On Monday 4th December Ralph led the WING Tutored Tasting Group in sampling a set of Wines from Collio DOC, an area of Fruili (North East Italy) quite close to the Slovenian border. The area is in the Gorizia Hills, which extend over the (geographically arbitrary) border into Slovenia. The general soil type is calcerous marl and sandstone. Production is about 85% White Wines.

The wines were all from the leading producer in the area: BORGO DEL TIGLIO.

The wine-maker Nicola Manferrari founded Borgo del Tiglio in 1981 when he took control of his family’s vineyards. Low yields, strict vineyard selection and meticulous cellar work result in some of the most powerful, intensely ripe and textural wines in Friuli. Monferrari describes his style as ‘beautiful and kindly’.  Some wines are fermented and aged in 250 ltr barrels.

Here are my notes:

COLLIO BIANCO 2013
This is mostly Friulano with some Riesling and Sauvignon. Slightly (by suggestion?) lime hints on the nose – nutty tinges and some herbs too. Quite complex interweaving of the elements. Palate has a spice warmth, a chalky mouthfeel and a mineral acidity that goes on for a while into a pithy dry finish. Structured, fresh and food-friendly even though big-bodied.

SAUVIGNON 2013
The nose is quiet big, with green fruit – greengage rather than gooseberry – and even a red or white currant hint with a leafy character, again complex. The palate has a creamy texture (from barrel aging?) but restrained within a well-contained, long, warm acid line with a slate mineral finish. Very good SB, bigger than a good Sancerre but with a similar, scaled-up, balance and structure.

CHARDONNAY 2013
The nose of this wine is creamy, with butter / caramel hints and a later citrus line. The oak effects are, again, supported by the weight of the wine and the linear acid mineral counterpoint. The balance is so well judged and fine it might be called poised, and reminds me of some better Southern Côtes-de-Beaune whites. This is big but with an extremely long acid line lightening the wine to reveal a soft fruit, warm but mouth-watering finish.

MALVESIA 2013
This is aged in 2nd use oak and has a floral, almost cosmetics nose. Later some herby elements appear. The palate starts off quite softly, then tightens through mounting acidity and a peppery spice note, and then a soft-ish (comparatively) short finish. There is honeyed fruit but this wine seemed the least satisfactory to me, by the high standards set by the others…

FRIULANO 2012
This was in some ways similar to the first wine. More restrained with a nutty and herb start. Palate undulates between a sharp attack, soft peachy fruit, clean acid line and warm saline, slightly bitter finish. Knowing of Friulano’s tendency to flabbiness, it almost seems that this is a good wine-maker fighting to develop structure supporting it, and enjoyable journey but slightly unresolved… maybe it’ll all come together in a few more years?

COLLIO ROSSO RESERVA 2008
This is 80% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. Pungent first nose, then cedar then black berry fragrance and a higher, perfumed note… Palate has a black fruit line within quite light pointed tannins. There is a woody component that tightens the wine again to show a minty herbal element as it approaches a pithy, bay leaf finish. An adventure that suggest rather restrained and elegant Syrah, more than claret. Another good food wine…

An engaging tasting of engaging wines, all seemed to develop and reveal things within each mouthful – the very epitome of complexity. Although very different the wines all showed dynamism in the way texture, especially, but also acidity and balance developed in the mouth. All are quite big but wore their weight in an elegant package with mineral and acid lines taking one through the journey. A very interesting tasting of which – just – I found the Chardonnay the most involving.

Thanks Ralph for a great tasting.

À Bientôt

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Kathryn and Matt (with a special guest appearance by Áine) hosted a lovely Sock Club gathering on Friday 24th November. A very enjoyable evening ensured by our hosts’ hard work, the good company and – of course – the quality of wines…

Here are my notes:

CLASSIC BRUT LIMOUX (Denois)      Welcome Wine
Nose is citrus, a slight herby element and crisp – very Champenois, but missing a tell-tale bready tinge. The palate confirms a mainly Chardonnay feel, a sherbet mousse, clean acidity and hints of warmth, long with a pithy saline finish… a good aperitif bubbly.

