September 2018 Selection

Volcanic wines, an eruption of flavour!

September 2018 Selection

Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino 2016 (2 bottles)
Il Chiosso Gattinara Terre Vulcaniche 2011 (2 bottles)
Masseria Felicia Falerno del Massico 2012 (2 bottles)

Normal retail price: £96.30
Club Discount Price: £84.86
You save: £11.44 (11.88%)

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About this selection...

The influence of volcanos on vineyards is one of the oldest and most fascinating aspects of winemaking, offering us unique and inimitable wines. From Veneto to Sicily, wines from volcanic soils are enriched with an unusual salinity which gives the wines a strong minerality over time.

The different origins of volcanic soils means they have different structures, acidities, and chemical make-ups, but they all have one thing in common: an abundance of mineral elements.

There are over 17,000 hectares of vines growing in volcanic soils in Italy meaning that the wines of many Italian appellations can boast a clear volcanic character. The jewel in the crown is undoubtedly the Soave region, with ancient layers of soil deposited by the underwater activity of the oldest volcano in Italy. Garganega grapes grown here delight us with elegant white wines with a surprising evolution. Moving westward to Gattinara, another volcanic region, we can enjoy the most refined and vertical Nebbiolo wines, produced from vines which grow in fossilized magma soils between 280 and 290 million years old. Lastly, we'll look at the Falerno del Massico, a wine from the region which spreads from the extinct Roccamonfina volcano to the Monte Massico mountain; a region with particularly fertile soils in constant evolution thanks to the nearness of the coast. The volcanic influences in this wine are as clear as the traces of magma found among the grapevines.

This month's selection offers you three indigenous wines; exciting and delectable wines with character. Their vine roots reach down and extract the essence of ancient volcanoes which, though they may be extinct, can still leave a deep imprint on their wines.

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Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino 2016 (2 bottles)

White. Pieropan Soave, Italy Garganega, Trebbiano di Soave

Bottle: £14.02 club members / £15.94 non-members


Soave is the largest and oldest volcanic wine region in Italy. Volcanic sediments here are over 50 million years old. The soils are fertile and rich in minerals in this appellation and also have a large amount of clay which ensures white wines produced here are structured and long-lasting. The chalky content adds finesse and elegance to the wines. Garganega vines have grown here for hundreds of years and one fine example is to be found in the lands worked by the Pieropan family since the end of the nineteenth century.

The Pieropan winery's Calvarino wine is the most traditional expression of Soave wines. It has been in production ever since 1971 using grapes from the Calvarino vineyard located in the Classico heart of the Soave region. It is made from Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave grapes harvested on different days to ensure they're perfectly ripe. The must flower is vinified for a year in glazed concrete vats together with its lees. The resulting wine is a bright, intense, and balanced Soave, proud of its aromas of white flowers, herbaceous and citric notes, and sweet hints of jasmine and seductive exotic spices. On drinking, the sensations in the mouth soon multiply. The Calvarino wine has a velvety yet crispy texture, both powerful and long-lasting. Aromas of fleshy ripe fruit give it its character, emphasized by a minerality which comes to the front over time and will reward those who keep the bottle for a few years before opening it.

  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 6ºC and 8ºC

Pieropan Soave Classico Calvarino 2016
Front and back

Il Chiosso Gattinara Terre Vulcaniche 2011 (2 bottles)

Red. Il Chiosso Gattinara, Italy Nebbiolo

Bottle: £19.39 club members / £21.97 non-members


The Il Chiosso winery was founded in 2007 by Marco Arlunno, an oenologist with experience working in the Ghemme appellation, and Carlo Cambieri, a passionate wine-lover with vineyards in Gattinara. The production of the winery is divided equally between these two appellations, showing aspects of the two different soils; moraine soil in Ghemme and volcanic soil in Gattinara.

The Gattinara vineyards are on hillsides at altitudes between 280 and 450 metres with significant temperature differences between day and night, and use environmentally-friendly phytosanitary methods. The soil has a strong acidity and a significant presence of clay, which emphasizes the characteristics of the Nebbiolo variety planted here, leading to wines with a firm structure and a long and exciting evolution.

Each bottle of Gattinara Terre Vulcaniche captures the complexity of these special soils, made up of porphyry rock with seams of quartz, granite, volcanic tuff, and shale. In the glass it offers a typical garnet colour, while it is lush on the nose with notes of cherries in liquor, withering roses, and liquorice which stand out above a balsamic base. Its elegant structure and freshness on the palate makes you want to keep drinking. Its tannins, far from being harsh, stimulate your drinking and provide a lingering finish.

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Il Chiosso Gattinara Terre Vulcaniche 2011
Front and back

Masseria Felicia Falerno del Massico 2012 (2 bottles)

Red. Masseria Felicia Falerno del Massico, Italy Aglianico, Piedirosso

Bottle: £9.02 club members / £10.25 non-members


The story behind the Masseria Felicia winery is an emotional one. This personal project started in 2002 when Felicia Brini decided to change her life and move out to the country, back to the place where she had spent a part of her childhood, with the aim of cultivating vines and olives just as her grandparents had done many years before. In the relatively short time she has been working on this project, her winery has already become one of the most successful in this region and admired around the world.

Their wines are made with the minimum intervention possible, delicate production processes, native yeasts, unfiltered ... Produced in Carano, within the municipality of Sessa Aurunca, these wines speak to us, showing their character and the typicity of the terroir. Seven hectares of vineyards surround the family house and climb up onto the hillsides of Monte Massico. Organically cultivated, the Aglianico and Piedirosso vines feed on volcanic soils deposited here by the eruptions of the Roccamonfina volcano. These soils have an abundant presence of ash and lapilli (small fragments of material from volcanic eruptions) as well as yellow and grey volcanic tuff. Besides the interesting soil, the Mediterranean sea is only 10 km away, which also bears an influence on the wines.

The bright ruby-red Falerno del Massico wine is produced by Masseria Felicia using grapes from their youngest vines and has a lively and attractive appearance in the glass. Its nose has a clear aroma of red fruits, especially cherries and plums, alongside violets and prominent mineral notes from the soils the vines grow in (earth, peat,sulphur...). Flavoursome, fresh, and tense on the palate, with an ideal and careful presence of tannins which come together to delight us with a very satisfying wine.

  • Alcohol content: 14,0%
  • Optimum serving temperature: Between 16ºC and 18ºC

Masseria Felicia Falerno del Massico 2012
Front and back

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