2018 ITALIAN COLLECTION
For nearly three centuries, the Bocelli family has crafted classic Italian wines from their small Estate in Lajatico, Tuscany. While the operation is currently managed closely by world-famous opera singer Andrea Bocelli and his brother Alberto, a renowned architect, the spirit of family style continues with the full-time involvement of Cinzia, Alberto’s wife, and their son Alessio.
To this day, you would not be surprised to find Edi Bocelli, best known as “Mamma” keeping a watchful eye on the fields and carefully hand-tying the prized family vines.
The family farm was settled in 1730 by Bartolomeo Bocelli. From the very beginning, the Bocelli family have been people of the land, cultivating grains, animals, honey, olive oil, and of course, wine. In the 1930’s, Alcide Bocelli, the grandfather of Alberto and Andrea Bocelli, became increasingly serious about expanding the vineyards and modernising the operation. This work was continued by his son, Alessandro, and Alessandro’s wife Edi; and today by Alberto and Andrea Bocelli.
Winemaker: Alberto Bocelli
Serralunga / Piedmont, Italy
The Azienda Agricola (AA) Falletto vineyards, owned by Bruno Giacosa, amount to around twenty hectares of some of the most famous and desirable sites of Serralunga d’Alba and La Morra communes in the Barolo zone and Barbaresco and Neive communes of Barbaresco.
Casa Vinicola (CV) Bruno Giacosa is the label that adorns the wines made by grapes – never wine – brought in by Giacosa, always from long-standing relationships and effectively from vineyards managed with the characteristic Giacosa scrutiny. Between them, these are regarded as contenders for the great wines of Italy and are amongst the most exciting and sought-after in the world.
The Bruno Giacosa perfectionism is reflected in an aloof culture – appointments are not easy here – a legendary selection of wines for final bottling, and the relegation to bulk sale, often, of wines many producers would be overjoyed to put their names to! Some of these ‘declassifications’ and rejections are legendary and bewildering in equal measure – like that of only one (fabulous) Barbera and no Barolo or Barbaresco, being made out of the great 2006 vintage.
They have done this again with most 2010 wines. However the intensity, elegance, aromatics and almost infinite complexities and piercing finishes of an eventual Giacosa release only ever reinforce the legend.
Winemaker: Francesco Versi & Dante Scaglione
Ca’ Di Alte
Ca’ di Alte was created by winemaker Alberto Marchisio. Although himself a Piemontese, he has been working in the Veneto for some years. He joined Cantina Colli Vicentini as director and winemaker with the 2012 vintage and has since dramatically improved the quality of the wines. The grapes are grown primarily on the hills south of Vicenza, the Colli Berici, where the hillside sites ensure lower yields and better ripeness of the grapes.
The vineyards are north facing and experience cooler nights, allowing the aromatic compounds of the grapes to develop. The vines are trained using the Guyot system. The soil is calcareous and of volcanic origin.
With Alberto’s hand in the winery, the delicate aromas of the wines have been preserved. The Palladian window on the label references the work of the great Andrea Palladio, many of whose masterpieces are now UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The 16th century architect lived in Montecchio Maggiore, home of the Colli Vicentini winery, and Vicenza most of his life.
Winemaker: Alberto Marchisio
Ca’ Di Alte
Cantine Europa is a co-operative society of wine growers established in Sicily in 1962. Today it can count on more than 2.000 partners and 4.500 hectares of vineyards spread in three provinces (Trapani, Agrigento and Palermo). These numbers show the great responsibility that Cantine Europa has in order to defend the values of the area and viticulture.
The territory is a unique patrimony due to the large vineyard extension. The sun, the mild and well-ventilated climate and the fats and sweet hills of Occidental Sicily provide ideal conditions for advanced and selective viticulture. They believe that the word “territory” has a deeper meaning: an extraordinary blend of ancient stories, farmer families and strong traditions that need to be preserved. They build value working around one common denominator: the grape and its wine.
The countless combination of factors such as the type of the grape “cultivar” (local and international,) the characteristics of the land, the cultivation technique, the exposure of the vineyard and the elevation of the installation, enables an intense work on the selection of the grape. All of these ingredients are essential to produce the best wine possible.