FESTIGIA VINA LAGUNA 2015 CROATIAN MALVASIA     Kathryn  
Rather a neutral palate with a vaguely peachy hint. The palate is initial sweet with a warm tinge, the middle washes out before a later opening out with a citrus counterbalance. Rather disappointing…

CHABLIS 2007 (Billaud-Simon)          Paul
Lovely typical citrus nose with a floral tinge… complexity without easily identified elements, showing the integration of age…Palate has the warmth and richness of a good 1er Cru, but is a basic wine (from a very high rank grower – the current vintage is well over £20) – a slatey citrus backbone with a soft fruit undertow. Long succulent and at peak readiness… Lovely!

LYME BAY “SHORELINE”  2015         Sue T
Mandarin, honey and elderflower on the nose, rather pungent. Palate has gooseberry and stone fruit and a chalky texture. The flavours a big, but there is enough acidity to support them. Although the flavours differ somewhat the overall balance has a Sauvignon Blanc nature, and some character. An English wine made from a blend of Bacchus, Pinot Blanc, Seyval Blanc & Reichensteiner sourced and vinified separately.

CONDRIEU (Pichon) 2014            Ann
A nutty warm nose with hints of stone fruit spirit. Palate is warm with a rather grappa bitterness at first, soft fruit then appears and then a long spicy finish. Much more pungent and bigger than the 2013 which we tasted six months ago (see post of April 5th 2017). Time integrates the flavours and makes a rather impressive wine, but not a typical Condrieu – maybe there isn’t such a  thing?!

DRY TOKAJI (Royal Tokaji) 2015            Yvonne
Fresh slightly floral nose, with a slightly bitter spirit note emerging… Palate is full bodied with a warm acidity and yellow fruit flavours with a later smokey hint developing. Worked wonderfully with the smoked salmon canapés…

CHEVERNY (Tessier) 2009     Laurie
This is pale, with a fragrance of red and black berry fruit, and a slightly woody tinge. Palate has the berry fruit, with a soft tannic frame and the slightly mineral finish of  a minor Burgundy but with a little herby twist. This has aged from a tough start to be just right now, pliant and characterful. A barrique aged wine from old vine Pinot (75%) Gamay (20%) and Cabernet Franc.

LUSCA IRISH WINE 2014                 John
OK – who knew? Irish wine (FFS): an un-guessable Sock Party Wine. After closing dropped jaw it’s worth noting the cherry and plum spirit nose, very high tarry tannin levels with spice and mouthwatering acidity. This is made in tiny quantities (500 bottles) by Llewellyn’s Orchard in the village of Lusk, 12 miles North of Dublin. The grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Dunkelfelder, and Rondo.

BRENNAN TEMPRANILLO (Central Otago) 2015            Brenda 
Red fruit: raspberry and strawberry; with a savoury, slightly herby tint. Palate has a supple acid mineral and soft tannic line supporting bright fruit, the oak recessed under the other flavours – a lovely fresh Tempranillo.

SALICE ROSSO 2014 (Albrizzi)          Mike T
Nose has red fruit, slightly plummy, with sweet oak and a mocha note. Sweet fruit first on the palate, then a supple acidity with hints of rhubarb and blackcurrant, a grippy finish showing some Cabernet character within a big (Zin-ish) Primitivo package…

CHERUBINO “LAISSEZ FAIRE” PINOT NOIR 2013     Matt
Pungent nose – quite Burgundian with sweet fruit bubbling up in this Porongurup (WA) wine. A warm cherry fruit and spice palate with a turn of structure, acidity a little light…

DOMAIN ROAD PINOT NOIR (Central Otago) 2012     Helen
Slightly sweet nose with hints of vanilla and toast. Red fruit with a clean fruit acidity with a herby – almost Vermouth – twist towards the end of the prolonged finish. Balanced and quite typical Otago pinot, good!

