(2016) A gentle, very nicely approachable wine, this is Sangiovese from Emilia-Romanga, and a fine expression of Sangiovese at its most Pinot-like, all tobacco and cherry, a touch of light gaminess, and mellow to the core. In the mouth it is medium-bodied and fresh, so nicely walking the line between sweet fruit openess and really quite a tight structural framework.
(2009) A wine that has attained the prestigious Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso, this is aged in new barriques. There is rich black fruit on the nose, but also a gamy undertone, with earth and leather, and a cedary edge. The palate is a bittersweet symphony, with liquorice and tart cherry acidity, striking, lean tannins and edgy black fruit combining to be quite linear and sinewy in the mouth. This is similarly confident and modern to the 'Avi' above, but retains more savoury bite and juicy structure.
(2009) Reckoned to be amongst the elite of Emilia-Romagna, previous editions of this wine have scored in the 90s with top US critics. This cuvée from winemaker Cristina Geminiani is made in the best years (this is the 10th release since 1985) from 25-year-old Sangiovese. It is immediately rich and ripe, with a touch of Porty lift and density, and sweet, solid black fruit married to savoury oak. On the palate that bloody, gamy density comes through, with the sweet fruit melding into muscular tannin, and the fleshiness of the mid-palate nicely tempered by a juicy, tangy, cherry-skin acidity. Delightful stuff this.
(2009) Cropped low from 40-year-old vines, cuvée Thea is Tre Monti's best Sangiovese, aged 12 months in new Alliers oak barriques. It has an opulently creamy nose, where tobacco and cigar smoke swirl through dense, glossy black fruits. This is plush, modern and displays plenty of charry oak. On the palate that opulence and layered, lush, velvety impression is reinforced, with masses of spice and cedar to bold, thick, sweet and creamy black fruit. It has some structure, but this is all about immediate gratification, which it certainly achieves.
(2009) There's no doubting the seriousness of the intent here, with the super-heavy bottle, expensive French oak ageing and, indeed, Tre Bicchieri from Gambero Rosso in 2008. And there is no disappointment in the glass as a soaring nose of Sandalwood and clove, thick, sweet black fruit and swirling, charcoally woodsmoke positively leaps from the glass. On the palate this has the richness of the cuvée Thea from Tre Monti, but adds in a terrific, supple juiciness and slightly wild, animal notes that add layers of interest. It is chocolaty and deep into the finish, with grip and structure. Pretty impressive.
(2009) This IGT is a blend of 85% Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon. There's a distinctly meaty, bloody character on the nose, with spices and tobacco. On the palate this is a powerfully, almost aggressively tannic wine, with the sweetness of the very ripe, blackcurranty fruit slightly overpowered by spices and liquoricy tannins which just shorten the finish slightly.
(2009) This 100% Sangiovese cuvée has a bold crimson colour and equally bold, creamy and ripe cherry-fruited nose. On the palate it has a medium-bodied but rich texture, with the softness and again creaminess of cherry fruit to the fore, but backed up with nicely bloody, gamy nuances and touches of sweet earth and tobacco. The finish is really quite long, with good acidity and refined tannins honing the edges of the sweet fruit. A lovely little wine this at around 10 Euros.
(2009) The first wine I can remember having tasted from the D.O.C. Colli d'Imola, which was created in 1997 in an area most famous for producing another Italian product: Ferrari sports cars. There is a huge richness on the nose of this 15% ABV white wine, made from varieties that include Petit Manseng apparently. Honey, beeswax, wild flowers and nuts are all in the mix, as well as spices and a hint of exotic, nectarine fruit. Very rich, full-textured and powerful on the palate too, this is savoury, chewy and dense, with a robust core of white fruit and concentrated nutty and herbal nuances coming through. Long and rounding out with some creamy quality in the finish, this is conceived on a grand scale, but is undoubtedly a profound white wine that needs food. Around 3,000 bottles produced.
(2009) This is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon Cuvée from the impressive Drei Donà, aged in Alliers and Tronçais barriques for 20 months, and only released after a further 10 months in bottle. It has a ripe but earthy blackcurrant nose, with little clove spice notes and a touch of briar. On the palate this is a firm and serious wine, with a leathery density to the tannins, which coat the mouth. Drei Donà claim this will cellar well for 20 years, and the concentration of the fruit, with touches of prune and liquorice, as well as those massive tannins, finely-honed acidity and supporting oak suggest it has great potential.
(2009) A new DOC for me, the Colli di Rimini, this is a 'Bordeaux blend' of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with Merlot and Cabernet Franc matured in Alliers, Tronçais and Nevers oak for one year. It has a sumptuous nose, filled with dense, creamy, supple black fruit and underpinned by espresso and cocoa. On the palate the fruit is exquisitely ripe and sweet, the blackcurrant and plum flavours melding into a more structured, grippy mid-palate where sinewy, grainy tannins and plenty of extraction coat the mouth. The balance is very good, becoming chewy and savoury into the finish, in a bold, powerful and impressive wine.