Valdibella Ariddu Grillo 2012 Sicily, Italy

This characterful white wine comes from a really interesting micro-cooperative in Sicily, with just 6 members. Olive oil, almonds and wine are produced, with 38 hectares of vineyards. The focus is on sustainable, organic winegrowing and minimal intervention winemaking, with very little SO2 added. They belong to the Addiopizzo movement, which says no to the [...]

Four lovely wines - Weinbach, Zidarich, Puzelat and Valli

On my first night in Canada a group of friends gathered to share some nice wines. I think they deserve a write-up, although – as usual – notes and scores do little to capture the specialness of wines shared with good people.

Weinbach Cuvee St Catherine Riesling Schlossberg Grand Cru 2009 Alsace, France
Taut, almost spicy and [...]

Insoglio del Cinghiale, an impressive Tuscan red blend

I’m not usually a huge super-Tuscan fan, but this is really good. There’s a purity and focus here that I don’t often get from Tuscany. Tasted blind, I reckon I’d have put it in the new world, but elegant new world. I followed this over a couple of days, and it was just as good [...]

Two lovely Ligurians from Bruna

The wine world is big. And though I have been drinking wine in earnest for a long time, there are some bits that are new to me. These are the first two Ligurian wines I’ve drunk (Liguria is in the far west of Italy, down on the Mediterranean coast, near the French border). They’re full [...]

Learning to love Nebbiolo: Langhe Nebb from Vajra and Massolino

So I’ve been trying quite a few Nebbiolos of late, in a quest to learn to love it more. This has meant tasting a fair few young Barolos, and struggling a bit with their raw, primary tannins, which can be quite fearsome. This is where Langhe Nebbiolo proves useful. These wines are, as you’d expect, [...]

Give the wine enough time

I have been tasting today. I spent a good portion of the afternoon at two tastings of Italian wines: the first, the Armit tasting; the second, a preview of the Lay & Wheeler consumer Piemonte tasting.

I have got to the stage with tastings where I am happy not to taste everything. Even though there are [...]

Guttarolo Primitivo, a remarkable amphora wine from Puglia

I love this wine. It’s a Primitivo, but not as you know it. Cristiano Guttarolo has just 5 hectares of vines, at 400 m altitude, and this remarkable wine is made from a small 0.6 hectare plot of Primitivo that is fermented in 500 litre clay amphorae from Umbria. After fermentation these amphorae are sealed [...]

Learning to love Nebbiolo: Mascarello, Giuseppe e Figlio

In my quest for Nebbiolo to love, I came across two rather gorgeous bottles from Giuseppe Mascarello. This is one of those producers with a reputation for making mostly sublime wines, but also one where quality can be up and down. When they are great they are truly great, but greatness is not guaranteed. When [...]

ViniItaliani, a great London destination for Italian wine

Last Wednesday I made a new discovery (new for me, at least). It’s ViniItaliani, a wine shop/wine bar on the Old Brompton Road in South Kensington. It also acts as a wholesaler for some wines that it imports directly, and has an associated consumer-directed online wineshop at

London is becoming a great place [...]

Learning to love Nebbiolo: Ar.Pe.Pe Rosso di Valtellina

So I continue in my noble quest to learn to love Nebbiolo (see my previous posts here and here). This time, I am turning to the Valtellina region, a 70 mile long valley running east to west on the Italian-Swiss border. The vineyards here are terraced, and the primary grape is Nebbiolo, known locally as [...]