Italy North v South Tasting

Thanks to everybody who came along to the February tasting. The group’s favourite white was the Vernaccia di San Gimignano (south / central) and the preferred red was the Barbaresco (north). The wines tasted were as follows:

1. Ferghettina, Franciacorta Brut NV

Region: Lombardy, Italy
Grapes: 85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir
ABV: 12.5%
‘Lively exotic fruit and biscuity notes in delicious spot-hitting tandem’ ensured full Wine Champion marks again this year for the Lombardian blend of chardonnay with pinot noir, fermented in bottle and aged on its yeast lees. It’s a traditionally made Italian sparkling wine from the rolling hills of Franciacorta, in Lombardy, between the southern shore of Lake Iseo and Brescia.
The Wine Society, £19.81

2. Teruzzi & Puthod Rondolino, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2022

Region: Tuscany, Italy
Grapes: 100% Vernaccia
ABV: 12.5%
This Tuscan dry white wine has an elegant nose of cut green apple and crisp citrus flavours, alongside soft fruits and a delicious stony minerality, followed by hints of almonds.  The finish is soft and long. An ideal apéritif or try with fish and seafood dishes.
Waitrose, £10.49

3. Ronchi di Cialla, Ribolla Gialla, Friuli Collio Orientali 2020

Grape:100% Ribola Gialla
Region: Friuli, Italy
ABV: 12.5%
This is a family estate, established in the 1970s in Friuli (NE Italy). The Rapizzi family work solely with indigenous varieties such as Refosco, Schioppettino and this one, Ribolla. Their Ribolla has been aged on its lees for 3 months. It has crisp citrus fruit, with pear notes and a savoury twist, it’s a light bodied, very interesting wine, which would be perfect with crustacea.
Butler’s £18.99

4. Planeta ‘Cometa’ 2022

Grape: 100% Fiano
Region: Sicily, Italy
Planeta is one of Sicily’s great wineries. It played a large part in boosting the region’s reputation for fine wines. And this one is particularly interesting. The winemaking team first began experimenting with Fiano in the 1990s and, after much deliberation, created their finest expression of the grape: Cometa. It’s complex and intense, with aromas of chamomile, thyme and mango, flavours of apricot, almond and basil and a long finish.
Majestic £27.99 (mix six price)

5. Nals Margreid ‘Sand’ Lagrein, Alto-Adige 2022

Grapes: 100% Lagrein
Region: Alto Adige, Italy
ABV: 13.5%
Nals Margreid is a winery in the Alto Adige region (NE Italy), established as a cooperative in 1932 and sources its fruit from over 300 trusted growers in the area. They have made a name for themselves highlighting local varieties and the differences between the multitude of tiny vineyard sites.
Maraschino cherry and blackberry dance on the palate, accompanied by delightful hints of pepper and a lingering aroma of liquorice on the finish. The wine’s density and freshness awaken your senses, while full-flavored tannins and balsamic undertones add layers of complexity and elegance.
Butler’s £21.95

6. Taurasi, Feudi di San Gregorio 2018

Grapes: 100% Aglianico
Region: Campania, Italy
ABV: 14%
The DOCG of Taurasi is in the province of Avellino in Campania, on volcanic soils where Aglianico vines thrive. Though slightly under the radar, it can create some of Italy’s finest reds. Here the flavours of violets, blackcurrant and liquorice are complex and last well on the balsamic, lifted finish.
The Wine Society £21

7. Rizzi, Barbaresco 2019

Grape: 100% Nebbiolo
Region: Piedmont, Italy
ABV: 14.5%
Enrico Dellapiana is part of a young group shaking up Barbaresco in Italy’s north-west, eschewing the often fiercely tannic and impenetrable traditional style for expressive, vibrant wines with aromas of herbs, cherry, and wild strawberry. But don’t be fooled – although elegant and light, this will age just as beautifully.
The Wine Society £25

8. Curatolo Arini, Marsala Superiore Riserva NV

Grapes: Grillo, Inzolia, Cataratto
Region: Sicily, Italy
ABV: 18%
In 1875 Vito Curatolo Arini decided to build a winery in the middle of his vineyards to follow his dream of making Marsala wine. The name of the company was born from the union of the founder’s surname, Curatolo, with that of his mother, Arini. Today, after five generations, Vito’s dream is kept alive with the same passion by his direct descendants Riccardo and Alexandra. Light wines from local grapes Grillo, Inzolia, and Cataratto are fortified with white grape spirit in the traditional way. The wines are then aged for about 10 years (the minimum legal requirement for `Superiore` status is 4 years) in large Slovenian oak casks. The Marsala Riserva Superiore is rich and concentrated. It has notes of dates, sultanas and toasted almonds and a long, smooth finish.
Southdown Cellars £21.95