Saturday 4th February 2017 : "A Taste of Italy" with Irvine & Joan in Seaford

Our first Tasting of the 2017 Calendar was hosted by Joan & Irvine at their home in Seaford.  Irvine had discovered a supplier new to us,  , from whom all the evening's wines were sourced.   It was unanimously agreed that the overall quality of the wines was excellent.  We had a splendid turnout for the event, some fifteen members including our hosts, were there.  We particularly welcomed SWAS friends and past members John and Anne English.


The Whites:

1. Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC “Casal di Serra Vecchie Vigne” 2014 - Umani Ronchi;  Marche and Abruzzo, Eastern Italy, north east of Rome; 100% verdicchio; 13.5% alc; £16.90;  sourced from Tannico


The old vines were planted in the early 70s, and their particular position and fine balance between fruit and leaf growth means that the grapes can be harvested when they have reached a perfect ripening status. The vineyards are situated at about 300 meters above sea level, on a hillside facing east/south‐east. The soil is very deep clay loam and represents the ideal for a vine such as Verdicchio. The yield per hectare is between 6 and 7 tons. The grapes are picked by hand, and collected in boxes. The harvest takes place on the borderline between the first and second ten days in October, when the grapes have reached a perfect ripening status. Vinification: After a light pressing, the prime must is rapidly cooled and then goes through static decantation. Fermentation, in steel tanks with the temperature maintained at between 16°C and 18°C, takes 10‐15 days. The ageing stage lasts about ten months, during which the wine remains in contact with its own fermentation yeasts in concrete tanks. Vecchie Vigne Casal di Serra rests in bottle for several months before being put on sale. Plenty of yellow fruit on the nose (peach, apple, lemon) and some herbs. Palate is also fruity, medium bodied with a balanced acidity and a good, slightly bitter finish.

2.  Terre Aquilane Pecorino IGT “Giulia” 2015 - Cataldi Madonna; Abruzzo; 100% pecorino; 13% alc; £13.99; sourced from Tannico


Cataldi Madonna winery is a benchmark not only for the Abruzzese wine-making industry but for that of Italy as a whole. For decades now Cataldi Madonna wineries have been harvesting the Pecorino grape- a typical variety from the region of Abruzzo. Their “Giulia” white wine is the perfect example of this variety of grape.

Cataldi Madonna’s “Giulia” Terre Aquilane Pecorino IGT is a bonafide Pecorino white wine with a small price tag with a well-defined, straightforward, citrusy, mineral flavour profile. This straw-coloured white wine boasts fruity notes that are distinctly citrusy and exotic, opening to reveal a refreshingly delightful taste. In the mouth, this extremely well-balanced wine features a long, full-flavoured, neat and fruity finish.

This straw-coloured white wine boasts fruity notes that are distinctly citrusy and exotic, opening to reveal a refreshingly delightful taste. In the mouth, this extremely well-balanced wine features a long, full-flavoured, neat and fruity finish.

3.  Colli di Luni Vermentino DOC “Etichetta Nera” 2015 - Lunae; Colli di Luni DOC North West Italy; 100% vermentino; 13% alc; £18.90; sourced from Tannico


The Cantina Lunae, a historic Ligurian winery, identifies itself with a unique territory, the Colli di Luni which joins Liguria with northern Tuscany. A multi-faceted harmonic Vermentino of great persistence. Fermented and left to mature only in steel vats, it is a white wine that enhances the more intimate characteristics of the most typical variety of this beautiful area of Liguria.

Intense straw yellow with light golden reflections, the bouquet offers an elegant fragrance with marked aromas of wild flowers, aromatic herbs, spices, ripe fruit and honey. On the palate it has just the right sapidity, harmony and persistence.

The Reds:

4.  Sicilia Nero d’Avola DOC “Carthago” 2012 - Mandrarossa; Sicilia DOC; 100% nero d'Avola; 14% alc; £14.90; sourced from Tannico


Intense ruby red with reflections tending to purple. The bouquet offers deep elegant sensations of wild blackberries and marascas. On the palate it is full and well-balanced with notes of dates and aromas of maritime pine. Long finish.

Mandrarossa wines, a label that represents the excellence of Cantine Settesoli, are produced from what are considered the best plots in the area of Menfi in the province of Agrigento, in south west Sicily.

