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Wines of Italy
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RED AND WHITE ITALIAN WINES
Italy vies with France for the title of the largest wine producing country, but no other country can equal "il bei paese" for diversity and individuality. It’s a great topic for discussion, the three largest European wine producers, France, Spain and Italy-----who is the largest who is the best? Its not an easy debate, since often the discussion is about grape varieties and styles of individual regions within the one country itself, let alone comparing with another country. We in the UK may compare one country against another, but for example, within Italy the competitive debate would be between Italian regions themselves probably 95% of the time.
Italy has a wonderful richness of viniculture stretching back thousands of years and today its not just about Barolo and Brunello its about all the different grape varieties and styles from very North to extreme South and then West to East. Most Countries wine regions are separated by some distances----Italy is one big continuous vineyard and the wine choices are mind boggling.
Italy with all its famous wine regions is a wine enthusiasts dreamland and at Alexander Hadleigh Wine Merchants, Southampton, Hampshire, UK we try our very best to encompass much of what this wonderful wine country has to offer as follows:
Piedmont is synonymous with the Barolo and Barbaresco wines which develop via the combination of soil, geology and climate in the beautiful Langhe and Monferrato hills and we should not forget Nebbiolo d'Alba or Asti Spumante. Yes, a region entirely of appellation wines and well represented on our list.
Veneto is one big vineyard from the shores of Lake Garda the edge of Treviso. Four of the Veneto fifteen sub regions are are numbered among the top ten in Italy and are, Valpolicella, Soave, Prosecco di'Conegliano and Bardolino. It is often that Veneto wines are better known outside of Italy than within, this assumption is well supported by the fact that over 70% of wine production is exported to all corners of our planet.
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is a wine region on the far east of Italy bordering Slovenia and is probably the least known of all Italian wine regions in the UK. Merlot accounts for over 50% of the grapes and wine produced in this region and it also some of the lesser known varieties such as Refosco del Peduncolo Rosso and the more rare Picolit.
Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino have the champions Tuscany it seems for ever, the region may be the realm of these two famous wines, but there is much else to discover. If Chianti and Brunello wines are kings of Tuscany then Sangiovese and Trebbiano are the great Tuscan Couple.
The viticulture of the Italian Marches, once a region known only for its white wines, including the illustrious Verdicchio, can now today be well contented of its red wines. Careful selection and one will always be rewarded with some really great wines.
Abruzzo a wine region of little reputation for most of its life has come to life in recent times with thanks to the passionate reception accorded to its Montepulciano. Montepulciano accounts for over 50% of the wine produced each in the small region of Abruzzo.
The vineyards of Puglia (Apulia) are best known for their full bodied reds and the region's vineyards are among the largest in Europe in terms of surface area. Over recent years wines from this region have increased in popularity mainly through the many tourists from the UK visiting the lovely beaches around the Puglia region.
Sicily is now an important producer of wines for the UK market and vineyards like the Island itself, can be divided into three large wine growing areas: the western part in the provence of Trapani, famous for the celebrated wines of Marsala; the northeastern area around Mount Etna and the southern area in the province of Ragusa.
Sardinia an Island of excellent quality whos reputation in the UK is catching up with that of Sicily. A pristine natural World and ancient traditions of winemaking are one of the many strong points of Sardinian viticulture
with its most prominent flag bearer being Vermentino DOCG.
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G. D. Vajra Langhe Freisa \"Kye\" has a deep ruby red colour, with red berries, wild herbs and spice on the nose. Full bodied with balanced acidity and alcohol, this wine is very rich with a long delightful finish of black fruits and hints of vanilla from oak ageing.
G. D. Vajra Barbera d\'Alba Superiore is red ruby in colour with violet hues. A beautiful array of aromas on the nose with red fruits, flowers and liquorice together with refreshing mineral notes. This Barbera Superiore has a richness that starts on the nose and persists through to the long finish. Also, there is a lovely balance between supple tannins and youthful acidity.
\"Vie di Romans\" Chardonnay, Fruili Venezia Giulia is light golden in colour and has subtle nose of summer flowers, acacia blossom and hints of honeysuckle. The wine is lightly spiced, with judicious oak ageing bringing out notes of vanilla and cinnamon. It shows lovely buttery, honeyed and floral characters, all lifted on the finish by a lively freshness that is characteristic of this area of Italy.
Poderi Aldo Conterno Barbera d\'Alba \"Conca Tre Pile\" has a deep ruby colour with dark berry perfumes overlaid with spiced dark plum and cherries. On the palate it is concentrated and full-bodied, with the classic Barbera acidity lifting and accentuating the red fruit characters. Blackberries, savoury spice and nutmeg blend with ripe plums and supple tannins. The wine has a long and elegant finish.
Fontodi \"Case Via\" Syrah is a deep, dark intensely-coloured wine that opens on the nose with concentrated aromas of cherry, dark plums and a touch of soft warm spice. The palate is well structured and full-bodied with lovely tannins and chocolate cherry fruit characters. The finish is long and elegant.
Tenuta Valdipiatta \"Vigna d\' Alfiero Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is an intense and traditional Sangiovese wine. With a dark ruby-red colour, it shows strong structure and complexity, combined with soft and balanced tannins. The nose is characterised by ripe black berry fruit aromas with elegant notes of soft warm spice. On the palate, the wine is full-bodied with good acidity and a long finish.
