Italian Trade Agency
If Italy was your girlfriend / boyfriend, it would be beautiful, chaotic, slovenly, unpredictable, maddening, charismatic, wonderful, unreliable, occasionally brilliant and frequently exasperating.
Italy is a divisive sort of place - you either love it, hate it or just don't get it.
In a room full of Italians showing their wines, I feel like a stodgy dumpling in the presence of platefuls of fluffy gnocchi; they just have more ... vibrancy, effusiveness, stylishness. The men are dapper and neat, the women groomed and sophisticated.
The wines prove to be well-made and classy - surprisingly reliable for the country that gave us the Alfa Romeo.
Bortolin Angelo Spumanti, Veneto
Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry 2015 textbook Prosecco, with ripe fruit and rounded acidity. Very Good.
Ricciotto 2013 pale red with cherry fruit and spice; intense and muscular, in the way of a good Pinot. Good.
Chianti Colli Fiorentini 2013 textbook Chianti with cherry fruit and spice; supple yet firm.
Chianti Colli Senesi 2014 mostly Sangiovese fermented in stainless steel; sweet cherry fruit, fresh
Rosso di Montepulciano 2013 mostly Sangiovese aged for one year in oak; more adept and complex with cherries, game and spice. Good.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva "Il Fattore" 2010 Sangiovese blend aged in large oak barrels; cherry and spices - fresh, precise and deft; vibrant and youthful. Very Good.
Olvi-Le Buche, Toscana
Le Buche 2009 oak-aged Sangiovese-plus-Bordelais blend; cherry-fruited, vibrant and primary with firm tannins
Pugnitello 2010 indigenous, thick-skinned red varietal; dark cherries, freshness and grippy tannins.
Col d'Orcia, Montalcino
Nearco Sant'Antimo 2006 Bordelais / Rhone blend; cherries, spice and coffee grounds. Supple and harmonious. Good.
Brunello Di Montalcino 2008 Sangiovese aged for 3 years in large oak barrels; cherry-fruited, complex and supple. Good.
Torre Quarto, Puglia
Quarto Ducale 2011 ripe and spicy red blend with plump dark-berry fruits, gaminess and freshness; supple and full.
Rosso Del Guiduce 2013 red blend with soft red fruits and sweet spices; fresh, firm and youthful. Good.
Bottacia Still And Organic 2013 darker fruited, fresh and supple. Good.
Taurasi 2005 rosehips and dried red fruits, spice; soft texture, tannins still grippy
Piedirosso Campi Flegrei 2014 black cherry fruit, gaminess, soft and fresh.
Nero d'Avola 2014 plump dark fruit, spices, freshness
Utru 2013 oaked blend of Nero d'Avola and Cab; more complex with dark fruits and sweet vanilla spice. Good.
Cantina Giostra Reitano, Sicily
L'Hismael 2014 varietal white from Etna; fresh and light with tropical fruits
Rasocolmo 2011 red blend of mostly indigenous varieties from Messina; light and fresh picnic red with truffleyness and cool mint.
Poderi Dal Nespoli, Emilia-Romagna
An Italian Wine Evening with Friends