Yesterday’s lunch was special. It was a chance to catch up with Frank Cornelissen (above), a winegrower from Sicily’s Mount Etna, over lunch at Hibiscus.
Frank works as naturally as possible, without using any chemicals in the vineyard – not even the sulfur and copper used by biodynamic and organic growers – and he doesn’t add [...]
This is a striking wine. It’s incredibly concentrated and intense, but also has a bit of class. It’s modern, but still has some soul. Currently, it still tastes very youthful, which suggests it may cellar quite well.
Nicodemi ‘Neromoro’ Montepulciano d’Abbruzzo Riserva 2006 Italy
14.5% alcohol. Deep coloured. Intense, dense, sweet dark cherry and plum fruit, with [...]
Almost two years ago I visited Sicilian producer Planeta. One thing they talked about was their new project on Mount Etna, which has some really interesting terroirs. At this stage, no wine had been made, but now they’ve released their first Etna white. It’s from the Carricante grape variety, and it’s full of interest. It’s [...]
I’m strongly drawn to lesser-known grape varieties like Schioppettino, both for the wines they produce, and also for the fact that they tend to be restricted to certain localities. This is a delicious wine from a variety that very nearly became extinct in the 1960s – apparently it was down to just a few hundred [...]
One thing I love about the world of wine is its diversity. Here’s an Italian wine that stretches the boundaries of that diversity, and I love it.
Gatti Lorenzo Raboso NV IGT Marca Trevigiana, Italy
Very interesting: a fresh, vibrant, joyous gastronomic red. It has a fresh cherryish nose with some appley notes and a bit of meatiness. [...]
This is nice. It’s a Pinot Noir from Gottardi, a grower in the northern Italian region of Alto Adige, which is often referred to by its Austrian name of the Südtirol. I love this style of lighter, more elegant red wine. I always seem to be in the mood to drink it.
Weingut Gottardi Südtiroler Blauburgunder [...]
Two nice wines here from Abruzzo producer Nicodemi. Affordable and delicious, with plenty of personality.
Nicodemi Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2009 Italy
12.5% alcohol. Really lovely aromatic nose with citrus, grapefruit and herb notes. The palate has a warm nutty edge to the fruit, which is rounded and broad with a bit of grapefruit freshness. Very appealing wine with [...]
Back in February 2009 I visited Sicilian producer Planeta (report here). It was a great visit, and I particularly enjoyed the Cerusuolo from Vittoria, a blend of Nero d’Avola with the bright, fresh Frappato variety. I even went out and bought some afterwards, which for a wine writer deluged by samples is a true endorsement.
Spent the evening with Doug Wregg at Terroirs. It’s hard to imagine a better evening of food and wine: authentic, expressive and in good measure. It proved hard to draw myself away to catch the last train back home.
We dined well. Matje Herring, a bit like ceviche, was delicious, as were the clams with coriander [...]
So I arrived in Italy courtesy of the world’s worst airline last night at 10 pm. I was staying at a nearby hotel, but it’s proximity really upset the taxi driver who had been waiting for 3 hours for a fare into Milano (45 km away) rather than a quick 2 minute ride.
He was visibly, [...]