INFINITUS RIO NEGRO MERLOT (Fabre Montmayou) 1999     Anna 
Plum nose with a sharper fruit (Mulberry?) spirit note. Palate has some wood and evolved but firm tannins supporting surprisingly firm red fruit, herb elements present too, all reflecting the cool Patagonian origin.

Thanks to everyone for such a convivial evening, and our hosts for their hospitality.

À Bientôt

On Thursday 16th November the ICC / WING group met for the second tasting of the 2017-18 Season. The theme for the evening was ‘Bordeaux Blends Abroad’. Concentrating solely on red blends, we tasted wines from six different countries, varying terroirs and a range of price points.

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Here are my notes:

CHILE: Primus the Blend 2014  –   14%   –   Wine Society – £11.95
From the Colchagua Valley in Chile, this was the only wine of the evening to feature Carmenere in the blend. Its presence came through in some spicy notes on the finish, but the wine was primarily fruit-driven and dominated by baked black fruit flavours. Quite drinkable with its soft tannins and hint of spice on the finish, but a little one-dimensional. It wasn’t anyone’s favourite wine of the night, but 6 members voted for it as demonstrating best value for money.
Ratings:        Quality:  13/20   Value:  14./20

SOUTH AFRICA: Rustenberg John X Merriman 2014  –   14.5%   –   Waitrose Cellar – £14.99
More restrained with slightly more complex flavours than the Chilean. Hints of cigar box complement the core of dark fruit. Still quite young and would benefit from further bottle ageing to soften the tannins and develop more flavour complexity.
Ratings:        Quality:  15/20   Value:  15/20 

LEBANON: Chateau Ksara 2012  –   13.5%   –   The Wine Society – £16
Tannins dominated a little for me to begin with; would definitely be better with food (rare steak or beef) or in a few years’ time once the tannins have softened. Quite a powerful wine with good length and some more complex flavour combinations coming through on the finish – some spice and herbal notes to complement the rich red and black fruit.
Ratings:        Quality:  14.5/20   Value:  14/20

AUSTRALIA: Moss Wood Amy’s 2015  –   14.5%   –   Waitrose Cellar – £16.49
This wine seemed in better balance than the previous three, with more flavour complexity. The only wine of the evening to feature a significant amount of Malbec in the blend. Made to be approachable in its youth, tannins were not overpowering, but well balanced with the wine’s acidity and alcohol. Fresh black fruit flavours with white pepper, cedar and some floral notes in support made this a very enjoyable wine.
Ratings:        Quality:  17/20   Value:  17/20

USA: Lauren Ashton Cellars Cuvee Arlette 2013  –   14.6%   –   The Wine Society – £21
A ‘Right Bank’ blend from Washington state, with significantly more Merlot than the evening’s other wines, which was reflected in its softness. Very smooth, featuring flavours of vanilla and sweet spice along with the dark fruit. I found it to be well balanced and very drinkable, and it was the favourite wine of 7 members, but some found the oak influence to lack subtlety.
Ratings:        Quality:  16.5/20   Value:  14/20

ITALY: Fattoria di Magliano Poggio Bestiale 2012  –   14%   –   Lea and Sandeman – £27.50
This Super Tuscan was my favourite wine of the evening. A well-structured wine with aromatic black fruit and hints of liquorice on the nose. The fruit flavours and hints of spice developed on the palate which also showed a lovely slightly smoky mineral character.
Ratings:        Quality:  18/20   Value:  15/20

Overall, an interesting range of wines, showing the diversity of the red Bordeaux blend in its different manifestations around the world. The flavour complexity and balance of the Italian wine made it my favourite as well as that of the group. The Washington ‘Right Bank’ blend was the second most popular amongst the group, though, like the Lebanese wine, it did seem to split opinion. In terms of ‘value for money’ the Moss Wood Amy’s Blend from Margaret River came out on top.