Nero d’Avola is fermented only in steel vats and left to mature for about 12 months in barriques creating a wine of great depth and elegance, captivating and enduring.

5.  Irpinia Aglianico DOC "Aglianico dal Re" 2013 - Feudi di San Gregorio; Irpinia DOC, Avellino to the east of Naples; 100% aglianico; 14% alc; £15.90; sourced from Tannico.


Few other estates in Italy can identify with a territory, its history and its values, like Feudi di San Gregorio and Irpinia, in the province of Avellino to the east of Naples. Established in 1986. This is a young expression of this great Italian grape variety. Deep and elegant wines which make freshness their main characteristic.

Bright ruby red, reminiscent of certain red berry fruits in the nose, such as sour cherries and raspberries, followed by scents of liquorice and sweet spices. Smooth and balanced on the palate, it is characterised by a soft and punctual tannic structure. A very full flavour which closes with a long finish.

6.  Barbera d’Alba Superiore DOC 2012 - Brezza (tappo in vetro) glass cap; Barbera d'Alba DOC; 100% barbera; 14% alc; £16.90; sourced from Tannico


Situated just a short distance from the historical centre of the village of Barolo north west Italy, the Brezza estate has owned just over 16 hectares of vineyards since 1885.

After spending a year resting in thirty hectolitre barrels, Brezza's Barbera d'Alba Superiore DOC presents full fruitiness, smooth drinkability and a valuable tertiary component. It proposes an unequalled price/quality ratio, which makes it practically irresistible.

Deep ruby red colour. Pleasant bouquet characterised by scents of red fruit, like cherries and strawberries, and by nuances of coffee, chocolate and mint. The palate is fresh and structured, with smooth, flowing tannins and a lingering, clean finish.

7.  Barolo del Comune di Serralunga d'Alba DOCG 2011 - Paolo Manzone;  Barolo DOCG; 100% nebbiolo; 15% alc; £29; sourced from Tannico


For many years, Gian Paolo Manzone worked as consultant oenologist until he and his wife, Luisella Corino, decided to set up their own winemaking estate in 1999.

Barolo Serralunga is made with grapes grown in younger vineyards. It ferments in temperature-controlled steel tanks, rests in French oak tonneaux for two years and ages in the bottle for 12 months. Paolo Manzone's Barolo DOCG “Serralunga” is austere and full-bodied, ideal for ageing.

Garnet red with orangey highlights with a slight floral scent and a more evident fruitiness reminiscent of red plums and raisins. Full and ripe on the palate, with just the right amount of tannin. It has a lingering persistence and this, too, is fruity.

8.  Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena DOCG 2013 "Valpantena" - Bertani; Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG; rondinella, corvina veronese grape blend; 15.5% alc; £29.90; sourced from Tannico


A synonym of Amarone itself, Bertani represents not only the most important winery of Valpolicella but also one of the most prestigious and well-known wine producers in Italy. "Villa Arvedi" is an Amarone originating in the Valpantena hills, a unique additional appellation allowed by the regulations for Valpolicella, a genuine "cru". A wine that distinguishes itself because it comes from land with greater mineral content which give rise to wines with spicier and fresher flavours, wines with strength but contained in a supple mellow note, wines of great character and elegance. The wine is a modern well-balanced Amarone, always authentic, refined in medium and small oak casks which allows a maturing toward a more spontaneous balance.

Intense ruby red with tenuous violet shades. The bouquet immediately reveals aromas recognisable as those of the great Amarone wines of Valpolicella: clear intense aromas of cherries, very ripe sour black cherries and mixed berries followed by fresh slightly spicy tones. On the palate it is dry, supple, captivating and extremely well-balanced. The whole tasting experience is enhanced with extremely pleasant tannins that fade out to a very persistent finish with hints of red fruit.

Joan's excellent Buffet Supper:  Lasagne and/or Salmon Pasta, Mixed Salad, Tiramasu and/or Sicilian Rice Pudding followed by a splendid Cheese Board and Tea/Coffee was very well received!

The Raffle:

1.      2.

1. Sicilia Regaliali Bianco - won by Dave

2. Angiuli Donato Negroamaro - won by Irvine (much to his embarrassment...!)

Page last updated 04.09.2017 22:52

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