The wines of Ricci Curbastro, Franciacorta, Italy

Riccardo Ricci Curbastro

As a fan of sparkling wines, I was pleased to get the chance to meet Riccardo Ricci Curbastro and taste through his wines, at a masterclass hosted by Vini Italiani in South Kensington.

The Ricci Curbastro family have been growing grapes in Franciacorta since the 14th century, but sparkling Franciacorta as we now [...]

A 50 year old Barbaresco

This was a generous birthday gift. You never quite know what you are going to get with an old wine, and 1967 wasn’t a strong vintage in most European wine regions, but this wine really delivered a lot of pleasure. There’s something special about drinking a wine that transports you back in time.

Produttori del Barbaresco [...]

Rediscovering a love for Barolo

Two great recent experiences with Barolo, which I’ve struggled to love a lot in the past. I love the idea of Barolo, but I’ve often found the wines to be a bit too difficult, with firm drying tannins and no pleasure. Yet occasionally I have had the most sublime experience with this region. It’s very [...]

Some thoughts on Prosecco

Prosecco is one of the wine world’s success stories. I’m drinking one now. It’s the Bella Covina Prosecco from Tesco, which is as cheap as Prosecco gets at £5.85.

Is it bad? No.

Is it good quality? Well, quality is judged by fitness for purpose, and for most people drinking Prosecco, including the company I’m with, it [...]

Three Vermentinos

I’m quite a fan of the Vermentino grape variety, also known as Rolle in Provence. It makes white wines with character and freshness from warm climates. These wines are all available from online retailer Tannico, who list a staggering 51 examples of Italian Vermentino.

Guado Al Tasso Vermentino 2015 Bolgheri, Tuscany, Italy
13% alcohol. Lively and juicy [...]

Two lovely fizzy Italian reds

Fizzy red wines. Not mainstream, I know, but I quite liked these two examples from Italy. They’re being sold by a retailer new to the UK, Tannico.

Paltrinieri Lambrusco di Sorbara Frizzante Secco 2015 DOC Radice, Italy
£14.90 Tannico.co.uk
11% alcohol
This is a family run winery located in the heart of Sorbara, Modena. They’ve been making this Lambrusco [...]

Icon wines at The Sampler, including Latour 82, La Chapelle 78 and Ygay 59

Each year The Sampler put some high-end ‘icon’ wines on their enomatic machines. It’s a real highlight tasting through them, and this year was no exception. The highlights included the almost perfect Latour 1982 and the thrilling La Chapelle 1978.

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg 1995 Burgundy, France
Beautifully aromatic with cherries, plums and fine spicies. [...]

Garnacha not Guerra 2015

This is a new wine. Naturally made Garnacha (deliberately chosen as the name to indicate a style difference, rather than the local Cannonau), just 360 bottles produced! It’s such an indulgence to write about wines like these, but this is what keeps wine interesting. It’s just great that someone cares enough about wine to make [...]

Cantina Giardino Fino 'Gaia' 2010 Campania, Italy

I love this wine. I was rummaging around various piles of bottles trying to find something to drink, and I came across this. It was a total surprise: vital, complex, beguiling and multidimensional.

It’s the ‘Gaia’ Fiano from Cantina Giardino. This winery started in 1997 as a joint venture shared among six friends, who wanted to [...]

Bibi Graetz Testamatta: superb Tuscan Sangiovese

Bibi Gratetz is an arts graduate (he does his own label art) with Norweigan/Israeli parentage. His family owned Castello di Vincigliata in Tuscany, in Fiesole, just north of Florence, and it’s with the 2 hectares of vines on this property that he first stated making wines, back in 2000.

He then began searching out old parcels [...]