Bye for now,
Brigitte

‘Bordeaux blend’ is a phrase sometimes used by winemakers and consumers to refer to certain wines, but what is its official definition? On hearing the term, most people probably imagine a red wine. That’s likely to be because nine out of ten bottles of Bordeaux wine are red and so too are the majority of non-French wines that copy or pay homage to the wines of this most prestigious region.

There is, however, such a thing as a white Bordeaux blend. Just over 10% of Bordeaux wine is white with just under one quarter of that being sweet, such as the world famous sweet wines of the Sauternes appellation. Whether sweet or dry, a white Bordeaux blend would consist primarily of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

However, when it comes to ‘Bordeaux Blends Abroad’, the number of red Bordeaux copies far outweigh the whites and are produced in a far wider range of the world’s wine producing regions. For this reason, I’ve chosen to concentrate solely on red blends for this tasting.

So, what is a red ‘Bordeaux blend’? To be correctly labelled thus, the wine would need to consist of two or more of the following grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot and possibly Malbec and Carménère. ‘Bordeaux blend’ is not a legal or technical term and solely refers to the grapes used so there are no rules on the percentages, yields, planting regulations or winemaking practices.

In the USA, ‘meritage’ is a more official term that was coined in the 1980s for American wines made exclusively from two or more of the Bordeaux grape varieties. This trade-marked name is legally available only for use by winemakers who have joined the Meritage Alliance but it is a term used less commonly in its home of California now than it used to be.

So, why are almost all Bordeaux reds made from a blend of grape varieties and why is this style copied the world over?

The moderate maritime climate of Bordeaux with its variable weather and risk of high rainfall mean that to rely on one grape variety would be very risky. With the different varieties flowering and ripening at different times, there is less likelihood of an entire crop being ruined by adverse weather.

In addition, the soils of the Bordeaux region are also very varied and their different drainage and heat retaining properties determine which grape varieties can be successfully grown. The damper, cooler soils of the region’s ‘Right Bank’ (north of the Dordogne River) are suited to Merlot, whereas the ‘Left Bank’, with its gravelly, heat-retaining soil is the only area of Bordeaux where Cabernet Sauvignon can reliably ripen. Hence, ‘Right Bank’ blends tend to be dominated by Merlot (with Cabernet Franc in a supporting role) and ‘Left Bank’ blends have a higher percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Bordeaux-BlendsBut it is not solely through necessity that almost all ‘claret’ is produced from a blend of grape varieties. Blending is a great skill which is of the utmost importance in producing premium Bordeaux reds. The percentage of each grape variety that ends up in the final blend will depend not only on the vintage but will also be the result of much deliberation, tasting, scrutiny and careful consideration of what each component will add to the blend. For example, Cabernet Sauvignon can be said to give tannin and a core of blackcurrant fruit; Merlot adds softness, richness and body; Cabernet Franc can contribute marked fragrance and Petit Verdot can add tannin, colour and exotic spice.

The ‘Bordeaux blend’ can create a very fine, structured wine that is built to last, so it’s no wonder that this style has been copied the world over, from the Super-Tuscans of the Bolgheri coast to the famed Bordeaux style blends of Gimblett Gravels in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand. But of course, it’s not just the blend of grapes that makes the wine, and with greatly varying climates, terroirs and vineyard and winemaking techniques throughout the world’s different wine producing regions, ‘Bordeaux Blends Abroad’ should all have something unique to offer, making them more than simply ‘Bordeaux copies’.

Hopefully the wines we taste on Thursday evening will offer interesting comparisons in terms of the components of the blend, but will also demonstrate a sense of place and offer a range of different characteristics and some interesting contrasts.

See you on Thursday,

Brigitte Bordeaux

On Monday 6th November the WING Tutored Tasting Group were shown a selection of wines made by La Planeta, a famous producer from Sicily led by Ann.

