Eating and drinking in London: The Wine Place

I recently popped into The Wine Place in South Kensington to taste through some of their range. It’s a really nice space, over two floors, and as well as operating as a wine bar, also runs tastings and events, and does a bit of direct importing too. Until recently there were three sites, under the name Vini Italiani – here in South Kensington, in Covent Garden and in Greenwich. But the Greenwich site didn’t work so well, so they dropped it, and in the process changed their name to The Wine Place. They have just reopened. This also means that in the future they will be able to branch away from solely Italian wines, even though this is currently their speciality.

I started with a glass of high end Franciacorta, and then went through the wines in their two enomatic machines. I really like the enomatic concept: as well as meaning that wines by the glass are always fresh, it gives you a chance to try before you buy. The wine range here – still all Italian – is wide and interesting, and I found some nice things as I tasted through.

Monte Rossa Cabochon Franciacorta 2011 Lombardia, Italy
70% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir. This is lovely stuff: tight but generous with lovely sweet pear, citrus and cherry fruit. This has nice freshness and weight with good precision as well as peachy richness. 91/100

Baldovino Trebbiano d’Abruzzo 2017 Abruzzo, Italy
This is 100% Trebbiano Abruzzese grown on clay/limestone soils, fermented in stainless steel. Linear with nice fruit and a twist of waxiness. Lovely pear and citrus notes. Clean, fruity and expressive with some personality. 89/100 (£12.50)

Leone Conti Albana di Romagna Albana Progetto 1 2016 Emilia Romagna, Italy
100% Albana planted in 1978 on pergola, from clay/limestone/chalk soils in the hills above Faenza. 65% barrel-ferment, 35% fermented in steel. Rich and textural with bold pear, peach and spice, as well as a hint of vanilla. Full flavoured with nice complexity. A broad, appealing white. 90/100 (£19.90)

Vini Italiani Langhe Favorita 2017 Piemonte, Italy
This is one of Vini Italiani’s own label wines, made by Teo Costa in Roero, this 100% Favorita, grown on sandy soils. Very fruity and bright with nice freshness. Has bright citrus and grape notes. Very fruity and expressive. 88/100 (£14)

Tenute Viglione Falanghina 2017 Puglia, Italy
From vineyards at 450 m. Nicely dense with lovely pear and peach fruit, with some spice. Nice weight and texture. Supple and expressive. 89/100 (£14.90)

Benanti Pietramarina Etna Bianco Superiore 2015 Sicily, Italy
Supple and quite mineral with some lemony notes, nice freshness and weight, and a juicy lemony edge. Really interesting and textural. 91/100 (£48)

Donnofugata Vigna di Gabri 2016 Sicily, Italy
This is a blend of Ansonica, Catarratto, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier, from southwestern Sicily. 85% tank fermented and 15% aged in used French oak. Waxy and herby with nice tropical notes, showing some canteloup melon and pear. Lovely texture and balance here. 90/100 (£30)

Casa di Baal Aglianico di Baal 2012 Basilicata, Italy
Organic. Matured in large barrels. Lovely savoury cherry and tomato and plum fruit with a nice spicy underpinning. Has good weight and nice focus. Grainy and grippy. 91/100 (£19.50)

Viglione Sellato Primitivo 2015 Puglia, Italy
Organic. Matured in larger oak. Very sweet, enticing black fruits nose. Ripe and textured with richness and lushness, but also freshness. Delicious and attractive. 91/100 (£15.50)

Condé Predappio Sangiovese MGA Riserva 2011 Emilia Romagna, Italy
70% matured in stainless steel, 30% in barrel. This has some flesh and also some nice texture with a bit of savoury development. Earth and leather hints alongside the sweet black fruits with nice density. 90/100 (£18.50)

Valdicava Brunello de Montalcino 2010 Tuscany, Italy
Grainy and grippy with nice density and good complexity. This shows earth, spice, good tannic structure. Very stylish with lots of savoury detail. 93/100 (£99.80)

Vini Italiani Barolo La Morra 2014 Piemonte, Italy
Grainy with nice strawberry and cherry fruit, as well as a savoury twist. Has a nice structural dimension with good balance. Really appealing. 91/100 (£32)

Taurasi Pietracupa 2012 Campania, Italy
Made from Aglianico grown in volcanic soils, this spends two years in large oak. Complex, savoury and with a lovely spiciness, this has appealing cherry and plum fruit with nice depth. Structured but also quite mellow with nice grip. Delicious. 93/100 (£51)

Tenuta Alfredosa Montefalco Rosso 2012 Italy
100% Sagrantino. Sweet, savoury, warm and spicy with nice grip. This has nice fine-grained tannins. Tarry with some mint and nice spiciness. Really refined. 92/100 (£47.50)

Zidarich Terrano 2014 Teran, Venezia Giulia 
Tarrano (translated red earth) is a red grape varietal native to the Carso (the region where Zidarich have their vineyards). This shows lovely sweet black fruits on the nose. The palate is floral with lovely blackcurrant and cherry fruit. Has such lovely purity and freshness. 94/100 (£30)

The Wine Place

SOUTH KENSINGTON
72 Old Brompton Road
London SW7 3LQ

COVENT GARDEN
Unit 33 The Market
London WC2E 8BE

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