tanks briefly prior to bottling. The wine was bottle aged in temperature controlled cellars for a minimum of 10 months prior to release.

Sangiovese 80%, Canaiolo 20%.

A traditionally styled Chianti Classico, smooth and robust with earthy notes and a savoury finish. An inviting rich ruby red colour, with garnet reflections. Rich, velvety, full-flavoured and warming with hints of vanilla and raspberries, this is a very fine wine with silky tannins and a long, lingering finish.

This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

ABV = 13.5%.

£19.20

Castello Vicchiomaggio, Agostino Petri Chianti Classico Riserva 2015 (1x75cl)

A perfumed and savoury wine, well textured with ripe cherry hints and enhanced by a lovely depth and smooth but firm finish

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 grapes are sourced from the Agostino Petri vineyard, located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region. It sits at an altitude of 255 to 265 metres above sea level. Planted at a density of 5,600 vines per hectare, the vines are pruned according to the Single Guyot method which ensures low yields of approximately 40 hectolitres per hectare. The soils are made up of a high proportion of heavy clay- approximately 30%, which is renowned for its cooling properties and water retention for the vine, as well as for producing bold wines from the Sangiovese grape. The vineyard is managed sustainably.

The grapes were harvested by hand at optimal maturity and carefully sorted. Fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks of 50 hectolitres, with 15 days’ maceration on skins to extract colour, flavour and fine tannins. The wine was matured initially in French oak second use barriques (previously used for La Prima Gran Selezione); and then in large oak barrels of 25 to 50 hectolitres lasting 18 months in total. The wine was then cellared in bottle for a further four to six months prior to release.

Sangiovese 90%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%.

A perfumed and elegant wine, with a developed nose of ripe fruit and sweet spices; reminiscent of chocolate, strawberry praline and candied cherry. Opulent and rounded with soft tannins on the palate, harmoniously balanced and extremely long, silky finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£19.20

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 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.

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.

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.

ABV = 14.0%.

£36.05

Il Poggione Brunello Di Montalcino 2014 (1x75cl)

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 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 2014 - 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.

ABV = 14.5%

£32.10

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

Pian Dell Orino Brunello Di Montalcino 2013 (1x75cl)

The 2009 vintage was awarded 97 points by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their February 2018 Italy supplement article on Brunello di Montalcino (see blue link below).

Pian dell'Orino BdM 2009 - Feb 2018 Decanter review

This estate is adjacent to the Biondi Santi property and the area has a long history of being particularly suited for growing grapes for high quality wines. “Our love for Tuscany and passion for viticulture binds us particularly to this land, our vines and the resulting wines”. The wines come from four different vineyards that add up to a total area of six hectares. Right from the beginning Caroline and Jan studied the soil and the structure of each vineyard in order to fully understand its characteristics. Fossils, petrified shells and chalk sediment all testify to the earth’s evolutions and recount marine flooding and periods of drought in the area. To preserve the special identity of their vineyards they assiduously follow organic practises. From the start the goal was to create and sustain the maximum harmony possible between vineyard, climate, soil and mankind.

This wine is 100% Sangiovese.

To see an excellent technical sheet for this wine, produced by the winemakers at Pian dell Orino, please click on the blue link below.

Pian dell Orino Brunello di Montalcino 2013 - fiche technique

"The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Vigneti del Versante exhibits an immediate sense of depth and complexity. Winemaking saw minimal movement or pump-overs because Jan Hendrik Erbach tends to keep his wines in reduction for a long as possible in order to slow down their evolution. This is especially important in an immediate and accessible vintage like 2013. This expression is profound and precise with sharply etched aromas of wild berry, licorice, lavender and lightly roasted almond. Violets flood over the palate, backed by silky fine texture." Wine Advocate - 95 Points

£75.25

Podere di Brancaia Il Blu Rosso di Toscana 2015 (1x75cl)

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.

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

Podere Di Brancaia Il Blu Rosso Di Toscana 2015 - fiche technique

And see this short video for an introduction to the wines and work of Brancaia.

70% Merlot, 25% Sangiovese, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.

This beguiling blend lingers and demands time. Intense inky fruits and herbal notes leap from the glass. Morello cherry, some sweet oak and chocolate echo along the finish, guided along by a beam of palate-extending, ringingly ripe acidity. It's a complex and ageworthy wine with immaculate length and balance.

ABV = 14.5%.

