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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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La Giustiniana Gavi di Gavi \"Montessora\" Half Bottle, is light straw in colour with a fresh generous perfume of minerals and white flowers. On the palate the wine is intense and concentrated with a lovely pure fruit character. Flavours of peach, mango and hints of lime follow through to a long fruity finish.
Vigneti del Vulture Aglianico del Vulture \"Pipoli\" has a garnet red colour. The nose has highly complex aromas with hints of violets and cocoa. The wine is full bodied and has a sweet red fruit character with delicate oak nuances and persistent fruit notes through to the finish.
Isola dei Nuraghi, Primo Rosso Mesa, Sardinia, Italy is a well balanced Mediterranean red wine with spicy notes and rich aromas of red berry fruits and a long lingering finish.
Cantina di Monteforte \"Terre di Monteforte\" Soave Classico has a lovely bright colour in the glass with green hues. The nose exhibits a sweet floral perfume and notes of ripe peach and almond. The wine shows excellent depth on the palate and a lovely balance between ripe, aromatic fruit and fresh, zingy acidity.
Buontalenti Chianti has bright cherry fruit aromas which are combined with hints of dark chocolate and soft notes of balsamic. On the palate, the rich dark fruit is well supported by well balanced acidity and Chianti style tannins. The finish is gentle with touches of sweet soft spice and vanilla.
Vesevo Beneventano Falanghina has perfumes of white flowers and melon. Its fresh, crisp and aromatic with mineral notes that provide a backdrop to the full, ripe palate and lift the finish. A class wine, with a lingering touch of manuka honey.
Farnese Fantini Montepulciano d\'Abruzzo Bio is red in colour with garnet hints and a nose that is intense with vibrant dark bramble fruits, complemented by floral and spice characters. These follow through on to the palate which is very concentrated, full-bodied and well balanced with firm tannins.
Corte Giara Bardolino has a ruby red colour with purple highlights. Intense and fragrant, with dominant notes of vibrant red berries accompanied by aromas of rosehip blossom. Dry and harmonious, it captivates the palate with its elegance and succulent and easy drinking style.
Alpha Zeta is the brainchild of leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson. His range of modern, fruit driven wines have their grapes sourced from the hillside vineyards in the Soave area, where the climate is moderate and most suitable for his style of wine. The volcanic soil is light and granitic, so the vines are challenged to produce superior quality fruit.
Poggiotondo Organic Vermentino-Ansonica has a lovely aromatic nose showing delicate fruit and floral aromas. On the palate, the wine has more green fruit and hints of spice and vanilla, it has gentle and refreshing acidity, with a fine texture and a savoury finish.
Bardolino Classico, Il Torcolo, Vini Fabiano is a harmoniously, fragrant dry wine grown around the shores of Lake Garda, good to drink young but benefits with some aging.
Tufarello Nero di Troia \"Vigneti Canosini\" IGP Puglia is deep dark red in colour with a dark purple core. The wine is bursting with blueberry fruit and soft spice on the nose. There is a touch of yellow cherry on the palate, boosted by powerful blackberry and dark plums and a chunky fruit packed finish.
Principe Pallavicini \"Rubillo\" Cesanese is ruby red in colour, with excellent intensity and violet hints. On the nose, there are perfumes of ripe red fruits and spice. On the palate, it is ripe and rounded, with spiced blackberry characters.
Cantine Belisario Lacrima di Morro d\'Alba has a deep ruby red colour with violet reflections. The nose has scents of blackberries and hints of cinnamon and vanilla. Fresh and fruity on the palate, the wine is dry and velvety with balsamic hints and good acidity. Medium bodied with pleasant tannins and a fruity and floral finish.
Cantina Diomede \"Lama di Pietra\" Nero di Trola IGP is ruby red in colour with youthful, violet reflections. Red fruit aromas of mulberry and cherry give way to a soft palate with delicate tannins. Being ful-bodied, the wine has a long fruity finish.
Cantina Mesa \"Primo Bianco\" Vermentino di Sardegna is pale straw in colour. The bouquet is both intense and delicate,with emphatic fragrances of citrus and bergamot, floral essences of roses, and sweet rosemary. The palate is crisp, dry and savoury, with a lovely structure and a finesse that continues throughout the long finish.
Corte Giara Valpolicella has an intense and inviting ruby red colour. Characteristic hints of cherries and subtle notes of soft warm spice. Dry and well-balanced, the traditional fresh acidity balances the delicate fruitiness producing a supple, yet feisty wine.
Vigneti Zabu \"ll Passo\" Nerello Mascalese, Nero d\'Avola is bright red ruby in the glass with intense aromas of red fruits,spices and red flowers. The wine is vibrant, big body with strong red fruit character. Warm, with a silky texture, it is well-balanced with a persistent finish.
Cantina Valpantena \"Torre del Falasco\" Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso has aromas of dried cherry and dark plums are followed by hints of mocha and dark chocolate on the nose. A powerful, full-bodied palate opens with a spiced fruit character and supportive tannins. Raisin and candied peel notes come from the \'ripasso\' method and are layered with rounded, ripe cherry flavours. The finish is long with added spicy nutmeg notes.
Poggiotondo Organic Chianti DOCG is deep garnet red in colour with aromas of sweet spice entwined with dark and red cherries on the nose. More ripe cherries on the palate are balanced with typical Chianti tannins, then vibrant, fresh acidity on the finish.