It’s that time of year when everyone is dreaming of chasing the sun; we therefore decided to put together a fixed-price sale of wines from Italy and Spain. The richness and seniority of these two countries in terms of savoir-faire has long-since fascinated us. Let us steer you in the right direction with these top tips.
Did you know that Italy has several indigenous varieties, of which most are cultivated exclusively on the Italian peninsula? The wide variety of styles of wine is another of its main strengths.
Thanks to its varied terrain and unique local varieties, the North of Italy produces a wide variety of wines, from the tannic and full-bodied red wines of Barolo to the delicate white Soave wines. In this sale you will find wines produced by Elisabetta Foradori who, in her native Trentino-Alto-Adige, produces superb natural wines using traditional methods and ancient grape varieties. Try the Manzoni blanc raised in amphorae, as well as Morei, an intensely-coloured and full-bodied single-varietal from Teroldego. Don’t let the Veneto pass you by, a region which produces some of the best wines in the country. Try the Valpolicella Superiore from Musella. Its variety, Corvina, produces a very digestible wine, with a pleasant acidity and lovely cherry notes. It is rarely oak-aged; you can therefore drink this wine quite young. Have you already heard of the Venetian Passito wine, and more specifically, the red Passito from domain Dal Forno? A great speciality of this region, the grapes are cultivated early then dried inside before fermenting. This lightly sweet wine is full-bodied and perfumed (red fruits, spices). The Barolo is unmissable, owing its success to Nebbiolo, one of the ‘noble’ grape varieties. The Barolos produced by Luigi Pira and Mauro Molino have incredible aging potential.
Tuscany’s specialty is of course Chianti. The Chianti Classico produced by Sebastiano Castiglioni and the Martini di Cigala owe their success to the Sangiovese that they grow at high altitude, producing wines marked by an acidity which lends good aging potential. On the Tuscan coast, the cradle of super-Tuscans, you will find the great names such as Tenuta San Guido and Dell’Ornellaia, known for their Bordeaux blends.
Given the warmer temperatures in the South, this region is known for its full-bodied reds, but also produces perfumed, elegant white wines. In Sardinia, we would absolutely recommend the wines from young producer Arianna Occhipinti. Why not try the IGP Etna Rosso from Tenuta delle Terre Nere Feudo di Mezzo, which comes from parcels high up in the mountains and has incredible aromatic richness.
Heading over to Spain, another traditional wine-producing country with a wonderfully varied output. Local grape varieties are coming back into use here too. We review the appellations which you absolutely shouldn’t miss.
Even if you are new to wine, you will have heard of this emblematic region where Tempranillo reigns supreme. While it is well-known for its full-bodied “Reserva” and “Gran Reserva” wines made for cellaring, the “Joven” style – supple, fruity and elegant – is also a must-try. Benjamin Romeo, from Bodega Contador, is one of those flying the flag for the region: you must try his Contador and Predicador cuvées!
Tucked away in the Catalonian hills, Le Priorat produces concentrated, powerful and complex wines. These high-quality wines are the fruit of arduous labour on steep soils which are difficult to farm mechanically. Our advice? Try the Priorat from Clos Martinet and Mogador, as well as those from Alvaro Palacios.
Ribera del Duero
Ribera del Duero and Toro are two other regions with extreme conditions. The former has vineyards of the Meseta Central plain, at more than 850m of altitude. We bet that you’ll enjoy the Ribera del Duero El Nogal Pago from los Capellanes for its concentrated fruit flavours. As for Toro, you will undoubtedly enjoy wines which can both age very well and drink beautifully young. Try the cuvée Gran Elias Mora from Dos Victoria.
There you have it, a first glimpse at these fabulous vineyards. We hope that this little tour will help you in your choices. Don’t hesitate to share your recent discoveries and coups de Coeur with us. Until then, happy shopping 😊