It is a standard cliche about Italy that the country is beautiful yet unpredictable and chaotic.
Like most cliches, it is a generationalisation that contains more than a grain of truth. My personal cliche about Italy is that you need an inside track, a bit of local knowledge, to see the best of the country.
This Italian VIP tasting showcased five wineries - and met most if not all cliches; it was chaotic with no listing of individual wines, just names of producers on a single sheet.
Yet all the wines I tasted were also thoroughly enjoyable and well made, demonstrating that Italians can navigate their own complexity even where others may not fare so well.
Vespa Vignaioli by Bruno Vespa: www.vespavignaioli.it
Simonelli Santi by Leonardo Simonelli: www.simonellisanti.com
Cantina Todini by Luisa Todini: www.simonellisanti.com
Bruscia by Bruscia Family: www.brusciavini.it
Pink fizz fresh, crisp and delicate
Fiano full and fresh with ripe fruits
Rosso do Vespa rich and intense with prunes and mixed fruit
Antonio soft supple harmonious
Malintoppo cherry fruited with complex spice
Grechetto long, fresh, lemony versatile food wine
Nero Della Cervena complex and sophisticated. Very Good.
Chianti soft, supple light and cherry-fruited
Casino Delle Vie more complex and adept
Sister Moon a further step up
Metodo Classico crisp, fresh, elegant
Famoso floral and full with ripe citrus
Stacciola fresh red fruits, cherries and spice with feral aromas
Passito sweet, complex and fresh with honey and baked apple
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Borsa Vini Italiani 2016