La Morra, Piedmont, Italy
Ciabot Berton is a family owned winery in La Morra, Piedmont,whose aim is to make wines, Barolo in particular, that transmit to those who taste them the passion that goes into the work as well as the richness that the land yields to the wines produced.
The history of the Ciabot Berton Winery traces its roots back to the 19th century, in 1876 when the Oberto family purchased the first vineyard. After his family having been cultivating its grapes for decades, by the end of the 1950s Luigi Oberto decided to create its own winery, known later on with the name of Ciabot Berton. From the 1990s, Luigi’s children Marco, an oenologist, and Paola, an agronomist, began working with him, and they are running now the estate.
Located at the heart of the Barolo Production Area, the Ciabot Berton Winery owns a total surface area of vineyards of around 12 hectares, of which 8 hectares are planted with Nebbiolo grapes for Barolo.
Ciabot Berton is committed to using traditional approaches to the craft of vinegrowing and winemaking, but also incorporate modern techniques and equipment when it improves quality.
Winemaking starts in the vineyards, and Ciabot Berton strive to manage the quality and flavour of the grapes so that they exhibit all the qualities and complexities the winery is looking for. Due to the steep nature of the terrain all vineyards are primarily hand-farmed. To promote quality, vineyard yields are kept very low, thus enabling the berries to ripen perfectly, being more intensively flavoured.
The wines produced by Ciabot Berton are handcrafted in the cellar.The wines express the fruit from which they are made and the vintage in which they are grown, with all other elements in balance to complement the fruit.
Winemaker: Luigi & Marco Oberto
Antonio Fattori has brought a generations-old winegrowing and making family into the modern day. In fact just over a decade ago, the Fattori speciality was to actually make some of the best known Soave’s in the world market – but mostly for other famous names!
Antonio gradually put a stop to this and his aim became to make wine from their own vineyards more vibrant and aromatic and yet retain their tradition and history. He has used modern methods to almost eliminate the use of all chemicals in the production of the wines and though they have retained their texture, current vintages display a freshness, purity and vitality that make them stand out. These are incredibly consistent, fresh and authentic whites from Garganega (for Soave) and a brilliant super-value Pinot Grigio – in either the Fattori label or the ‘entry-level’ Gregoris label.
In recent years Antonio has added some high altitude vineyards in the small zone where white (Soave) and red (Valpolicella etc) production intersect. With renovation and replanting, he has established a predominantly Corvina vineyard on deep clay over limestone which is already producing Valpolicella, Ripasso and Amarone of fantastic colour, depth and power.
Winemaker: Antonio Fattori
Fattori / Gregoris
Here is the ultra-traditionalist of Barolo, a devotee of latest harvests, long macerations and long years – up to four for Barolo ‘Cascina Francia’ and as many as eight for ‘Monfortino’ – in large older, inert oak botti. Nothing seems to tempt current winemaker Roberto Conterno, the 3rd generation, to waiver in pursuit of an easier or more approachable style. In fact the wines are not that forbidding really and accurately reflect their Serralunga on the ‘cusp’ of Monforte d’Alba location, with plenty of plum, dark cherry and ‘blue’ fruits supplementing the dark, smoky spices and tougher tannins of Serralunga.
‘Monfortino’, is an occasional (around every second or 3rd vintage) selection off the ‘Cascina Francia’ vineyard and is arguably and very widely regarded as, Italy’s greatest wine. ‘The ‘Cascina Francia’ bottling itself, is close to that in its own right. Barbera ‘Cascina Francia’ too, is just as spectacular a wine and almost as eagerly sought. None of this happens by accident.
Winemaker: Roberto Conterno
* Sold out
Giampaolo Pira took over from his father Luigi and developed from grower to producer with their first Barolo in 1993. This first wine, and those for a few years after, saw the Pira style very much in the new ‘modernist’ camp, with relatively short macerations in the ‘elephant’ version of the new-fangled roto-fermenters, followed by time in new small French oak. It was these powerful, dark, oaky yet still distinctively Serralunga wines, which were encouraged as the way ahead, by the likes of Parker and Marc de Grazia. Fast forward, and like some producers (not all) Pira has significantly modified this regime, to the point that of his 3 star crus of Serralunga, ‘Margheria’, ‘Marenca’ and the great ‘Vigna Rionda’, only the latter still gets mainly small oak.
It is a rewarding and recommended visit here on the edge of the Serralunga village, overlooking Barolo’s most sought after vineyard land. Giampaolo and Tiziana Pira offer a humble and hospitable tasting, yet one confident in the sheer personality of their 3 crus, and that the excitement and value will be seen by the visitor to stretch down through the regular Barolo, brilliant Langhe Nebbiolo and the other reds, juicy Barbera and vivid Dolcetto.
Winemaker: Giampaolo Pira
The Manfredi Family has a long and determined history in wine. Even in the Second World War, they delivered wine by horse-drawn wagon to grow the family business. Today it is a thriving cantina that adopts both modern and traditional practices to produce price-fighting, true to style and varietal examples of wines from the Langhe.
The winery in Farigliano is modern and specialises in taking in only quality wine, juice or grapes and producing beautifully clean and authentic wines from most of the Langhe varieties.
The other ‘secret’ to the Manfredi skills are the myriad of relationships built on generations of trust and mutual support. These give Aldo and Luigi access to grapes and bulk wine often of remarkable origins, pedigree and quality. The consistent qualities of the wines like Nebbiolo and Barbera are good evidence, and the remarkable increase in the quality of negociant wines like Barbaresco and Barolo make these the best buys in the zones for a handful of years now.
Winemaker: Gianni Marchesi
*Screw cap 5.5% alc/vol
Chianti Classico/Tuscany, Italy
From the beginning Poggiopiano has had a love of tradition and a desire to broaden their commitment to the native varieties – with Sangiovese as king. The languid atmosphere in which the delightful Stefano Bartoli and son Alessandro choose to work reflects the ‘pi-ano’ of Poggiopiano – take it easy. There are no nerves here, just confidence and friendliness. In their northern part of the Chianti Classico zone, near San Casciano, just south of Florence itself, Sangiovese has a distinct personality.
The Bartoli employ meticulous vineyard care and the sensitive enologist Attilio Paglia to ensure their Chianti Classico, along with the famous ‘Super’, ‘Rosso di Sera’ and the playful and delicious IGT ‘M’ama non m’ama’ are all fresh, deeply fruity complex and authentic.
Winemaker: Attilio Paglia
The winery is situated 30km west of Florence in the Province of Pisa. The wines mirror the pristine countryside they are grown in and are vibrant and pure and the Chianti is quite traditional, with its dried fruit, prune and black cherry fruits, a light earthiness and drying savoury finish. The grapes are organically grown and reflect the mineral quality in the soil while showing great complexity and balance. This is a great value wine and introduction to Chianti. Certified organic and biodynamic.
Winemaker: Luca Tommasini
Stefano Massone is located in the warmer south-eastern part of the region in Gavi, where the Cortese grape achieves maximum ripeness. As this varietal tends to be very productive, rigorous vineyard management and low yields are vital to producing Cortese of high quality. This is where you will always (always) find Stefano Massone, who is far more comfortable talking to his vines than any pesky visitors.
Established in 1975, with 10 hectares planted to Cortese, the Estate remains dedicated only to producing perfect white wines, of real terroir expression. The regular cuvee, ‘Vigneto Masera’, is an essay in Cortese charm, with a melding of pear, lime leaf, mineral and honey, in a zingy package.
Located in the heart of the famous Prosecco territory between Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, Zardetto has been a leader in sparkling wine for more than 40 years. Being one of the few family owned wineries in the Prosecco region, Zardetto winery is proudly run by second generation Fabio Zardetto, helped by his son Filippo.
This vibrant and refreshing Prosecco is produced from carefully selected grapes grown on the finest hilltop vineyards, after which Zardetto’s state of the art winery blends modern techniques and traditional practices that result in an acclaimed extra dry Prosecco. As one of the first companies to introduce and distribute Prosecco outside the production area, Zardetto continues to conquer the global market with a wide portfolio of high quality products. The Zardetto philosophy is steeped in the potential of the Conegliano Valdobbiadene hills, aiming to make sparkling Prosecco that truly emphasises the characteristics of the beloved land.
This requires a consistently high level of quality, from exploring new soil
in search of unique characteristics, to a significant investment in technology. Fabio personally oversees the entire process, from the vine to the final customer, utilising his rich knowledge of every hill and terroir in the Prosecco DOC to source the best grapes of the region.
Winemaker: Fabio Zardetto