We have just spent a week careering around the Tuscan countryside like crazed cinghiale, sniffing out truffle and guzzling Chianti Classico. Everywhere we went, friendly black roosters tempted us in like slightly tipsy Sirens. The problem is, all roosters are not created equal. That's unsurprising given that Chianti Classico's rippling landscape covers nearly 72,000 hectares.
Whilst on holiday in Northern Italy this August, I had the pleasure of visiting our Franciacorta producer, Corteaura. We were treated to a in-depth guided tour by Federico, the estate owner, who explained how he had jumped ship from the accounting world to immerse himself in the world of sparkling wine.
2018 Lea & Sandeman Italian Tasting This year we are holding our Italian tasting in the upper room at Foyles Bookshop. This is a great opportunity to explore our award-winning Italian range, meet our producers and taste some brilliant new releases - including the latest Brunello vintages from Fuligni, Collematoni & Giodo.
Following our 2016 Burgundy tasting, this week's Country Life wine column by Harry Eyres picks up on the story of the small harvest as a result of frost, but also says: "at its best this is a very good vintage indeed, with especially elegant wines.
2016 Lea & Sandeman White Burgundy Burgundy en primeur season kicks off next week and most of the talk will be about the frost and the tiny volumes produced in some areas. Don't be put off by the gloom! The fruit that survived has produced some wonderfully pure, classically-shaped Burgundy - right down to village level.
[caption id="attachment_28973" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The main house of Gosset in Epernay[/caption] Trip to Gosset Champagne: Monday 6th - Tuesday 7th November 2017 What a treat it was to visit the Gosset estate and vineyards in early November. The trip comprised a diverse range of eager folk all involved in different areas of the wine trade.
'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.