Northern Italy Portfolio Offer
The much lauded 2016 vintage in Northern Italy needs little introduction.
A perfect growing season, not too hot or too cold, with rain just at the right times, has produced a classic vintage packed with dense fruit, rich tannins and bright acidity. There is a crystalline purity to the wines, and small variations in vineyard microclimates are perfectly reflected in them They are also powerful and rich, and have superb ageing potential.
They are joined in this offer by more reds from 2018, a beautifully ripe and open vintage which can be enjoyed immediately.
This is a magical moment for Piedmont wines: the influx of money from higher prices has allowed growers to invest in their estates, so enlarged cuveries with new fermentation vessels and new casks of all sizes are increasingly the norm. The quality is improving by leaps and bounds, and we will see many more exciting wines here in the future.
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2018 Langhe Nebbiolo 'Prinsiot' (ALES30218A)
Made partly from declassified Barolo fruit, which shows in the classy, vibrant, raspberry and floral notes tinged with smoke and spice, underpinned by smooth fine tannins.
2016 Barolo (ALES40216A)
90% of the fruit for this come from Verduno, and it is correspondingly silky and forward. For the last time, 10% comes from the now not so young vines from the Gramolere vineyard in Monforte, giving structure and longevity. From 2017 it will go into the main Gramolere blend. The fruit here is pure perfumed raspberry - fresh, vibrant and charming - and there is a subtle stony note on the finish.
Borgogno Serio e Battista
2016 Barolo Novello (BORG21216A)
An old vineyard on clay-rich soils high up in the village of Novello is the source of the estate's classic wine. This pale, seemingly delicate wine has a scented raspberry nose with notes of thyme, along with lovely rounded ripe fruit, fine rich tannins and a very long fresh finish.
Diego Conterno Vini
2018 Nebbiolo d'Alba 'Baluma' (COND22218A)
As bright and vivacious as ever: crunchy cherry fruit with hints of spice, ripe tannins and a fresh finish.
2016 Barolo (COND28216A)
Fruit sourced from vineyards down the slope towards the village of Barolo gives a gorgeous, forward wine with pure, focussed red fruit tinged with tobacco and spice, fine ripe tannins and a juicy relaxed finish. This will drink well young but has excellent ageing potential.
2016 Barolo Monforte d'Alba (COND30216A)
From two vineyards in Ginestra, this shows the typical structured reticence of Monforte with none of the pain. There is power and drive here, generous red fruit and a polish reminiscent of some great Burgundies, all balanced by big fine tannins and a long fresh finish.
2016 Barolo Ginestra (COND34216A)
The estate's flagship: a dense, powerful wine with great depth. There is a dense knot of red hedgerow fruit gradually shading into black as the structured, sinewy tannins take hold, driving the wine to a very long, ripe generous finish. Wow!
2018 Langhe Nebbiolo (CRIS12218A)
Pure, forward and fruit-driven with rich strawberry flavours and a hint of rose in this ripe, soft wine that has density, elegance and a fresh finish.
2016 Barolo La Morra (CRIS32216A)
From grapes in three La Morra vineyards a stone's throw from each other: Roggeri (east-facing with clay-rich soil), San Biagio (south-west-facing with sandy soil) and Berlotti, in Santa Maria, each fermented separately, blended, then aged for two years in large botte. Such was the quality of the fruit that post-fermentation maceration on the skins was extended, giving a big rich wine with great potential. The tannins are little strict in youth, but there is a mass of ripe dark perfumed fruit balanced by just enough ripe acidity to keep it precise. The finish is long and satisfying.
2015 Barolo Capalot (CRIS46215A)
Capalot is a natural amphitheatre facing south, with sand and clay soils. There is a silky elegance to rich rounded spice-tinged cherry fruit, and it builds in intensity, more than matching the powerful tannins, through to the long fresh fleshy finish.
2015 Barolo Galina (CRIS50215A)
Just below Capalot on the same hillside, the tiny Galina vineyard has limestone-rich clay soils, and is home to some nearly 100-year-old vines. In 2015 it was aged in 500-litre tonneaux allowing the racy elegance of the vineyard immediate expression, rather than waiting for it to emerge after the wine had digested a lot of new wood. It is smooth, linear, and ripe, with silky fruit, a massive hit of tannins that promise a great future and a long, slightly salty finish.
2018 Nebbiolo D'Alba 'Bonurai' (GRIM20218A)
Fresh, forward and open, there is an abundance of strawberry and cherry fruit with a hint of tea leaf. These vines are located on the edge of the Barolo region, from vineyards that sit mid-slope. Tremendous value for the quality.
2016 Barolo 'Camilla' (GRIM30216A)
No hard corners here. A blend of fruit from Grinzane Cavour, La Morra and Verduno topped off with a healthy dose of grapes from young vines in the Ambrogio vineyard gives a rich rounded wine, with lots of energy, density and ripe melting tannins, floral strawberry and cherry flavours, and a persistent soft finish.
2016 Barolo Badarina Serralunga d'Alba (GRIM38216A)
Always the most dense, complex and elegant, this shines in 2016. The vineyards are higher, and there is more freshness, giving a wine of great vigour and precision. The fruit is primarily strawberry and red cherry, with an edge of spice and the tannins are ripe and fine, turning almost chocolatey on the long silky finish.
2016 Chianti Classico (LASA30216A)
95% Sangiovese and 5% Merlot give a round, unexpectedly soft note for a Chianti. It is packed with red fruit, spice, soft ripe tannins and builds to a fresh finish. Perfect with heartier dishes and, obviously, fava beans.
2016 Chianti Classico Riserva (LASA36216A)
10% Cabernet Sauvignon joins Sangiovese here, and there is more structure and complexity than in the regular version. The wine is powerful and fine, with dense fresh red fruit, spice and smooth supple tannins.
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