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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > ITALY: Central Whites, including Verdicchio

Winner Details

Italy: Central - White, including Verdicchio

2016 Gold: 4 Silver: 11 Bronze: 3 Commended: 4
2015 Gold: 4 Silver: 5 Bronze: 1 Commended: 7

For many years in this competition this section was dominated by Verdicchio. But of late we’ve seen a stronger performance from other areas of Central Italy, and it was the same again this year, with a couple of Pecorinos and a classy Tuscan Chardonnay joining the Cambrugiano on the Gold List. Few of these wines leap out of the glass in a blind tasting, but our tasters felt that their structure and texture made them excellent and versatile food matches.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘This flight emphasises Italy’s versatility. They all had a savouriness and a digestible side; a pithiness, a bitterness – really positive when working with food. They don’t always show well by themselves, but with food they do.’ Hamish Anderson, The Tate Group

‘Some of the wines were nice, but there was no sense of unity.’ Matthieu Longuère MS, Le Cordon Bleu

‘Verdicchio is a fairly neutral style of wine, but the ones with age definitely showed nice development; honeysuckle, beeswax. They would go well with sushi or sashimi.’ Harry Crowther, M Restaurants

‘A lot of intensity, sugar and acidity, but not in a harmonious way. The finished product isn’t as honest or as engaging as it could be.’ Xabier Álvarez-Valdés, Trangallán

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines from Emilia-Romagna, Umbria, Marche, Lazio, Molise, Tuscany & Abruzzo.

Award winners

Found 22 wines

Italy: Central – White

Isole e Olena, Collezione Privata, Chardonnay, 2014, Tuscany , Italy

Gold medal winner

'This has the "wow" factor,' said Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn of Isole y Olena's beguiling Chardonnay, adding: ' It's a fabulous wine that delivers at this price.' 'Very well done, with a touch of smoke on a creamy, mouth-coating palate of stone fruits and tropical fruit, showing great texture, soft acidity and a clean finish,' said Enikő Heidenwolf of 67 Pall Mall. 'Honeyed, spicy and complex, with lovely candied citrus fruit flavours and a really long, concentrated finish,' agreed Le Cordon Bleu's Matthieu Longuère MS.

£23.95 Liberty Wines

Torri, Bakán, Pecorino, Colli Aprutini, 2014, Abruzzo , Italy

Gold medal winner

While Ham Yard Hotel's Sarah Williams called this 'summery and happy', team leader Simon Woods said: 'Nice, heady style,' illustrating the breadth of appeal, and how Torri's Pecorino struck Gold. 'It's quite pungent and juicy, with that bitter herbal edge. Good and with grip,' continued Woods, while Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn noted 'yellow flowers, juicy, clean full fruits and good acidity', and the Oxo Tower's Lukasz Walkowiak picked out citrusy notes on the nose and palate.

£9.58 Please contact winery for further information

Orsogna, Aete, Pecorino, Terre di Chieti, 2012, Abruzzo , Italy

Gold medal winner

Pecorino strikes again with Orsogna's Gold Lister. 'Powerful and aromatic on the nose, with notes of straw, citrus and almond, spicy and concentrated on the palate with a really ripe, juicy style, almost exotic, really complex and long,' said an impressed Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu. Meanwhile Oxo Tower's Lukasz Walkowiak noted the golden colour, and the 'big bomb' of a palate with its rich, full-bodied nature, 'but it's still very fresh'.

£13.22 Please contact winery for further information

Belisario, Cambrugiano, Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva, 2012, Marche , Italy

Gold medal winner

'A great food wine,' said team leader Martin Lam, of this 'darker, more complex Verdicchio, with its rounded fruit'. While The Cinnamon Club's Laurent Chaniac noted the mix of yellow and citrus fruits on the palate, team leader Natasha Hughes MW agreed on the versatility, saying: 'Complex and honeyed, with dried mango fruit aromas and subtle oak presence. Rich and spicy on the palate, which is long and clean.'

£15.00 Liberty Wines

Umani Ronchi, Pecorino, Terre di Chieti, 2014, Abruzzo , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Expressive, soft and elegant with some mild savoury notes, well-balanced acidity and fruit flavours with secondary notes of spice and pepper. Herbaceous and minerally texture and long finish,' said consultant Sumita Sarma.

£8.72 Enotria&Coe

Feudo Antico, Pecorino, Tullum, 2015, Abruzzo , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Savoury, flinty, cool ferment aromas, taut and bright on the palate with plenty of acid,' said The Tate Group's Hamish Anderson, adding: 'Uncompromising but very interesting, pithy and long on the finish.' 'Easy-drinking, crisp style with crispy lemon, pear and green apple fruit,' added consultant Sumita Sarma.

£11.65 Eurowines

Feudo Antico, Passerina, Tullum, 2014, Abruzzo , Italy

Silver medal winner

Attractive, zesty style with 'wet stone and citrus peel, and a dry, honeyed palate', according to team leader Martin Lam, with Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu also highlighting 'aromatic, peachy mandarin notes with some lovely minerality on a really juicy palate'.

£11.65 Eurowines

Ulisse, Pecorino, Terre di Chieti, 2015, Abruzzo , Italy

Silver medal winner

While team leader Martin Lam said 'quite substantial, very much a food wine', Michael Moore of Moore Show Cuisine said: 'Great nose with fresh fruit and lavender herbal hints, clean flavours on the palate with a lingering spicy touch on the finish,' and Fifteen Cornwall's Elly Owen noted the 'lovely limey note' and the 'good splash of minerality'.

£9.12 Please contact winery for further information

Valle Reale, Vigneto di Popoli, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, 2012, Abruzzo , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Oily, toasty nose with ripe tropical fruit,' began team leader Charlie Young, going on: 'Laced with toastiness on the palate, the ripeness continues through to a long and concentrated, sweetly rich finish.'

£13.15 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Torri, 420, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, 2014, Abruzzo , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Understated on the nose but intense on the palate, with a distinctive, sorbet-like character,' began Xabier Álvarez-Valdés of Trangallán, with Matthieu Longuère of Le Cordon Bleu noting its 'spicy, mineral, pink grapefruit and citrus peel aromas, really fresh palate and focused concentration'.

£8.42 Please contact winery for further information

Orsogna, LaBelle, Malvasia, Terre di Chieti, 2015, Abruzzo , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Very floral, lifted nose with rose petals and wild flowers, but on the palate there is a good, savoury undercurrent; it's bright and not cloying with a refreshing finish. Lovely aperitif,' suggested Hamish Anderson of The Tate Group. 'There's a hint of pine, a ripe and juicy, generous palate,' added team leader Simon Woods.

£9.42 Please contact winery for further information

Luretta, Boccadirosa, Malvasia, Colli Piacentini, 2013, Emilia-Romagna , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Lemon zest and macerated lemon on the nose, tangerine and melon fruit on the palatee, lifted by vivacious acidity and a zesty, kaffir lime character on the finish with good structure,' said Spring's Peter McDaid.

£14.40 Alivini

Moncaro, Le Vele, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, 2015, Marche , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Aromatic and a touch floral on the nose, with good intensity on the palate with a freshness of pear, nectarine and melon fruit followed by minerals on the finish,' said team leader Charlie Young, with Spring's Peter McDaid also picking up a 'subtle note of ginger with spiced apples and pears'.

£7.17 Eurowines

Moncaro, Terre Cortesi, Anfora, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, 2015, Marche , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Crisp and fresh with ripe, juicy pear and apple fruit and light spicy notes, clean acidity and a juicy finish,' said Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu of this generous, full, well-balanced white.

£6.48 Eurowines

Belisario, Vigneti B, Verdicchio di Matelica, 2014, Marche , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Nice notes of honeysuckle and baking spices on the nose, with a rich texture on the palate. Very drinkable,' said Harry Crowther of M Restaurants, while team leader Natasha Hughes MW also noted 'stone fruit and mango with a rich mid-palate and nice balance'.

£10.00 Liberty Wines

Tollo, Pecorino, Terre Di Chieti, 2015, Abruzzo , Italy

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Charlie Young found a 'clean, mineral, understated nose' followed by 'full, spicy pear and citrus on the palate with a savoury freshness on the finish'. 'Very much in the vegetal/savoury camp, but herbal and interesting,' agreed The Tate Group's Hamish Anderson.

£7.85 Eurowines

Pievalta, San Paolo, Castelli di Jesi, Verdicchio Riserva Classico, 2013, