Wine region / Country
Inama Soave Classico Vigneto du Lot 2016 (2 bottles)
Fazi Battaglia Verdicchio di Jesi San Sisto 2015 (2 bottles)
Guido Marsella Fiano di Avellino 2015 (2 bottles)
Normal retail price: £107.52
Club Discount Price: £94.85
You save: £12.68 (11.78%)
For about thirty years now, things have changed profoundly. Manufacturers holding very broad views, from North to South, often inspired by French winemaking practices, have begun a radical change. It’s an easy operation, if we consider the Italy’s wealth, not only in terms of terroirs naturally suited to excellent aged white wines (volcanic, for example, and tufaceous, skeletal, calcareous...), but also of < strong>vines that, thanks to their intrinsic verticality and minerality, guarantee a life that easily reaches the age of twenty years.
This is not an easy task, considering the widespread prejudice, which is typically Italian, for which a white wine that has not been immediately put on the market was essentially already beyond its expiry date, but only after a year of aging in the cellar.
Garganega, Verdicchio, Fiano, Trebbiano, Vernaccia, Friulano, Grechetto are just some of the vines that for too long the Italian wine world has not valued properly, and that now, at a distance of decades after the first experiments, we are enjoying from grape harvesting in the 1990s, producing incredible sensory emotions.
The magic of these vines arises from their ability to unite great territoriality, that is, an exceptional adherence to the hardness and verticality conferred by mineral soils and by hill or mountain climates, to great depth over time, perhaps thanks to a touch of wood, malolactic fermentation or a period of time on the lees that enhances their personality without altering its character. More characteristic of international whites such as Chardonnay, indeed, these grapes are no less performing in length, expressing, even after two or three decades from the harvest, the pedoclimatic wonders of the landscape which conceived them.
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White. Inama Soave, Italy Garganega
Bottle: £15.23 club members / £17.19 non-members
Of all the Soave of Inama, Vigneto du Lot stands out for its richness and character, due both to the origin of a single vineyard and to ageing in wood. The vineyard, in Monte Foscarino, the classic Soave area on which the winery’s investments are based, is exposed to the South-West; the rows for the Vigneto du Lot are populated with vines of Garganega grafted in the old ungrafted "Rupestris Du Lot" vine, which produces more concentrated grapes, naturally oriented to ageing wines.
A touch of new, well-integrated barrique elevates this Soave to a contemporary dimension that enhances its personality. The fermentation takes place in barriques, which are 30% new, and then the ageing continues on the fine lees for 6 months, during which there is frequent batonnage in the cellar. Then, after another six months in steel, Vigneto du Lot is ready for bottling.
Of a splendid golden colour, which reveals its character and potential, and of wonderful consistency, Vigneto du Lot exhibits an intense and rich bouquet, which leans towards sweet wildflowers: chamomile, elderberry, iris. The vanilla hues are well integrated and are not invasive; rather, they evolve, over the years, towards a marked outsourcing of scents. On the palate it is broad, velvety, glycerine, with ripe fruit lingering aromas and with a magnificent aftertaste of almond and vanilla.
It pairs well with numerous dishes with an intense flavour, such as scallops and crustaceans, including Asian recipes and tempura. With traditional dishes, such as linguine with shrimps, spaghetti with bottarga, bigoli with sardines or with duck, its character comes out even more. And then, of course, with vegetables: ratatouille, peperonata or aubergine parmigiana.
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White. Fazi Battaglia Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva, Italy Verdicchio
Bottle: £16.29 club members / £18.51 non-members
Today, decades after the amphora, this experience and marketing have done nothing but good for the quality of the product. The particles and clones of Verdicchio have been gradually divided and vinified separately, identifying some of the most significant crus in the Castelli di Jesi area. In addition, the historic Castelplanio cellars have been completely renovated, and for the ageing of San Sisto, the Verdicchio di Jesi Riserva DOCG that best represents the best of the winery’s production, beautiful large barrels are being used.
San Sisto is, first of all, a vineyard, which, acquired in 1991, accurately embodies Fazi Battaglia’s plan and desire for a relaunch, back when no one would have imagined. Intense straw yellow in colour, with brilliant golden reflections, it expresses a magnificent buttery and fruity bouquet, with echoes of ripe fruit from plum to peach. It majestically evokes the Jesi area “sea” Verdicchio, with salty puffs, of broom, orange peel and bitter almond, accompanied by a nice spiciness that recalls saffron and a slight toasted scent. The taste is round, warm, full and rich, with a wonderful sapidity that acts as a backdrop to bountiful opulence. It is long-lasting, with almond at the end. It rests for one year, partly in steel and partly in big wood barrels.
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White. Guido Marsella Fiano di Avellino, Italy Fiano
Bottle: £15.90 club members / £18.07 non-members
For those who have had the pleasure of knowing him, Marsella is as fiery as a bull. He reminisces with bitterness the first failures, fuelled by those people who advised him against putting an already “aged” Fiano on the market. And with satisfaction, combined with a maniacal precision in the hygiene and management of the winery, he shows visitors an incredible steel vat, which looks like a brick tower, in which he places the entire product. Why, you may ask? It is aged all together, and it arrives uniformly, either to the taster, the critic or the simple consumer, without the slightest imperfection due to resting in different containers.
The vineyards are located on the Fiano side which, for years now, is proving to be the best-performing for verticality, minerality and longevity. It is the area of Summonte, at the foot of Mount Partenio, at altitudes of more than 600 metres, up to about 800. The terroir is volcanic, with rocky and clayey inserts, steep, rugged, of Vesuvius origin. A natural setting for exceptional wines.
Fiano di Marsella has a fixed acidity of about 7 g/l and a total dry residue of about 20 g/l. Impersonal figures, maybe, but they describe an incredibly vertical white wine for acidity and it is extremely structured: characteristics that, combined, not only give the product a marked personality, but also guarantee a great longevity. The Fiano di Marsella from the first harvest of the 2000s, not by chance, are unusually pleasant, an indication of the fact that they can still surprise for decades.
Delicate straw-coloured, without excesses of gold - Fiano di Marsella has an innate longevity quality, without the aid of oak - it expresses a pleasant consistency to the eye. The bouquet, even when young, expresses a citrus puff that immediately convinces and suggests its future ageing. It's a wine to wait for, as displayed not only by the aromatic fragrance of the Mediterranean scrub, but above all by its typical smoky note, which is markedly mineral and volcanic. Its verticality, which is uncompromisingly territorial, returns upon the palate. What is sensed here is an extraordinary dynamism and a sharp freshness, which however do not hide the authoritative structure of this top-notch wine.
Risotto / cooked pork products
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