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 [...]

Dinner at L'Anima

Earlier this week I had dinner at L’Anima, on the Shoreditch edge of the City. It’s modern Italian, and high end. The dining room reflects this, with a sharp, sparse yet luxurious modern sort of look. It’s very designed.

For ordering, we put ourselves entirely  in the hands of general manager Adriano Cacchione and sommelier Gianmarco [...]

In the Veneto watching grapes dry

I’m in the Veneto, in northern Italy for a couple of days. First stop was Masi. They are specialists in Amarone, and we got to see the grapes – Corvina, Rondinella and Molinari, as well as rediscovered grape Oseleta – drying in bamboo racks. This is the process of appassimento.

Masi has 15 drying lofts, including [...]

Some nice wines at The Remedy - Don Chisciotte Fiano, Salvaje Blanco, Vin Nu, Oliveras Verdelho 12

Popped into The Remedy a few days ago for a drink with Mr Primack. We had some interesting things, as you’d expect. Here are my notes.

Barranco Oscuro Salvaje Blanco 2014 Spain
This comes from Europes highest vineyards. Barranco Oscuro have 12 hectares in the Sierra de Contraviesa near Granada in the south of Spain. This wine [...]

Masi Toar 2011 Valpolicella

This high-end Valpolicella, which until recently was labelled as IGT Veronese,  contains the well known Veneto varieties of Corvina and Rondinella together with rare, Masi-rediscovered variety Oseleta. Toar refers to the volcanic soils of the vineyards used to make this wine – from what I can gather it’s the local name for volcanic outcrops found here. [...]

Riecene Chianti Classico and IGT Toscana

It’s fair to say that I am not the biggest Sangiovese fan out there. But when I come across great wines, I don’t mind what they are made from or where they come from. This pair from Riecine are really lovely.

Riecine Chianti Classico 2012 Tuscany, Italy
13.5% alcohol. Complex and aromatic with elegant red cherries, plums, [...]

Eugenio Collavini Refosco 'Pucino' 2013 Friuli Colli Orientali, Italy

This is interesting. And we like ‘interesting’ here. [And I'm not using 'interesting' in the typical British sense, which is when a grower shows you a bad wine you politely say 'interesting' when really you mean it's a bit crap but you are too polite to say it.] It’s a Friulian red made from a [...]

Barraco Vignammare 2013, an incredible Sicilian white

Dear readers, I hope you don’t tire of my hyperbolic descriptors. ‘Remarkable’, ‘Sensational’, ‘Incredible’. I’m beginning to sound like a Daily Mail wine critic. After all, one route to success as a wine writer is to lavish everything you taste in effusive praise. The recipients of this praise, who usually don’t bother to check all [...]

Massolino Barolo 2010

One of my many themes of 2014 was an attempt to get to grips with Nebbiolo, which I’ve always found one of the trickiest of grape varieties to love, as opposed to just admiring. It’s like a brilliant friend with a prickly personality. You like to hang out with them, but about half the time [...]