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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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Corte Giara Recioto della Valpolicella is ruby red in colour with an intense nose which is bursting with red fruits and aromatic sweet spices. On the palate, the wine is fresh and succulent and beautifully balanced. Its sweetness is never cloying due to an elegant, crisp acidity that makes for easy drinking and a long, satisfying finish.
Fontodi Chianti Classico is deep ruby red in colour, with perfumes of red cherry and plums leading to notes of soft warm spice. It has great depth of flavour, with juicy fruit and supple tannins, giving way to a silky-smooth texture. It has a fine structure and finishes with well balalanced mineral notes.
Poggio al Tesoro \"il Seggio\" Bolgheri has an intense ruby red colour in the glass, with red berry and cassis aromas with mineral and spicy notes on the nose. The palate is medium-bodied and the tannins are fine and silky, with lot of fruit well balanced with the fresh acidity.
Isole E Olena Chianti Classico has a bright crimson colour with typical sour cherry and bramble notes. The palate has a supple, lithe character full of perfumed fruit and is given depth by a rich mineral vein. Structure and balance comes from the acidity and supple tannins.
Capezzana Carmignano \"Villa di Capezzana\" is ruby red in colour with a restrained elegant nose. Perfumes of dark cherry and liquorice give way to warm soft spice and red plums on the palate. Rounded tannins from the Sangiovese grape are lifted by the cassis concentration of the Cabernet Sauvignon and melt into a long perfumed finish.
Massolino Langhe Nebbiolo is ruby in colour with hints of purple. Notes of rose, raspberry and redcurrant are supported by cherry liqueur and subtle spices. On the palate this wine shows gentle and elegant tannins which are well balanced by its bright acidity.
Selvapiana \"Vigneto Bucerchiale\" Chianti Rufina Riserva has great depth of colour and concentrated aromas on the nose. The palate is powerful and fruit packed with ripe raspberry and spicy cherry fruit, supported by a touch of vanilla and violets. With good tannins, there is a fine long fruity finish.
Cesconi \"Olivar\" Trentino-Alto Adige is a light golden wine that shows layered aromas of ripe stone fruit such as apricot and peach, with notes of wild flowers. A fresh citrus character in the mouth is rounded out by the vanilla notes from the oak ageing and is complimented by a touch of minerality. The long finish is floral and very fragrant.
Allegrini \"La Grola\" IGT is a full bodied, intense and elegant wine. Dark ruby red in colour, it has a wide, embracing bouquet with notes of wild berries, juniper and coffee essence. The high plant density and resulting low yields give this wine its unique concentration.
Ca dei Frati \"Ronchedone\" is a big red wine rich in dark red fruits and nose of sweet plums, black cherries and blackberries. The palate is potent, powerful with lots fruit, vanilla, warm spice and very good acidity. A perfect wine for red meat and game.
Franz Haas Pinot Nero Trentino-Alto Adige is a bright ruby red in colour with a bouquet that shows-off notes of black cherries and raspberries, also marzipan, plum jam and cinnamon. The palate experiences more fruit, mango, all merge well wine the fine tannins.
Vigne Marina Coppi \"l Grop\" Barbera Superiore is bright ruby red in colour, with a nose that is intensely scented with aromas of plum, dark cherries and soft sweet spices. On the palate it is fresh, yet concentrated with fine tannins and spicy vanilla flavours that linger on the finish.
Felsina Berardenga \"l Sistri\" Chardonnay has a deep straw yellow colour and a classic ripe-fruit Chardonnay nose, with a blend of tropical fruit and vanilla and appealing notes of spice. It displays elegant structure with a fresh acidity and a supurb finish.
Donnafugata, \"Sul Vulcano\" Etna Bianco Carricante opens with elegant notes of aromatic herbs, citrus fruits and flint. On the palate, it is fresh and savoury, characterised by its distinctive minerality and remarkable persistence.
Ermes Pavese Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle has a lovely straw yellow colour in the glass with delicate floral aromas on the nose, with hints of wild alpine herbs. The palate is very fruity and refreshing, well balanced acidity, with flavours of pears and a touch of green mango.
Cantina Valpantena \"Torre del Falasco\" Amarone della Valpolicella is deep ruby in colour, this wine has aromas of plums, spice and dried fruit compôte, which give way to a solid tannin structure that supports the concentrated, dried-cherry fruit character. Long and spicy on the finish, with a bitter cherry-chocolate twist characteristic of good Amarone.
Pieropan \"Le Colombare\" Recioto di Soave has an intense gold colour with perfumes of dried apricots and lightly toasted almonds. The wine has a perfectly balanced palate, with just the right level of delicate sweetness offset by fresh acidity. Lovely, rich, almost exotic fruit on the palate, with a baked peach character and a long, perfumed finish.
Pieropan \"La Rocca\" Soave Classico is golden yellow in the glass, with intense, concentrated perfumes that follow through to the palate. Classic La Rocca aromas of almond essence and honey lead to an elegant and beautifully balanced palate, with notes of vanilla and almond kernel, ripe apricots and exotic fruit. The very long finish has a lovely mineral edge.
Felsina Berardenga Vin Santo has a golden yellow colour in the glass with copper highlights. Aromas of peach and apricot are complemented with pineapple and tropical fruit. The complex palate has good weight and supple fruit, with toasty nunaces from well integrated oak. A lively acidity is beautifully balanced with the sweetness of the dried grapes, with baked apricot and candied pineapple continuing on the long finish.
Franz Haas Manna \"Schweizer\" Trentino-Alto Adige is a golden colour in the glass with a diverse and layered bouquet recalling notes of elderflower, pistachios and rose petals. Soft and refined, the palate is concentrated with mineral character and a hint of warm spice and mango. The many different white grape varities provide the basis of a very long and interesting finish.