Bellavista \"Convento Vigna SS. Annunclata\" Curtefranca Bianco has a deep straw colour with very bright greenish highlights. The nose is broad and most appealing, with hints of ripe fruit, especially apricot and pineapple. It also has an attractive and elegant vanilla note and a marked mineral vein. Displaying excellent balance and freshness on the palate, it has a long, lingering and tangy finish.
Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico Riserva, Ruby red color, with good shade and intensity. Spicy bouquet with floral notes, underbrush fruits and mineral tones. On the palate hints of spices and fresh fruit, with soft and consistent tannins, of good structure and race.
Franz Haas Pinot Nero \"Schweizer\" Trentino-Alto Adige is ruby red in colour and has a seductive bouquet with complex aromas of mixed berries, cherries and warm spicy notes. On the palate, the wine is elegant and subtle with soft but mouth-filling tannins.
Corino Giovanni di Corino Giuliano Barolo La Morra has delicate aromas of red cherries, liquorice with a hint of smokiness. The palate is intense showing notes of dried raspberry jam, mushrooms and tar. Medium bodied, this wine has lifted aromatics and bright fruit.
Allegrini \"Giovanni Allegrini\" Recioto Classico has a nose that is bursting with rich fruit, followed by fresh floral notes and baked apples. The lovely sweetness is well balanced by the acidity and supple tannins, creating a most enjoyable wine of great finese.
Villa di Trefiano Carmignano Riserva has a red ruby colour with violet hues, with perfumes of cherry and cassis and a little soft warm spice. Well structured, yet an elegant wine of great finesse, the Trefiano is opulent with soft supple tannins and a delicious ripe fruit character on the finish.
Conti Costanti \"Vermiglio\" Rosso di Montalcino has a lovely garnet red colour in the glass with perfumes os soft spice and ripe dark fruit. On the palate it is both fruity and savoury, intense with a hint of liquorice on the long finish.
Brunello Di Montalcino, Castiglion Del Bosco, Tuscany has complexity, superb structure, inviting, mouth filling palate, generous, emphatic fragrances classic to Sangiovese,
Bellavista \"Vigna Uccellanda\" Curtefranca Bianco has a typical Chardonnay colour of yellow with golden highlights. Lifted perfumes of golden delicious apples, quince and ripe fruits with a hint of vanilla. On the palate, it is very rich and graceful, displaying more fruit, especially mango as the flavours merge into a long, long finish.
G. D. Vajra Barolo \"Le Albe\" is shiny ruby red in colour with big aromas of red fruits and plums that combine with floral notes and warm spice. Le Albe is a harmony of sophisticated and delicate flavours supported by ripe tannins and an elegant acidity The finish enjoys more red fruit, warm spice, vanilla from oak ageing and never ends.
Massolino Barolo is bright ruby garnet in colour with intense perfumes of rich dark fruit with a hint of warm spice. On the palate, it is full-bodied yet elegant, with plenty of mature tannins supporting the plum flavours. Long and fine, with perfumes of vanilla and violets on the finish.
Isole E Olena Vin Santo Half Bottle is a lovely golden-amber colour in the glass with an intense, open perfume of dried citrus peel, dried apricots and honey, giving way to a rich, luscious palate, with incredibly concentrated characters of very sweet melon, dried mango and vanilla. A delicious, fresh finish keeps the wine unctuous without being cloying.
Fossacolle Brunello di Montalcino is intense ruby in colour, with aromas of ripe and dried red berry fruits. Wonderful complexity on the palate, with a core of fruit and spicy notes. The tannins are noteworthy, silky and persistent. This is a wine with great balance, elegance and complexity which will continue to develop its flavours in the bottle.
Poggiotondo Chianti Riserva \"Vigna delle Conchiglie\" has ripe dark and red fruit aromas that combine with delicate spiciness on the nose. The palate is full and rich with a velvety texture from the fine tannins. The finish is long with great persistence in the mouth supported by well balanced acidity.
Fontodi Vin Santo del Chianti Classico has a rich, deep golden colour in the glass with an elegant and complex nose. Aromas of dried fruits, apricots and dates are complimented by hints of almond. On the palate. It is sweet, luscious, rounded and silky with a long, refreshing, well balanced finish.
Petrolo \"Boggina\" is dark red in the glass with hits of violet. Full of intense blackberries with an underlying soft spicy character. A full body with fine well balanced tannins and fresh acidity leading to more intensity of fruit and oaky-vanilla flavours from long oak ageing.
Poggio San Polo Brunello di Montalcino is an intense ruby red in the glass with garnet hues. The typical aromas of violets and small red berries are followed by hints of vanilla, cedar and coffee. On the palate it is full-bodied and warm with a densely-woven texture and robust tannins, while the finish is persistent and rounded.
\"Petra\" Toscana IGT is bright ruby red in the glass, with a bouquet that is full of rich red fruit, with nuances of black cherry and blueberry. The wine has very good balance and length and enjoys flavours of warm sweet spice and vanilla from eighteen months in oak. There is a long lingering finish of blackberry, mango and a mix of other dried fruit.