Spectator Wine Club Italian Mixed Case
Jonathan Ray's Italian sample mixed case!
Jonathan Ray's Spectator Cracking Italian Wines Sample Mixed Case. See Johnny's tasting notes of the wines below.
Vette di San Leonardo Sauvignon Blanc, 2018: Is a 100 per cent Sauvignon Blanc from Trentino and the ancient vineyards of the San Leonardo monastery in the Dolomite foothills. Produced by the Guerrieri Gonzaga family, it’s crisp, clean, fresh and lively and its quality is immediately apparent. There’s white stone fruit, herbs and citrus on nose and palate and, as Tom says, it has both the elegance of the Loire and the feistiness of Marlborough.
Villa Sparina Gavi di Gavi DOCG, 2018: From Piedmont is as fine a G di G as I’ve had. Made from 100 per cent Cortese, it comes in a bottle based on Roman amphorae, the remains of which they stumble upon in the vineyards, and is delicately scented (honeysuckle, herbs and ripe pears) and full and rich on the palate. It’s bone dry, though, and Tom reckons it’s akin to Chablis on a vespa.
Villa Sparina Montej Rosso, 2018: is made entirely from Barbera, a grape which originated in Piedmont and is now the third most widely planted red grape in the country. It’s high in acidity, low in tannin and deliciously fresh, juicy, soft and plummy. Laden with raspberries, it’s eminently drinkable and if you’re new to Barbera, think Merlot and you’ll love it.
La Giaretta Valpolicella Volpare, 2018: Proves that this much-maligned wine, the staple of many a 1970s wine bar, can be something special. Made by charmingly named husband and wife Francesco and Francesca Vaono in the heart of Valpolicella, it’s a light, smooth blend of Rondinella, Molinara, Corvinone and Corvina, some of which have been dried for added oomph. I loved its cherry ripeness and its easy-going charm.
Terre di San Leonardo, 2015: Sister wine to the Vette di San Leonardo. A classic, oak-aged, Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carménère, it has impeccable pedigree, being a young vine version of the mighty San Leonardo itself, the wine that’s often referred to as the Sassicaia of the north and regularly voted the best red in all Italy. Enjoy a bit of stardust at a fraction the price the grand vin fetches.
Castello Romitorio Chianti Colli Senesi, 2017: Though, a wine of real style from an estate owned by the great neo-expressionist painter and sculptor Sandro Chia and run by his son Filippo. Made from old vine Sangiovese grown in the hills around Montalcino, it’s gloriously rich, ripe and lively, crammed with redcurrants, blackberries and sour black cherries.
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