(2021) Pears and fat Amalfi lemons in this crowd-pleasing Pinot Grigo which has a dollop of residual sugar (5g/l) to make a by-the-glass sipper but one with a bit of quality. Decent concentration of pear and lemon fruit, and balanced.
(2021) The vineyards of Bardolino, around Lake Garda in northern Italy, specialise in pink 'Chiaretto' wines. Though the blend here is not listed, expect local varieties like Corvina, Corvinone and Molinara, made in a pale and attracive Provençal style. Rosehip, watermelon and small scents of raspberry and redcurrant lead on to a palate that is basically dry, with a little hint of sweetness in the finish, but balanced, fruity and the perfect summer in the garden rosé with its easy-drinking style and 12% alcohol.
(2021) Fior d'Arancio means orange blossom in Italian, and yes, this sweet and low alochol sparkling wine from the Veneto region of northeast Italy does indeed show a little of that character. The always floral Moscato Giallo grape variety is no doubt responsible for that, in this fragrant take on the familar Moscato d'Asti style of Piedmont. Frothy, sweet and eminently drinkable, who could not love a wine like this at under £6, balanced as it is by gentle but effective acidity? Match it to fruity summer desserts, but otherwise, stick a bottle in the fridge as soon as summer sunshine is forecast and plan a long day doing very little in the garden.
(2020) This is brand new category of pink Prosecco, new on UK shelves. Prosecco played a political game a decade ago, renaming the grape 'Prosecco' as 'Glera', and defining 'Prosecco' as the legally protected name of a geographical region. The idea was to stymie other regions and countries from planting the grape and cashing-in Prosecco's soaraway success. At the same time they outlawed pink Prosecco, declaring wines could only be white.
Now, rosé Prosecco is back on the statute books, though with relatively strict rules: the red grape used must be Pinot Noir and the wines must be vintage dated, six months mimumum time on lees is required as opposed to three for white Prosecco. This wine is all set to be a Christmas 2020 sensation I suspect, with its eye-catching cut glass bottle. The wine is also Extra Dry, indicating a higher residual sugar level than Brut. Its frothy and fun, gently strawberry- and lemon sherbet-scented with a light and free-flowing palate of confectionery-sweet fruit set against reasonable acidity. It's a party banker, not to be taken too seriously, and all set to give a fillip to Prosecco's already huge popularity.
(2020) Masi are masters of appassimento, most of this wine fermented as normal, but part of it re-fermented with 25% dried grapes. It spent 18 months in mostly large, Slavonian oak barrels. Made with 70% Corvina along with Rondinella and Molinara it has delicious aromatics, dried cherry and red liquorice. Smooth but concentrated on the palate, a touch of umami meatiness, but finishes on sweet black fruit and that stripe of digestible acidity. Down to £9.74 until 2nd June 2020. Watch the video for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2019) I have a soft spot for this wine, first tasted just after visiting Masi's lovely properties in the north of Italy, and seeing the drying lofts where grapes are dried for their Amarone and other wines. This is a blend of Verduzzo and Pinot Grigio, the Verduzzo having been dried, and though made by the Prosecco method it ends up tasting really quite different, much more herbal and slightly 'wild' character, less pristine and less simple than most Proseccos, some concentration and pithy lemon acidity giving a bit of weight and seriousness.
(2019) A small proportion of Verduzzo in this blend was fermented in 600-litre French oak and that nutty creaminess comes through, with more subdued pear and a gentle grassy background. The palate has weight and structure, fine fruit sweetness and rich texture, but really fresh acidity that powers the finish.
(2019) The blend is 70% Corvina, with 25% Rondinella and Molinara, with no appassimento of the grapes. A light balsamic richness, deep cherry and a touch of creaminess from 20% oak ageing. Plenty of sweetness but smooth tannins too, fresh acidity, and a light but elegant finish.
(2019) A classic Chiaretto from Bardolino in north-east Italy, the blend is 50% Corvina, 30% Rondinella and 20% Merlot, and though officially Brut, it has a come hither sweetness and frothy easy-drinking style that makes it a perfect summer in the garden sipper. With a modest 11.5% and gentle bubbles, cherry and rose-hip aromas lead on to similar red fruit flavours, nothing at all complicated about the palate, but acdity balances and makes it an easy pleasure for this summer.
(2019) Glowing amber/gold. So ripe, notes of dried apricot and tobacco, light, sweet earth, a touch of spice. Dry and chewy density on the palate, the high lemon rind and lime acidity against the soft, smoky tobacco, but very pure and long, lots of salinity in the finish.