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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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Poggiotondo Chianti Riserva \"Terre di Cresci\" has an elegant aroma of red fruits, black cherries, soft spices and a hint of floral perfumes. The palate is powerful with juicy tannins that give a smooth fruity texture. The finish enjoys the nice balance of fruit, tannins and fresh acidity.
Allegrini \"Palazzo della Torre\" IGT is a ruby red colour in the glass with enticing aromas of cherry with rich dark chocolate notes. Velvety in texture, it is well-balanced and offers ripe, juicy dark fruit, with silky tannins and refreshing acidity.
Vigne Marina Coppi \"Sant Andrea\" Barbera is bright ruby red in colour with a bouquet that has good intensity with hints of cherry and wild strawberry, which follow on to the finish. The wine is complex, rounded and supple with a delicious fresh fruit character.
Fontodi \"Meriggio\"Sauvignon Blanc has fresh and newly cut grass perfumes on the nose that lead to a lively, lifted palate with a mineral undertone. This wine shows the characteristic high quality of all the Fontodi wines and finishes on a long, elegant note.
Ca dei Frati Lugana \'l Frati, Lombardy is a light yellow in colour with a concentrated, but fresh perfume of white flowers, peaches and ripe lemons. On the palate, the wine has excellent depth and balance between the fruit and crisp acidity. The finish picks-up more ripe peaches which linger on for a long time.
Specogna Refosco is deep ruby red in colour with fragile violet highlights. The wine is well recognised by concentrated notes of red berry fruit, ripe cherries and spice box perfumes. With typically attractive acidity balanced with soft tannins, the flavours move into a long and lingering finish.
Gran Sasso Montepulciano d\'Abruzzo Colline Teramane \"Alta Quota\" is red ruby in colour with garnet reflections. The nose is deep and persistent with a spicy bouquet and hints of chocolate that complement the vibrant dark fruit attributes. On the palate it is very well balanced and displays great structure and tannins.
Poggio al Tesoro \"Solosole\" Vermentino has a radiant straw yellow colour in the glass, with aromas of acacia blossom, yellow plums and hints of grapefruit. Medium-bodied, the palate is refined and succulent with refreshing acidity and delicate apricot on the finish.
Pieropan \"Ruberpan\" Vallpollcella Superiore \"Vigna Garzon\" is brilliant ruby red in colour with a lovely bouquet of red cherries and strawberry fruit. The palate continues with complex layers of beautiful fruit notes and finishes with a soft warm spicy character.
Terrazze dell\'Etna \"Ciuri Etna\" Bianco is light straw yellow in colour with fine clarity and green reflections. The wine is fresh and fragrant with notes of tropical fruit and a little hint of rosemary. On the palate, it is fresh, well balanced with a lovely acidic backbone, with an attractive mineral finish.
Cantina Valpantena \"Tesauro\" Recioto della Valpolicella has an intense ruby red colour, with delicate aromas of blackberry jam and spicy hints on the nose. This wine is very elegant and well-structured on the palate.
Poggio al Tesoro \"Mediterra\" is a fragrant and intensley fruity red wine, with aromas of blackberries, dark plums and black cherries are all interwoven with more incisive soft spice notes. The result of a winning blend of Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Mediterra succeeds in the difficult task of expressing the rich complexity of Bolgheri with a perfect-drinking style and exceedingly long, lingering finish.
Livio Felluga \"Vertigo\" is a black cherry red wine with intense purple highlights. The nose is powerful with lots of dark fruit. There are aromas of cherries, currants, blackberries and blueberries which are integrated with soft sweet spices and a little liquorice. On the palate the wine is vibrant, long and well structured, with good balance between acidity and tannins.
Livio Felluga \"Sharis\" is bright yellow in colour with gold reflections. The nose is intense developing layers of tropical fruits, papaya and pineapple complemented by hints of apricot and candied citrus peel. Lively and refreshing, it is full bodied and fruit forward with nuances of gooseberry and lychees on the long finish.
La Giustiniana Gavi di Gavi \"Montessora\" 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.
Filetta di Lamole Chianti Classico has a lovely colour, with Pinot-like clarity in both the glass and on the nose, with a lifted dark cherry fragrance yielding to intense yet elegant fruit on the palate, all nicely supported by excellent balance between the supple tannins and fresh acidity.
Cesconi Pinot Grigio Trentino-Alto Adige is a fine wine distinguished by its fresh fruity acidity and crisp well defined minerality. The nose offers lots of intense notes of pear, brioche and white peach. The palate is broad and rich, with intricate layers of fresh fruit personality before a long enjoyable finish.
Cantina Diomede \"Canace\" Nero di Trola is deep red in colour with of violet. The complex bouquet offers warm spices, coffee, liquorice and ripe berry fruit. Soft and velvety on the palate, this full-bodied wine has a fresh acidity from the Aglianico, balanced with elegant tannins and lingering spice.
Massolino Barolo Half Bottle, 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.
Chianti Classico Nittardi Belcanto, Tuscany is Ruby-red, juicy cherry and raspberry with hints of Mediterranean and floral notes on the nose. Medium bodied with grippy tannins on the palate and a fresh and long finish. Belcanto pairs well with starters and main courses of the creative Tuscan cuisine.
G. D. Vajra Dolcetto d\'Alba \"Coste e Fossati\" has big flavours of black cherries and liquorice on the nose. The palate enjoys the same fruit, including hints of vanilla and warm spice. The long finish is complemented by soft tannins and more vanilla.