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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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Donnafugata \"Sherazade\" Nero D\'Avola has a bright ruby red colour with purple hues. The wine has a bouquet of fragrant wild strawberries and blackberries and hints of soft warm spice. The palate is smooth and enveloping flavours that reflect the nose and velvety tannins.
Vigneti del Salento \"Zolla\" Primitivo di Manduria is ruby red in colour with a violet hue. It has intense aromas of red cherries, blackberries and hints of spice and leather. These aromas follow through on to the palate which is rich and velvety with generous tannins and great length.
Petra \"Hebo Toscana IGT\" has a bright ruby red colour with a bouquet of red fruit and black cherry. Lots more fruit including mango on the palate, with touches of vanilla from oak ageing. The wine has excellent balance and length with a tangy finish of blackberry and dried fruit.
Ripasso Valpolicella Classico Superiore Storica Fabiano, has great richness of bouquet, complex dried fruit character, fruity bouquet of warm raspberry, blueberries and spices.
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.
Cesconi \"Moratel\" Trentino-Alto Adige has a refined nose which offers considerable aromatic complexity, with aromas of wild cherry, raspberry and hints of blackcurrant. The palate is supple and well supported with attractive tannins which blend well with all soft fruit and warm spice.
La Giustiniana Gavi di Gavi \"Lugarara\" is straw yellow in colour with a greenish hue. The wine\'s aromas of white fruit, stone fruit and lime zest are immediately deguiling and followed by a suble yet persistent bouquet of green apples. The palate is well balanced with a fresh acidity and good structure. Very pleasant almond notes linger on the long finish.
Deltetto Roero Arneis \"San Michele\" is straw yellow in colour with bouquet of exotic fruit, apples and vanilla. The Arneis grape has a minerally character which lifts the fruit aromas. A lively freshness on the finish gives excellent balance.
Villa di Petrognano DOC Pomino is deeply coloured with a rich bouquet of red and black fruit on the nose. The palate is rounded and rich, with the Sangiovese bringing lively acidity to the richer Cabernet Sauvignon, and the supple tannins of the Merlot.
Specogna Friulano has an intense golden yellow colour with youthful emerald hues. It is well-rounded, spiced aromas with varietal characteristics on the nose such as citrus fruits, almonds, exotic fruit and a touch of white peach, complemented by warm spice. A powerful, well structured wine, it has good acidity, a well-orchestrated fruit and mineral complexity and a long, elegant finish.
Cantina Mesa \"Buio\" Carignano del Sulcis is dark red in colour, with a very fragrant nose of blackberries and wild strawberries. The velvety tannins supply lots of delicious fruit to the palate, including exotics such as lychee and mango. The finish is powerful and breathtakingly long.
Cesconi Nosiola Trentino-Alto Adige has a lovely pale lemon colour. The nose is fresh and vibrant, expressing the wine\'s mountain character, with notes of grapefruit and elderberry. The palate is savoury and delicate, with the moderate alcohol content and good acidity enhancing its depth and finish.
Cantina Mesa \"Giunco\" Vermentino di Sardegna is straw yellow in colour with hints of gold and green. The complex bouquet releases subtle notes of lime blossom, yellow peach and apricot, and zesty grapefruit. The palate is crisp and delicious, perfectly echoing the aromatics on the nose, with tangy fruit and a long lasting mineral finish.
Farnese Montepulciano d\'Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG is ruby red in colour with garnet reflections. The nose is intense and has a warm spicy bouquet with hints of chocolate, which all complement the vibrant dark fruit character. On the palate it is very well balanced and displays great structure with elegant tannins.
Cantine Belisario \"Vigneti B\" is a complex example of Verdicchio di Matelica. On the nose, it shows floral aromas of dandelion and broom along with toasted almonds and aromatic herbs. On the palate, it is soft and round, with a persistent finish.
Specogna Pinot Grigio \"Ramato\" from Friuli has a soft pink colour with copper highlights, a characteristic of this varietal. It is fresh and floral on the nose, with aromas of apples, pears and elderflower. On the palate, it has more apple and hints of pineapple. The finish is very fruity and long.
A Mano Aleatico di Puglia Passito is deep ruby red in colour with perfumes of red rose petals and dried cherries. These aromas give way to a dark, black cherry and spice character on the palate with rounded tannins and soft hints of citrus. Sweet and luscious but not cloying, with dried fruit and cinnamon perfumes on the long finish.
Curatolo Arini Zibibbo, Sicily has a bright straw yellow colour with green highlights. This wine has elegant perfumes of citrus fruit, orange blossom, mint and a little acacia. On the palate the wine is rich and fruity, reflecting the skills of the winemaker.
Franz Haas \"Lepus\" Pinot Bianco Trentino-Alto Adige has a brilliant straw yellow colour, with fruity, spicy aromas. Strong and elegant in structure, the wine has a well-balanced acidity and is framed by a sweet, round richness and has great length.