In the news
As UK specialists in premium Italian wines, we send our wines to some of the best wine journalists in the UK. They scan hundreds of wines, and we are delighted that wines from our portfolio feature in the news so often. You’ll find journalist reviews and tasting notes in the articles below.
Best: For fish
“…This is as fresh as an Alpine stream, but gets added complexity from cave ageing in oak barrels. With gorgeous aromas of spices such as cinnamon and earthy fungal notes, hints of mint, a light to medium bodied mouthfeel, and cherry, raspberry and strawberry flavours this feels lively on the palate. It is perfect just lightly chilled with a plate of mixed charcuterie or some grilled fish, particularly seared tuna.”
Buy now £30.95, Independent.wine
Best overall – Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio Riserva Giatl, 75cl: £24.91, Independent.wine
“…This award-winning example from winemaker Peter Zemmer is made from grapes hand-picked from the Giatl vineyard around the village of Cortina in northern Italy. Aromatic, with notes of passion fruit and elderflower, it bursts on to the tongue with a textured fruitiness balanced by a measured acidity. Pinot grigio has never tasted so good.”
“…For my money, grillo’s the more interesting of that pair, and it jostles with the caricante found on Mount Etna for the title of Sicily’s best white grape variety. Like fiano and falanghina, it finds its way into plenty of pleasant if somewhat innocuous own-label bottlings. But it’s also responsible for evocative wines of real character, length and complexity. Look for the wines made by Marco de Bartoli (lescaves.co.uk), an estate in Marsala now run by the sons of the eponymous talented founder. Or this rippling, citrus-grove and blossom-scented white from Salvatore Tamburello.”
Ca’ Di Rajo Treviso Prosecco DOC Rosé is like springtime in a glass with notes of freshly picked strawberries, rose petals and a balancing tang of pomegranate. Try this one with seafood. This slightly dry prosecco rosé comes from the versatile and family-owned Ca’ di Rajo winery with historic vineyards in the Piave area of the Veneto wine region. Ca’ di Rajo is available online with free delivery and free gift-wrapping at the leading Italian wine specialists, Independent Wines.
This wine and truffle set doesn’t come in a fancy box or case, but these high quality products speak for themselves. If your mum is a wine connoisseur, she’ll love this chocolate pairing. The golden Gewurtztraminer comes from South Tyrol in Italy and will transport you to the mountainous province with just one sip…The chocolates are made by Iain Burnett in the Scottish Highlands and come neatly packed in rows in a luxurious red box.
Whether your New Year’s Eve dinner is canapés or a full-blown Italian-style cenone di Capodanno (New Year’s Eve feast) with all the trimmings, you’re going to need a wine that can stand up to all that rich food and strong flavors. Enter Tuscany’s boldest Sangiovese expression: Brunello di Montalcino…
White wines from Alto Adige, in Italy’s German-speaking, high-altitude north, are becoming more and more popular around the world. For a luxe New Year’s Eve option, try the aromatic Kurtatsch Brenntal Gewürztraminer Riserva 2017, which Independent Wines calls “Italian Christmas in a glass” thanks to perfumed notes of honey and candied orange peel, evoking extravagant slices of panettone.
From one of the most northerly vineyard areas in Italy, this needs to be tried. Aromas of peach, lime, beeswax and white flowers lead to rich, intense, toasty flavours of juicy peach, mango, baked apple, gentle spices, and white grapefruit. Zingy acidity counteracts the rich yellow fruits and beeswax on the finish.
Drinking Window 2020 – 2024
Lighter but somehow even more penetrating and intensely fruity is the organic Marchese Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore Organic 2017 (£24.91 independent.wine), made in a sustainable winery with corvina, corvinone and rondinella using leftover grape skins from amarone wine in the “ripasso” method, (a different process to appassimento…)
…the exotically fruited, multilayered Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigio Riserva Giati, Alto-Adige 2017 (£24.45, independent.wine) are every bit as full of character as the best pinot gris or grauburgunder.
An elaborate recipe with a lot of flavours, richness and, this being duck, a certain amount of fat, calls for a wine with similar complexity and plenty of acidity. This Alpine red does both: a hit of vibrant black fruit, elegant floral notes, peppery spice, a hint of aniseed and great length.
In the bubbly department, the sparkling rosé made from Nebbiolo became the number one option for gifts. This wine is made from the same grape used to make Piedmont’s legendary red wines Barolo and Barbaresco, and it’s a fantastic fizz, made in the traditional method so it’s more similar to Champagne than Prosecco.
From a winery that has existed for over 90 years comes this Riesling with aromas of honey, green apples, lemon drops and even pine needles. In the mouth this is full and creamy with tastes of Bartlett pears, green apples, gooseberries and yellow plums. The racy acidity is slightly cloaked beneath a veneer of sweetness, and the length includes minerality.
…the Rubinnelli Vajol Valpolicella 2015, which is made from a corvina-dominated blend of local grapes, is in a totally different league. Again, a small boutique winery but a very different type of wine: light in colour and body, with dried cranberry and pomegranate flavours, a delicate touch of chocolate and a hint of pepper; really beguiling and interesting.
Star Buy. Francone I Patriarchi Barbera d’Alba Superiore DOC, Italy 2017
Nebbiolo is the red Piedmont grape variety that is most famous for reflecting its terroir. This version of barbera, sourced from two south-facing vineyards, is so alluring, its deliciously tangy cherry and savoury notes taking you straight to the rolling hills around Alba.