(2019) After heavy spring rains the summer was almost ideal, with dry days and significant day-night temperature differentials to ensure balanced, concentrated berries. The Sangiovese and Merlot was harvested with a low yield of 28 hl/ha, and ageing once again for 24 months in 85% new French oak barriques. Back slightly more onto the firm, taut, precise black fruit style, sveltee and glossy with a slightly balsamic note too, and though juicy and with that tangy sour cherry to the acids, just a little less giving than the 2014.
(2019) Meaty, dense stuff on the nose, with that concentrated, dry graphite character. From a limestone vineyard I visite, the palate has real meatiness, dry, touched with coffee and a little game. Real firmness here, a savoury umami grip and bit of muscle and sinew to the tannin and acid framework, plenty of chewiness here, but once again really good freshness. Should cellar for a decade plus.
(2019) Made from 100% Refosco in the Treviso area, this comes from Masi, best known for their Amarone wines, so it is not surprising to hear around 15% of this undergo appassimento (the grapes dried on straw mats) for approximately 50 days. That gives this wine an extra edge of firmness and a bit of tannic bite too, not sweetness: it has cherry and floral aromas, pretty and peachy, then that firmer edge on the palate, crisp fruit but an apple core bite and squeeze of fresh lemon, to give a clean, savoury and food-friendly finish. There's substance here to stand up to a bowl of tomatoey pasta.
(2019) Trentino's super co-op, CAVIT, produces an awful lot of wine, and an awful lot of Pinot Grigio, but that does give them the vineyards and the resources to add very high quality strings to their proverbial bow. This Pinot Grigio comes from some of their highest altitude and lowest-yielding vines from just north of Lake Garda, aged 15- to 30-years old. There's a creamy suggestion of density on the nose, soft leafy green herbs meet apple and something a little more honeyed. In the mouth it is a dry, zesty and linear style, serious and restrained, staying focused and pure with a hint of saltiness in the finish. Watch the video
for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) A pale colour, picked ripe and fresh, with lots of cherry fruit, a bit of spice and the sweet fruit pushes through. Yes, a touch too much alcohol in a rosé for my taste at a little over 14%, but a lovely wine.
(2018) The vinification is similar to the Greco, with four to five months on the lees in tank. It seems a little firmer, more strict on the nose than the Greco, with citrus and herbs and a steely green apple character. In the mouth a similar limpid texture, but indeed the acidity is higher and the whole picture more sharply chiselled, some fat around the mid-palate swept up in a mineral salts and lemony acidity.
(2018) This 100% Aglianico cuvée is from a single vineyard and is aged for 18 months in medium-toast new French barriques, with a minimum of an extra 24 months in bottle before release. It's an extremely dense and powerful wine, with massive concentration, yet there is light and shade. Briar, liquorice and dark, vinous plummy fruit on the nose is just starting to allow some delicate rose and cherry character to emerge. In the mouth it is strapping stuff, an onslaught of sweet fruit that is cloaked in tannin and bright acidity, a touch of charry coffeeish oak, and just loads of extract and substance. Hugely serious, muscular and impressive, this is worth tucking away for at least five more years before broaching, but if opening now, decant for a couple.
(2018) What a fascinating - and really excellent - wine this is. From a single vineyard, it is a vintage wine with zero residual sugar, and therefore bone-dry. This is a family firm, daughters Maria Elena, Elvira, Luisa and Giuliana Bortolomiol carrying on the work of their father Giuliano, the wines made by Roberto Cipresso, one of Italys most highly-regarded oenelogists. The result is a fabulous, pin-sharp and refined Prosecco, where delicate pear and herb aromas are swept up in a rush of lemon and lime, crystalline acidity. A genuine food Prosecco, with terrific finesse and length. No UK stockists at time of writing
(2016) Disgorged in July 2016, this blends 45% Pinot Meunier with 35% Chardonnay and 20% Pinot Noir. It's a supremely elegant Champagne, pale gold in colour with minuscule bubbles. The nose has pronounced yeastiness but also delightfully bright, vivid fruitiness and floral delicacy, citrus peel and a touch of anise spice. The balance is lovely in the mouth, racy and super elegant, refined acidity driving precisely, the finish long and tapering to a gentle point.
(2016) The business is now run by the eight generation of the Chiquet family, one of the very first growers to begin making and bottling their own Champagnes rather than selling their grapes to one of the major houses. This is pale and lemony in colour, with very fine bubbles. Aromas are classic, with some autolytic, bready development and masses of tight citrus and apple core fruitiness. It is complex already, with a little coffee and toast, a touch of meatiness. In the mouth the fine mousse adds to the sense of acid firmness: this is a tight and concentrated Champagne, the complexity is there though, little nuances of floral, nut husk and steely lemon fruit into a long, tantalising finish. 70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, disgorged March 2016.