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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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Terrapieno Valpolicella Ripasso is a single vineyard wine with a lively ruby red colour, a powerful bouquet of cherry blossoms with hints of wild berries and blackberry jam. It is rich and smooth on the palate with a spicy, long lingering finish.
Vigneti del Salento \"Zolla\" Salice Salentino is bright ruby red in colour, with notes of cherry, plum and soft sweet spice. It has a good structure with supple fruit on the palate and well balanced acidty and tannins on a long finish.
Cantine Belisario Verdicchio di Matelica \"Vigneti del Cerro\", Marche is light green in colour with abundant aromas of vibrant grapefruit, white flowers and hints of manuka honey. The palate shows refreshing acidity, interesting mineral qualities, a little ripe fruit and a final burst of zingy lemon to lift the finish.
Luigi Baudana Langhe Bianco Dragon has a lovely nose of wild flowers and hints of citrus. The palate has lots of fruity flavours incluing mango, lemon and a little sweet spice. The good balance between the fruit and acidity provides a graceful long finish.
Vesevo Greco di Tufo is lemon-gold in colour, with an intense aromatic perfume of ripe pears, also a honeyed almond note. On the palate, this wine has stone fruit flavours of yellow peaches, a crisp mineral charm and a mouth-filling body with a good length on the finish.
Principe Pallavicini Malvasia Puntinata Roma is bright straw-yellow in colour. On the nose, it has elegant and fresh aromas with soft hints of apricot and peach. On the palate, it is soft with round fruity notes, and a mineral character on the finish.
A Mano Susumaniello, Puglia is deep, inky purple-black in the glass. Intense aromas of blackberry and chocolate are supported by blueberry perfumes, violets and crème de cassis. The wine is full bodied, with powerful yet fine tannins and has great texture. A fantastic freshness carries through to a long lasting, fruit driven finish.
Vigneti del Salento \"Zolla\" Malvasia Nera is deep ruby red in colour with a mixture of cherries and clove on the nose. The wine is full-bodied with silky soft tannins, very good complexity and remarkable amounts of fruit and freshness on the finish.
Farnese Casale Vecchio Pecorino IGT Terre di Chieti has lively straw yellow colour with verdant hues. This Pecorino displays delightful balsamic notes and aromas of fresh apples and pears on the nose. On the palate, it shows excellent intensity and concentration, with a round, full body. It is a wonderfully balanced wine, with both a soft texture and vibrant freshness on the finish.
Gavi di Gavi, Terre Antiche, Giustiniana, Italy is classic and elegant scented, very delicate with hints of lime zest on the nose, lovely zip and verve on the palate.
Curatolo Arini Nero d\'Avola is deep ruby in colour, with purple hints and notes of violets, red cherries and ripe plums. On the palate, this wine is medium-bodied with beautifully intense dark fruit characters matched by delicate notes of warm spice and soft tannins.
Cantina Mesa \"Primo Scuro\" Cannonau di Sardegna is luminous ruby red in colour. The nose is intensely vinous, typical of the Cannonau grape, with aromas of wild fruit and berries and delicate notes of violets. The palate experiences warm spice, is full bodied and well rounded thanks to soft tannins with an almost endless finish.
Gran Sasso Pecorino \"Alta Quota\" has a light yellow-gold colour, with warm spice on the nose from the partial oak ageing, which in turn gives way to a fine, floral and ripe citrus fruit character on the palate. Excellent length and a ripe pear finish.
Donnafugata Grillo \"SurSur\" has a brilliant straw yellow colour. The nose offers notes of fresh stone fruit, especially peach, all combined with mixed scents of wild flowers and newly mown green grass. The palate is soft and fragrant and offers perfect harmony between aroma and taste.
Capezzana Barco Reale di Carmignano is a shiny and rich ruby red in the glass. Cherry and plum aromas are complemented by a touch of oak. Rounded and ripe on the palate, with a lovely balanced fruit and tannin structure. There is a hint of spiced berries on the long elegant finish.
A Mano \"Imprint\" Primitivo Appassito, Puglia is deep red in colour with exuberant perfumes of ripe red and black berry fruits, with notes of warm spice from oak ageing. Made in the style of an Amarone, it is concentrated and opulent on the palate, with great balance. It is also very elegant, velvety and supple, with a long dark fruity finish.
Villa Bucci Verdicchio Classico Superiore has a lovely golden colour with notes of vanilla in the bouquet. More aromas of green apple and almonds follow on to a complex palate, which also picks-up flavours of manuka honey and vanilla from oak ageing
Pieropan Soave Classico is a fresh and expressive Soave, with classic aromas of white flowers, almond blossoms and a touch of citrus. Rounded, ripe fruit is perfectly balanced by a fresh, clean acidity. Long and fragrant, it has a note of fine, almond pastry on the finish.
Franz Haas Pinot Grigio Trentino-Alto Adige is pale straw-yellow in colour, with a fragrant floral bouquet, with notes of sage, almonds and sandalwood. On the palate this wine is fresh and medium-bodied with great finesse and elegance.
Selvapiana Chianti Rufina is bright ruby red in colour, with perfumes of ripe blackberry fruit, red cherry and a little sweet warm spice. On the palate, it is ripe and juicy, but still fine and elegant in the Selvapiana style, with a lovely floral finish.
Corte Giara Valpolicella Ripasso is a deep ruby red colour in the glass with very good concentration. On the nose, plump red fruit combines well with sweet spices, giving way to delicately spiced herbs. It is full and satisfying, with excellent structure and vibrant acidity that create a harmomious balance for a wine that is both smooth and vivacious on the palate.