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Italian wines from 
Les Caves de Pyrene 

Some notes from Les Caves de Pyrene new Italian Portfolio tasting. Les Caves are best known for their pioneering work with wines from the Southwest of France (indeed, they have an enviable list of French regional wines), but they have been expanding their portfolio, buying with equal skill from Italy. Some really interesting wines here, offering good value. 

Livio & Giorgio Marega, San Floriano del Collio, Friuli

Livio & Giorgio Marega Tocai Friulano 2004 San Floriano del Collio, Friuli
Delicious stuff. Fresh bright nose shows lovely fruit and a slight nuttiness. On the palate there’s a lovely freshness to the supple, nicely textured herby fruit. Fresh and expressive. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£6.60)

Livio & Giorgio Marega Malvasia Istriana 2003 San Floriano del Collio, Friuli
Fantastic nose: really pretty. It’s quite weighty but perfumed, with ripe peachy fruit and some freshness. Fantastic palate has lovely texture, great acid and some freshness. Rich. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£10.45)

Poggio Argenteria, Giampaolo Paglia, Banditella di Albarese, Tuscany

Poggio Argenteria Morellino di Scansano ‘Capatosta’ 2002
Dark, sweetly fruited and quite tarry, this is very forward and enticing. The palate is soft and richly textured with a savoury, spicy edge. Very satisfying and deep. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£12)

Poggio Argenteria Finisterre IGT 2002
A blend of Alicante Bouschet (there’s quite a bit of this in this part of Tuscany) and Syrah. Very sweet open ripe black fruits dominate the nose: deep pure fruit. The palate shows lovely soft, pure, bold ripe fruit. Very concentrated and rich with a luscious texture. Lots of fun here. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£17.40)

Ceuso, Melia, Alcamo, Sicily

Cueso Custera 2001
Nice, fresh, slightly cherryish spicy red fruits are the key feature here. Good freshness. A nice wine that is drinking well now. Very good+ 88/100 (£11.95)

Palari, Salvatore Geraci, Santa Stefano Briga, Messina, Sicily

Rosso del Soprano 2002
A blend of Nerellos. Nice bright, spicy, meaty red fruits dominate, with some vanilla notes. The palate is modern and spicy with savoury dark fruits. Quite oaky. Very good+ 88/100

Gianni Masciarelli, San Martino Sulla Marrucina, Abruzzo

Montepulciano d’Abruzzo ‘Villa Gemma’ 2000
Very dark colour. Tight nose of sweet ripe fruits. The palate is rich, concentrated and quite extracted, displaying rich dark brambly fruits. It’s a tannic wine in a souped-up bold new world style. Impressive up front but perhaps lacking real character. Very good+ 91/100 (£25)

Constantino Charrere, Aymavilles Valle d’Aosta

Les Cretes Petite Arvine Vigne Champorette 2004
From vineyards 600–700 m high, this white has a fresh, youthful bright fruity nose. It’s very crisp on the palate with a good weight of brilliantly fresh fruit. Very good+ 89/100 (£11)

Les Cretes Torrette 2003
A wonderfully aromatic red. Fresh, primary, vibrant red fruits nose. Quite thrilling. The palate is supple and clean with nicely textured red fruits. Fantastically fresh. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£11.85)

Vittorio Innocenti, Montefollonico, Tuscany

Innocenti Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 1999
Dark, savoury and spicy with a lovely open nose. Savoury, tannic and expressive with an almost liqueur-like edge to the fruit. Interesting and deep. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£9.65)

Innocenti Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2000
Lovely richness to the savoury, spicy red fruits nose: nice freshness and savoury depth. The palate is quite tight with lovely fine-grained spicy tannins. A serious effort: just slightly rustic, but in a nice way. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£9.65)

Alberto Loi, Cardedu, sardinia

‘Leyla’ Cannonau White 2004
Interesting nutty slightly oxidised nose. Soft, sweet textured palate with more nutty, honeyed and oxidative characters. Very good+ 87/100 (£8.95)

Cannonau de Sardegna Riserva 2000
Lovely stuff, showing nicely textured berry fruit with a lovely smooth, savoury structure. Smooth but with some presence. Very good/excellent 90/100 (£10.95)

Tua Rita, Suvereto, Tuscany

Tua Rita Rosso dei Notri 2003
Sweet open nose of cherryish fruit. Bright with a liquoricey edge. Fresh, clean, slightly meaty fruit on the palate. Expressive. Very good+ 88/100 (£7.65)

Tua Rita Redigaffi 2002
Very dark coloured. Sweet open nose red and black fruits with a more serious spicy edge. The palate is concentrated, full and dense with ripe fruit and a spicy character. Made in a modern style this is tannic but with quite fresh fruit. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£60.05)


Maria Cvetić Montepulciano d’Abruzzo 2001
Lovely vibrant spicy, savoury red fruits with a savoury, tarry, slightly earthy edge. Dark and brooding. There’s a nice fullness to the palate which is tight, savoury and spicy with good acidity. Nice savoury tannic structure and some minerality. Very good/excellent 92/100

Macchiona La Stoppa 2000 Emiglia-Romana
Dark, dense, slightly rustic nose that is meaty, spicy and smoky. The palate is open with a lovely vivid spicy character. Perhaps a bit rustic and funky, but a lovely red wine. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£13.95)

Wines tasted 04/05

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