The family started planting grapes at their property in Menfi (towards the Western end of the South coast of Sicily) in 1985. Their aim was to explore varieties beyond, the then ubiquitous, Sicilian plonk with a sustainable and high quality approach.

They have now widened their holding to four other sites in Sicily – the first two in the late 1990s, the second pair 5 or 6 years ago:
Vittoria (towards the Eastern end of the South Coast);
Noto (towards the Southern end of the East Coast);
Etna (in the centre of the Eastern Coast);
Capo Milazzo (towards the Eastern end of the North Coast).

Each of these sites has its own winery, planned for low impact on the environment and proximity to the vines. They now have getting towards 400 ha under vine – embracing 15 or 16 grapes, almost equally local and international, planted in the most appropriate sites. All this produces a high number of carefully crafted wines – something in the high 20s!

Ann showed 6 wines covering all 5 areas. They were all sourced from Great Western Wines, where they retail, usually, in the £15 – £25 range.


Here are my notes:

ETNA BIANCO 2016 (ETNA DOC)
This is from the local Carricante grape, there are only 200 or 300 hectares in production, half in Sicily The wine shows restrained aromas of citrus with hints of peach and a slightly nutty note. The palate has high apple acidity, with some warmth – a little reminiscent of Chenin, and a slightly bitter minerality. Later the wine gains warmth and seems food friendly.

COMETA 2016 (MENFI DOC)
This is 100% Fiano with a clean nose, revealing elements of herbs, citrus and later an aroma suggesting tree blossom. Palate has more warmth and body than the nose suggests, with a clean supporting integrated acidity, orchard fruits and pleasing length.

CHARDONNAY 2016 (MENFI DOC)
This has a very woody first note with yeasty, bready elements than caramel and honey. Later this quietens down a little. The palate is creamy, with an over-ripe apple hint, and some honey. Although there is quite a lot of acidity and mineral behind all this, at first it does not seem enough to counterpoint the weight of all these big flavours. Later the balance seems better with the mineral especially coming through, producing an impressive but more balanced wine. Perhaps this needs 2 or 3 years in the cellar?

CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA 2015 (from Vittoria)
Quite pale, with some perfume: herbs and fruit skins – cherries mainly. Palate is light and slight Beaujolais-ish with strawberry, cherry compote and fruity acid elements, ending quite sweetly.

SANTA CECILIA 2013 (NOTO DOC)
This is a darker wine with many heavier notes – red plums and slightly cooked elements… Palate has a grainy tannin start but then a supple, slightly spirity fruit with a good acid line that has a citrus peel, even balsamic character. Ripe, pliant and refreshing, and quite long.

MAMERTINO 2015 (from Capo Milazzo)
This has a similar nose, with more non-fruit (leather?) character developing. Although younger this seems more integrated than the previous wine, even though the components are very similar: fruit acid, ripeness, tannins. The fruit / acid / tannin balance is more serious and more consistent – a very good wine!

An extremely interesting tasting, showing well made wines from mostly Sicilian grapes at a high quality level (plus a couple we’re more familiar with: Chardonnay and Fiano). All the wines showed well, I thought, although the Chardonnay could do with some time… The last two Nero d’Avola based wines were the stars for me, although the first two whites – the Carricante for novelty and the Fiano for quality – were very good too. Basically – all good!

Thank you so much,  Ann.

À Bientôt

OCTOBER SOCK CLUB

Sue Mc hosted a Sock Club gathering, just before Halloween on 27th October. A lovely evening marked by the re-appearance of some friends lately out-of-the-loop, and some lovely wines – especially an unexpected good value Argentinian and a star Mourvedre!

Here are my notes:


SEGURA VIUDAS BRUT RESERVA CAVA      Welcome Wine
Quite a fruity nose, with a light apple hint – Soft mousse, some saline minerality and a sweet soft fruit in a clean light package.

