47 Anno Domini Sottovoce Merlot£9.95
Red berries and vanilla and toasted wood on the nose and just a hint of green pepper. Good entry into the mouth, the feeling of pleasant diffused light tannins on the tongue and the perception of warmth and sweetness given by alcohol. Good length and persistence that leave a pleasant dry mouth that calls for another taste.
Amarosso, ‘Romeo & Juliet’, Verona, Italy, 2015£10.95
Toasted hazelnut and tobacco notes, followed by red fruits and cherry jam on the nose. Vanilla and spice opens up when in the glass. All which follow through to the palate with excellent acidity, warming alcohol and a long finish.
Cantina Tombacco, Biferno Rosso Riserva DOC, 2012£12.50
Biferno is a tiny appellation in the centre-south of Italy, next door to Abruzzo. The red wine variety grown there is the wonderfully fruity Montepulciano.
The wine has appreciated after time spent aging in both barrel and bottle and the result is an aromatic and seductive wine with cherry and floral lift, but a deep, plum and liquorice richness of fruit and silky texture, the tannins mellowed into a gentle, rounded wine.
Even though it’s good to go straight away, we really recommend letting it sit in the glass a few minutes (or decanting) before drinking. Doing this brings out its mellow maturity and authentic Italian identity, and the oak becomes better-integrated.
It’s easy to see why this has become our fastest selling red since listing it on our website. And at just over a tenner, it is very easy to drink!
Cantina Tombacco, Salice Salentino DOC, Riserva Rosso, 2012£10.95
Appearance – Dark, ruby red with garnet nuances.
Nose – Ripe red fruit and spicy, woody notes.
Palate – Fill bodied with roasted and spicy aromas, which ends velvety with a round, full finish.
Fattoria Montecchio, Chianti Classico Riserva, 2011£14.95
We know this wine will age and improve for another 6 years but we were impressed with the integrated tannins which will please some customers who are a little less patient!
In the glass the hue is deep ruby red which will move to garnet the older it gets. The nose is ripe red fruit with vanilla and spice. On the palate the fruits are ripe and bold with a pleasantly intense finish.
“Lovely anise and morello cherry fruit. Ripe on the nose with balanced spiced fruit, cherry fleshy textures balanced finish.” International Wine Challenge Tasting Note, 2015.
Serve with grilled meat and Italian tapas cold cuts.
Il N.5 di Poggio L’Apparita, DOC Maremma Toscano Rosso, 2014£14.45
Micro-production of this vintage of just 1100 bottles.
International Wine Challenge’s tasting note:
“Juicy fruit, lots of herbal edges. Nicely rustic with fine tannins.”
Il N.6 di Poggio L’Apparita, DOC Maremma Toscana Rosso, 2014£14.45
COLOUR & NOSE
Ruby red with violet reflections. Delicate bouquet of berries and delicate sweetness.
Very ripe fruits, pleasant roasted aromas and finely integrated tannins make this wine long lasting. A truly elegant wine with a strong personality.
The grapes of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot are hand-picked and selected from the end of August until the beginning of October. It is matured in Slavonic oak barrels for at least 12 months. Of the year 2014 only 1708 bottles were produced.
Le Magnolie Pinot Grigio£9.95
Pinot Grigio can sometimes have a bad reputation for being a flavourless choice. We searched everywhere for a perfect example of this classic wine and Le Magnolie’s vineyards at high altitude makes for its dry, crisp taste with a finely balanced acidity and heaps of flavour.
Le Magnolie Prosecco Extra Dry DOC£12.50
By far the best Prosecco we have found after a very long process.
The small family owned vineyard near Treviso benefits from high altitude which ensures the required acidity for sparkling wine.
Pale straw yellow colour with greenish reflections. Presenting fine and persistent bubbles and showing fresh fruit and white flowers on the palate.
Marsecco, Frizzante Marzemino (red), IGT£12.50
This wine tells an exceptional story. Marzemino grew for the first time in Asia, but Venetian and Lombard connoisseurs were already enjoying its sweetness in the 16th century.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart therefore paid tribute to this legendary wine, mentioning “the excellent Marzemino” in his opera Don Giovanni.
The wine itself is crimson with shiny purple highlights.
NOSE & PALATE
The nose forest fruits and the tongue tingles from the gentle bubbles and the noticeable residual sugar makes it very soft. The black cherry dominates the palate.
A definite candidate for a fun party wine and also tastes very well chilled on a mild summer’s evening. Guaranteed to convert any non-believer!
An excellent example of Moscato for those curious to try this sparkling example. Bright yellow colour with delicate green hues and lively mousse. The impact is elegant on the nose with mellow notes of grapes, melon and peaches. On the palate the bubbles are fine and persistent and no need to worry about the sweetness – it is wonderfully balanced and sweet without being icky by the refreshing acidity and lively zing. Very tasty and only 7.5% because not all the sugar is converted to alcohol so a natural lower alcohol alternative. We enjoy this one with cake!
Pecorino IGT Terre di Chieti Tombacco£10.50
Don’t be fooled, Pecorino is not just relegated to a cheese!
Brilliant, with an interesting intense and strong yellow luster. In the nose complex with smells of exotic fruits and soft notes of spices. On the palate well structured with pleasant acidity. Beautiful fruitiness with mineral notes and a delicate explosion of fruit on the palate.
Piantaferro di Manduria£11.95
An oaked primitivo It is a single varietal Primitivo, from a small vineyard parcel in the heart of the superior Manduria DOC in the heel of Italy. This is a fine example of primitivo: full-bodied, jammy with tones of chocolate and raisins. Really meant to be drunk young, those that love fruity wines will not be disappointed.
Straw coloured, with a striking green note, the aromas and flavours of this ancient Campanian wine are unlike any other. Very dry, but also perfumed, the nose is all wild flowers and apricots, while on the palate it displays freshness with bright white flowers and stone fruits and a delicious affinity for simply prepared foods.
Piantaferro Grillo, 2012£7.95
Grillo is one of the most promising native Sicilian grapes, which is still grown with the ancient small-tree method at a density of 6000 vines per hectare. The grapes are harvested by hand and softly pressed. The wine is pleasurably structured and one does not even notice its strength and alcohol content thanks to a splendid balance for a full-bodied wine. With a bouquet redolent of jasmine, white flowers, rose petals and exotic fruits and citrus, this is no neutral white. On the palate the wine is dry and fresh, with great acid balance and a clean note of summer fruit.
Try as an alternative to Chardonnay.