£40.80

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

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 Tesoro Il Seggio Bolgheri 2016 (1x75cl)

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

Poggio Al Tesoro Sondraia Bolgheri Superiore 2016 (1x75cl)

Awarded Tre Bicchieri -2020 by Gambero Rosso.

The 2015 vintage was awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.comin an October 2018 tasting by Aldo Fiordelli at the Tre Bicchieri tasting in Rome.  (see blue link below).

Poggio Al Tesoro Sondraia Bolgheri Superiore 2015 - October 2018 Decanter review

See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique/technical note from the winemakers at Poggio al Tesoro (also much repeated below).

Poggio Al Tesoro Sondraia Bolgheri Superiore 2016 - fiche technique

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.

Most of the Cabernet Sauvignon fruit for this blend was sourced from the three hectare Via Bolgherese vineyard situated at 56 metres above sea level. Composed of coarse red sand, the soils are rich in gravel, well drained and have a clay layer at a depth of 120 centimetres. The planting density is 9,000 vines per hectare. Merlot, Cabernet Franc and the remaining Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from the 12 hectare Le Sondraia vineyard situated 35 metres above sea level. These soils are free draining, a mixture of clay and sandy silt, with high levels of magnesium and iron. With a density of 7,500 vines per hectare, the vines are cordon trained and spur pruned. The vines have an average age of 17 years.

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.

65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc.

After destemming and soft pressing, fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 28-30°C for 12 days. The cap underwent frequent délestage (or rack-and-return), as well as punching down to extract good colour and ripe tannins. The wine was then aged in 50% new and 50% second-use French barriques for 18 months. It was released after nine months in bottle.

Sondraia has quickly become a classic in the Bolgheri area. Perfectly ripe grapes and painstaking work in the cellar yield a wine with intense notes of fresh fruit and herbs which follow through on the palate, where the wine opens up with great class and silky smoothness.

ABV = 15.0%.

£47.85

San Polo Rosso Di Montalcino 2017 (1x75cl)

The 2016 vintage was awarded 88 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their September 2019 edition panel tasting of Rosso di Montalcino (see blue link below).

San Polo Rosso Di Montalcino 2016 - September 2019 Decanter review

This property was purchased by Valpolicella producer, Marilisa Allegrini, in 2006. Marilisa has continued to invest heavily in the estate and has brought in winemaker Nicola Biasi to build on Poggio San Polo's already considerable reputation and impressive levels of quality. Situated in the eastern part of Montalcino, this estate covers 22 hectares of which 16 are under vine and produces wines that are classic in style but with a bit more weight than would be found to the north of the zone.

The grapes for this Rosso came from three hectares of vineyards planted between 1990 and 2000. They are situated at an altitude of 450m above sea level, facing south-southeast on chalky clay soils. The vines are spur-cordon trained and planted at a density of 7,000 vines per hectare. Yields were 49 hectolitres per hectare.

The winter was mild and very dry, as was the spring. This led to bud-burst occurring about two weeks earlier than normal. The frost that hit the area in the middle of April caused enormous damage across much of Europe, but thanks to the location of San Polo’s vineyards, with their southern exposure, 450-metre altitude and abundant air circulation, our vines suffered no damage. The summer that followed was marked by elevated temperatures and almost no rainfall, which created difficult conditions for the vines. Again, at this stage, we were able to appreciate the advantages of a particularly well-suited wine growing area, which treated us to daytime breezes and excellent day-night temperature variations, creating conditions that relieved the vines, which showed no symptoms of drought or heat-related stress. The rain that fell between the end of August and the beginning of September, not only did restore the land’s water reserves, but it also gave the final ‘go ahead’ for the most important stage in the ripening of Sangiovese, the last month before harvesting.

The grapes were hand picked. After gentle pressing, fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, with maceration on the skins lasting around 14-16 days at 28-30°C. The wine was then aged for 12 months in medium-toasted, second-use French oak barriques (Allier) followed by a month of bottle ageing.

100% Sangiovese.

Bright and glossy ruby red in colour. On the nose it reveals aromas of small fresh berries and a trace of sour cherry, melded with hints of blackberries and black cherries, followed by a hint of vanilla. A fragrant wine with satisfying intensity. On the palate it is warm, smooth and a medium-bodied with finely-balanced tannins. Dry and sinewy yet fresh with a persistent, aromatic finish.

ABV = 14.0%.

£19.75
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