COLLE DEI TIGLI BIANCO DEL VENETO 2013 (Lenotti)         Laurie  
This comes from Lake Garda and is 50:50 Gargenega and Cortese. The wine is pale and has a Soave nose (we had tried a flight of Italian wine only 8 days earlier) with hints of peach. The palate is fresh with a warm limey acidity and light, clean pear and peach hints. A Soave/Gavi cross-over that is nearer the former (and only about two-thirds [?] of the quality of those wines tasted 8 days ago – but only two-thirds the price!)

CÔTES DU JURA CHARDONNAY VIELLES VIGNES 2012 (Quillot)          Sue T
A darker colour, and aromatic apple, slightly sherry nose, a little oxidative but also showing caramel and yeasty Chardonnay notes. Palate follows the nose closely with a spicy hint and a fine line of citric sharpness and a creamy note. A sort of half Vin Jaune, maybe a Vin jaune pâle. A Lidl wine of food-friendly interest and value!

TRE FIORI GRECO DI TUFO  2016       Yvonne
Nose has pear, citrus and a slightly soapy note. Palate has a dashing, lemon and lemon peel, acidity with balancing soft fruit within, a warm food friendly finish. Rather rounder and heavier than the example 8 days ago.


DON TOMAS ARGENTINIAN MALBEC 2015             Rachel
The nose has some pungency, lots of berry fruit and a slight, unobtrusive, hint of vanilla. Palate has loganberry fruit, some grainy but succulent tannins and a pliant fruit acid – with mandarin hints – lift that makes it seem lighter. The acidity twists the finish and makes for a food friendly package.

Very occasionally I come across this lighter, fruity but lip smacking type of Malbec, (Flichman make another example) whose pliancy would go with a big curry. This is made by Bodega Callia in the Pedernal Valley, a high part of the San Juan region, north of the ubiquitous Mendoza. The area benefits from a cool, continental climate and year-round sun, resulting typically in thicker grape skins, concentration of flavours and natural acidity. Only its remoteness has kept it from the sort of attention that the Uco Valley is receiving. From that remote area it’s somehow found its way to Aldi, where it’s a real bargain…


LA SALETTE  CÔTES DE GASCOGNE (Duffoir) 2015     Ann
This is pale, with a “light” fragrence of strwaberry and baking spice. Palate is also light with rhubarb notes, pliant tannins and a supple refreshing finish. Very enjoyable and another food-friendly offering. In fact it’s a sort of Gascony Claret – being mostly Cab. Sauv. and Merlot, with a more southerly touch of Tannat and Cab. Franc mixed in.

“THE WAXED BAT” 2015                  Johnny 
This wines has a fragrance of spice, minty herbs and black fruit, and is in fact a Shiraz, Cabernet, Malbec blend from Mendoza, Argentina. The palate is big “meaty”, with a tannic frame and a warm (alcohol and spice) finish. Two Argentinian styles could not be much further apart than this and the Pedernal Valley example!

“REX MUNDI” IGT PAYS D’OC 2016             Sue Mc 
Sweetness on the nose and then black fruit elements on this Grenache, Shiraz (sic) blend. The sweetness carries onto the palate giving it a thick, soft character without enough relieving acidity. A velvety, almost liqueur quality – to be consumed in liqueur quantities?

TIKVES 2013 (Macedonia)      Mike
This is a Vranec / Merlot blend showing black berry fruit and a slightly smoky hint on the nose. Vranec means “dark horse”, apparently. The palate has a herby character, slightly laurel leaf, some dark fruit in the centre and a bitter hint at the finish. As my note implies a little sequential rather than interwoven…

MEERLUST MERLOT 2014     Rob
Pungent nose, with a lot of herby elements and slight baked, earthy hints. Palate is big too with some plum fruit and a hint of hot alcohol and then the earthy elements build up, past balance into dominance.

