Piedmont at the end of January you would think would be a pretty sleepy place, but in fact Alba was buzzing with activity, as it was the host for the Anteprima Nebbiolo tasting for journalists, and the Grandi Langhe tasting for trade and importers.
It’s the busiest moment of the year for our team as we try to help everyone get the right wines into their glasses as well as the perfect presents into people's stockings for Christmas.
Every March the new releases from Montalcino are unveiled. The rules stipulate that Brunello must be aged at the estate for 5 years and for the Riservas it is 7 years before hitting the market. 2019 therefore marks the release of the 2014 Brunellos and the Riservas from 2013.
Last week we hosted our 4th annual pure Italian Tasting which has become one of the highlights of our year. A showcase of our incredible Italian selection which grows every year, presented by the wonderful people who make the wines.
It was a year for the very best vineyards and the very best producers to shine. Skilled and dedicated winemakers farming the best sites of Barbaresco have pulled it out of the bag. And none more so than the brilliant Andrea Sottimano.
'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.
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.
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.