2014 was undoubtedly a challenging vintage across Italy - and Bolgheri was no different with uncharacteristic rain, cool temperatures and a constant lack of sun adversely affecting the harvest like rarely before. This was a vintage that required understanding, hard work and unstinting commitment. Only in the right hands at the right estates was glory possible.
'Manni Nössing is one of Italy’s most talented winemakers. In fact, all his wines are so good that it’s virtually impossible to pick the best of the lot, or even a favourite.' Ian d'Agata, www.
[caption id="attachment_28311" align="aligncenter" width="508"] Cantine Dei with the town of Montepulciano perched on the hill beyond[/caption] Hot on the heels of last year's success with their 2013 vintage, Cantine Dei has just been awarded the top Italian Wine Award 'Tre Bicchiere' for its stellar Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2014, the estate is quite rightly in the spotlight once again - what an amazing achievement! The Estate - in the heart of Montepulciano is located right in the middle of Tuscany's beautiful Montepulciano region just on the eastern slopes of this 'picture-perfect' hilltop town.
We are constantly looking to expand our Italian selection and although we already have two excellent Chiantis on our list, we couldn't resist the brilliant ‘Le Fioraie’ wines from Piemaggio, hidden away in the Tuscan hills. Le Fioraie is a specific tract of land in the high ground of Castellina in Chianti – right at the heart of the Chianti Classico zone.
Yesterday we held our 'Annual Tasting' - the biggest showcase event for our wines each year. As we closed the doors of the beautiful Trinity House at just after 8.30 last night the whole team were 'abuzz' after a fabulous, exhilarating day of tasting, chatting to the 20 winemakers who came to present their wines and catching up with so many customers and journalists too.
Italy has always been close to the heart of Lea & Sandeman and we are very fortunate enough to represent some superb estates across the length and breadth of this beautiful country.
Famed oenologist Carlo Ferrini who consults for some of the greatest estates in Tuscany has finally put his expertise - and his heart and soul - into his own winery in Montalcino. The results, as you would hope, are sensational. Not sensational in a big 'in your face way' - these are beautifully crafted, fine wines with a deft touch.
What with the Bordeaux Primeur tastings and Easter Holidays crowding the calendar in early April, Vinitaly could easily get forgotten, but here at Lea & Sandeman it is one of our highlights of the year. An opportunity for us to catch up with our wonderful producers and taste new vintages, as well as unearth some new finds.
We were delighted in February to welcome no fewer than seventeen of our Italian wine producers to our Italian Tasting at Getty Images Gallery. It was here that we introduced Victoria Moore to Piero Lanza of Poggerino. Lanza is one of Chianti's greatest young ambassadors.
'A rockstar 2012 vintage for Brunello' 2012, looks to be a fantastic vintage for Brunello di Montalcino. Like 2010, it has been awarded a 5-star rating by the Consorzio Brunello. Walter Speller of JancisRobinson.com was convinced by the number of wines he awarded 17 to 17.5 in his initial tastings (again, Fuligni is rated 17.
The December issue of Decanter landed on our doorstep this morning, and we were delighted to see some really high praise for lots of wines in the L&S portfolio. The ‘Weekday Wines’ section is put together each month by Tastings Director Christelle Guibert. It features 25 wines for less than £20, all of them a little different or adventurous in their own way.
Whenever we are in Italy, we enjoy the great Champagne look-a-likes of Franciacorta (from Lombardy, in Northern Italy), and easily understand why these great wines have such a following in their home market, even though the Italians are great connoisseurs and consumers of Champagne as well.