MOTUS 2010 (Treloar)        Kim
Floral note – violets? – some tar or liquorice, dark blackberry fruit, spicy notes – a nose to savour and postpone drinking of the mainly-Mourvedre. The palate is as deep with savoury elements, lots of dark fruit and a herby twist. Just lovely and about the perfect maturity. On quality alone the outstanding wine of the night!

Thanks to everyone for such a convivial evening, and our hosts for their hospitality.

À Bientôt

On Thursday 19th October the ICC / WING group met for the first tasting of the 2017-18 Season. The new season will (roughly) have alternate presenters: yours truly, Corkmaster and – new to this blog – the extremely talented brigittebordeaux.  So I kicked off with the 4th most popular Theme: Italian White wine.

I decided, following the discussion in the previous post to further trim the candidates for the Tasting by omitting Fiano and Pecorino – as being too well-known or too obscure, respectively. This left me with two wines of rare quality in denominations known for plonk: Soave and Orvieto; two Piedmont specialties: Gavi and Roero Arneis; and two Campanian whites…

Here are my notes:


SOAVE CLASSICO CALVARINO (Pieropan) 2015   –   12½%   –   Wine Society – £18
Quiet nose – with blossom hints: acacia and elderflower, some herby hints and a start of fruit. The palate has very long citric acidity with a chalky mineral finish, later some peach hints develop on both nose and palate. This is a couple of years too young, but very classy, balanced and elegant.
Ratings: Quality:  15.5/20   Value:  15/20

ORVIETO CLASSICO “TRAGUGNANO” 2015 (Sergio Mottura)   –   13½%   –   Vini Italiani – £17
Immediate nose of floral and pear notes. Soft fruit on the palate, with a softer acidity too. Some warmth in the later palate and increasingly herby (thyme?), but fades quite quickly too. Rather one dimensional.
Ratings:        Quality:  13.5/20   Value:  13/20

GAVI DI GAVI 2016 (Tenuta Olim Bauda)   –   12½%   –   Virgin Wines – £15
This has a fresh nose…lemon and a hint of pear. Clean palate with a lovely acidity growing in warmth and extending the finish. Quite good typicity and a very satisfying food wine…
Ratings:        Quality:  14.5/20   Value:  14.5/20

ROERO ARNEIS “LE FAVILLE” (Brjnda) 2014   –   13½%   –    Vini Italiani – £15
Nose has some floral elements, and a hint of a darker – nutty? – flavour. The palate has saline and that darker note (fenugreek), some warm acidity and a thicker food-friendly finish but a bit short…
Ratings:        Quality:  14/20   Value:  14/20

GRECO DI TUFO, LOGGIA DELLA SERRA 2016 (Terredora Di Paulo)   –   12½%   –   Tanners – £17
Lovely nose of white fruit, citrus and sweeter fruit notes. Palate is very well balanced with evolving acidity that energises fruit elements and some richness. A poised wine with great food capacity, and close to peak, and the groups’ favourite!
Ratings:        Quality:  15.5/20   Value:  15/20

FALANGHINA “PRETA” (Capolino Perlingieri) 2015   –   13½%   –   Vini Italiani – £17
Very pungent menthol / Eucalyptus first nose… Other herby notes mount but never overwhelm the mint dimension… Palate has grapefruit acidity and a sweeter fruit – doughnut peach (?) – gaining ground. Quite rich and unusual, and pretty good.
Ratings:        Quality:  15/20   Value:  14.5/20

Overall a tasting showing the range of white styles in Italy. With strong, food-friendly, acidity present in most – even from the warmer climes. All had some attractive elements and clean acidity…That freshness is most apparent in the Soave and the Greco, and although the Greco has persuasive charm, I liked the Soave as much and felt its restrained elegance would better reward cellaring. On the other hand, the Orvieto was slightly dull, and I have sometimes found the slightly sweet Amabile style shows more depth at lower price points…

À Bientôt

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