An Italian wine journey without leaving London!
The perfect way to start the tasting with a fresh and fruity sparkling rosé from Monsupello!
Italian wine offers a never-ending journey of discovery – from little known grapes and styles to unfamiliar DOCs, there's a plethora of treats for any wine lover looking for something different. Therefore, it was very easy to accept an invitation to attend the inaugural 'An Italian Wine Journey', organised by GS Wines and Beacon Italy in the tasty surroundings of London's Fish Central restaurant.
Gordon Stuteley, CEO of GS Wines.
A smaller, less formal and more intimate wine tasting than usual, this event focused on boutique wine producers from around Italy, many looking for distribution in the UK, with two masterclasses led by Gordon Stuteley, CEO of GS Wines and Luciana Girotto, experienced sommelier and wine consultant.
Otrepò Pavese is a lesser known wine region in Lombardia (NW Italy), although it is starting to be recognised for the quality of its wines. Bordered by Emiglia Romagna to the east and Piemonte to the west, it has absorbed influences from those regions and also carved out its own style of winemaking with a particular emphasis on sparkling wine, most notably from Pinot Nero. Two interesting sparklers I enjoyed were:-
- Terre Oltrepò SVIC Otrepò Pavese Cruasè Metodo Classico Brut DOCG Rosé
- Terre Oltrepò Casteggio Otrepò Pavese Bonarda Frizzante DOC
- Monsupello 'Podere la Borla' Rosso Oltrepò Pavese 2013 DOC
- 'Angera' Colli Maceratesi Ribona 2016 DOC
- 'Brianello' 2016 IGT
- 'Pietrin' 2013 DOCG
- 'Bussia' Riserva 2011 DOCG
- Aglianico Sannio 2012 DOC
- 'Morgia Noce' Aglianico Sannio Riserva 2011 DOC
- Casa Roma Piave Malanotte 2009 DOCG
- Tenuta Villa Trentola 'Il Moro' Sangiovese di Romagna 2011 DOC
- Matané Primitivo di Manduria 2015 DOC
- Monte Antico Supremus Toscana 2012 IGT
Just when you think you've tried all Italian grape varieties commercially available, along come some more! Maceratino, aka Ribona, is a white grape indigenous to Le Marche on the eastern side of the country and family winery, Il Pollenza, brought two examples to the tasting:-
Barolo is one of the great wine styles of the world and Franco Conterno had two at the tasting:-
Fontana Reale produces organic vegan wine in Campania and I particularly liked the two still Aglianicos they brought along:-
Raboso is an ancient grape variety from the Veneto drunk by the Roman Legions and mentioned by Pliny the Elder no less!
While the above shows only a few of the wonderful wines I discovered on the day, there were plenty of others of note and I continue to get the feeling that my own Italian wine journey has many more miles to go!
All images by Robin Goldsmith.