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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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Poggio San Polo Rosso di Montalcino is a bright ruby red colour with aromas of fresh berries, morello cherry and blackberries, which are complimented by a hint of vannila spice. This is a fragrant, intense wine with smooth, finely-balanced tannins and a persistent, aromatic finish.
G. D. Vajra Langhe Nebbiolo is bright ruby red in colour with intense notes of violet and rose, accompanied by the freshness of ripe red berry fruits on the nose. This elegant Nebbiolo with lots of delicious fruit is complemented by silky tannins and delicate acidity.
A Mano, \"Prima Mano\" Primitivo is a deep purple wine with a rich, full bouquet showing black cherries, violet and mocha notes. Full of juicy blackberry, cherry and plum fruit, with dark mineral and peppery spice on the palate. Impressively concentrated and lush without being heavy or sweet. This wine has a freshness and an acidity that is instantly inviting, leading to a persistent aftertaste with balance and structure.
Pieropan \"Calvarino\" Soave Classico is a pale straw yellow in the glass with youthful green hues when young, turning golden with ageing. Fresh, floral aromas with elderflower, lemon and white cherry. The palate is dry and fruity, well balanced and stylish, with tremendous length and finesse.
Corino Giovanni di Corino Giuliano Langhe Nebbiolo has intense aromas of cherries, liquorice, violets and forest floor on the nose. On the palate, it is tight and structured with notes of cherry, liquorice and mushrooms.
Cantine Belisario Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva \"Cambrugiano\" , Marche is pale gold in colour with complex aromas of vanilla, honey and fresh floral notes. Full and rounded on the palate with stone fruit flavours with light touches of spiced honey and vanilla on its very long finish.
Franz Haas Gewurztraminer Trentino-Alto Adige has an intense golden colour, with a deep bouquet of complex fragrances such as lychees and orange peel, nutmeg and wild roses. Good structure and freshness make a vibrant wine with a lingering aftertaste of subtle almonds and cinnamon.
G. D. Vajra Barbera d\'Alba has a violet red colour that alludes to the sweet dark fruits, giving this wine a refined elegance. Powerful and rich on the nose, it is concentrated and smooth, with lots more fruit and spice. The finish is long and sophisticated.
La Giuva Valpolicella Superiore has a unique freshness combined with the typical characteristics of the drying grapes. Very aromatic, it has hints of soft warm spice and a subtle sweet scent on the nose, with great balance and concentration and a distinct liquorice impression on the long finish.
Fontodi \"Filetta di Lamole\" is made solely from Sangiovese, it 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, this wine finds everything nicely supported by fine, grainy tannins.
Donnafugata \"Bell Assai\" Frappato di Vittoria has a brilliant ruby red colour in the glass with violet reflections. Its fragrant bouquet offers intense flowery notes of violets and roses, combined with aromas of fresh strawberries and raspberries. On the palate it shows great freshness, a perfect harmony between aroma and taste, well supported by soft tannins.
Livio Felluga Friulano has a powerful nose with typical aromas of citrus peel, vanilla and warm spice. These aromas are complemented with tropical notes and intriguing balsamic and mineral qualities. The wine is well-balanced, full and elegant with a pleasant acidity mixed with lots of fruit on the finish.
Vigneti del Vulture Aglianico del Vulture \"Piano del Cerro\" is very deep red in colour with hints of blackberry and blackcurrants mixing with warm spice on the nose. Great structure on the palate with lots more dark fruit and some vanilla from oak ageing travelling through to the fine finish.
Tenuta Valdipiatta Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is an intense ruby red colour in the glass with fruity notes of blackberries together with floral notes of violets and hints of soft warm spices. Full-bodied on the palate, with fresh minerality and good acidity that are well- balanced with smooth tannins. The long finish reflects the wine\'s fruity perfumes.
Terrazze dell\'Etna \"Carusu Etna\" Rosso has an intense ruby colour with bright garnet reflections. An elegant nose, with delicate notes of flowers perfectly combined with ripe red fruit and warm spice. Round, soft tannins on the palate end with a graceful finish.
Donnafugata \"Vigna di Gabri\" has a lovely straw yellow colour with light green reflections. The nose opens with fruity notes, classic white peach combined with a citrus note of grapefruit, interwined with floral notes of elderflower and wild roses. The palate perfectly reflects the nose, enlivened by warm spice.
Bruno Rocca Barbera d\'Asti has an intense deep red colour with purple hints. On the nose, the wine has fresh, vibrant aromas of ripe plums, blackberries, cherries and blueberries with subtle almond and hazelnut nuances. Full -bodied, warm spices, the wine has a wll balanced acidity and an elegant finish.
Felsina Berardenga Chianti Classico has a deep ruby red colour in the glass with purple hints. The nose enjoys perfumes of wild red berries, cherries and nuances of mixed spices. On the palate, the fruit is dense and well supported by supple tannins and soft vanilla from oak ageing.
Ca dei Frati \"Pratto\" , Lombardy has a lovely aromatic quality on the nose with notes of tropical fruit and great minerality. On the palate, an initial hint of sweetness is followed by a well-balanced blend of fruit and savoury components, ending with hints of more tropical fruit, such as mango and lychees.
Donnafugata, Cerasuolo di Vittoria has an intense ruby red colour with brilliant purple hues. On the nose, it has intense fruity aromas, black cherry and plummy notes. On the palate, it opens with delicate flowery flavours and characteristic spicy notes of black pepper, the flavours are supported by a refreshing acidity with fine and well-integrated tannins.
Proprieta Sperino Coste della Sesia Rosso \"Uvaggio\" is a vibrant ruby red with perfumes of rich cherry and plum fruit. The lifted palate is packed with attractive juicy fruit and is given great texture by the supple tannins. The red fruit flavours provide an exceptional long lasting finish.
Vigne Marina Coppi \"Marine Favorita\" is a deep straw colour with distinct notes of apples and peach on the nose. The palate enjoys a well balanced wine with fruit and acidity well matched and giving way to a smooth, refreshing and long finish.
Livio Felluga Pinot Grigio is straw yellow in colour with light golden hues. Concentrated yey elegant aromas of melon and candied fruit are then complemented by white fruit and floral notes, with a delicate mixture of brioche and honey. Fresh and smooth on the palate, giving a long lingering finish.