Italian Portfolio Tasting 2018 Highlights

On Tuesday 6th March, our Italian producers joined us in London for our eagerly anticipated annual Italian Portfolio Tasting, at One Great George Street.  We were delighted to showcase a stunning and diverse array of wines from all corners of Italy, in what proved to be a spectacular celebration of our suppliers, both old and new. 

This year marks our 30th Anniversary, and since our inception 30 years ago our Italian portfolio has gone from strength to strength. Our curated collection includes wines from across all regions and embraces a renewed appreciation for indigenous grape varieties including Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Nerello Mascalese, Vermentino, Corvina, Rondinella amoungst many others.

We asked our Private Client team to select a few of their favourites from the tasting:

- Elio Grasso -

The newest addition to our portfolio, Elio Grasso joined us for the first time this year and we were delighted to welcome Gianluca from the estate.

Elio Grasso is one of Italy’s most celebrated winemakers, holding two of the top vineyards in Monforte. The cellar uses only estate-grown grapes from varieties traditionally grown in the Langhe hill country near Alba. The pre-release wines presented at the tasting included; Dolcetto d’Alba 2016, Barbera d’Alba 2015 and Barolo 2014. All three wines will be available to purchase very soon.  

- Ornellaia -

Axel Heinz joined us this year for an Ornellaia 10 Years in The Making Masterclass, where attendees were invited to enjoy the 2005, 2010 Ornallaia vintages alongside a pre-release tasting of the 2015 vintage and the 2015 Ornellaia Bianco. 

“Ornellaia Bianco was created through the desire of the winemaking team to express the exceptional characteristics of the Estate’s terroir, not only in red wine, in a great white wine. The produce of north facing vineyards planted on sandy clay-rich soils, the 2015 harvest was an almost perfect vintage. The effects of the blazing sun were once again softened by the microclimate of Bolgheri, gifting us with textbook conditions for ripening the grapes on the vines. This vintage has an intense but bright colour and its classic aroma of mature and lively citrus fruits, highlighted with subtle toasted and vanilla notes, are picked up on the nose. A full-bodied and juicy palate reflects the sunny season, but at the same time its vibrant acidity and crisp fruity character leave a very fresh and elegant impression in the mouth. The tasting finishes with a classic touch of saltiness and subtle toasty notes." Axel Heinz. 
The 2015 Ornallaia will be available from April 2018. 

-Romano Dal Forno -

“The wines of Romano Dal Forno prove to be impossible to duplicate. They show such a high degree of individual personality that they occupy their own school of stylistic expression.” 
Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate. 

Romano Dal Forno is a very rare and special winery few can match globally. The wines are some of the most consistently high-scoring and long lived in Italy. As UK importer of this fine estate, we are very pleased to be able to offer the Amarone, Valpolicella Superiore as well as the sweet red, Vigna Sere.

- Pietradolce -

Established in the Sicilian town of Castiglione di Sicilia on the Northern slopes of Etna, Pietradolce has become one of the finest producers from Sicily in a very short time. Their flagship wine, an Etna Rosso called Vigna Barbagalli, has already received 100 points from James Suckling. There are 11 hectares of vineyards between 600-900 feet above sea, with three plots spanning two different territories (Rampante and Zottorinoto).

The soil is characterised by stony, light, sandy loam and mineral deposits that are in abundance thanks to the local volcano. The winery credits the volcano as giving their wines the special characteristics that make them so unique.

With a desire to stay true to their terroir, Pietradolce only cultivates grape varieties that are native to Mount Etna. They cultivate 3 main grape varieties. Nerello Mascalese,  Nerello Cappuccio typically has a black fruit character that tends to be softer and less precise than its Mascalese counterpart and finally, the winery also grows Carricante, a white grape variety that makes up the excellent Etna Bianco and is occasionally used to soften red varieties like Nerello Mascalese.

Click here to explore our full Italian collection. 

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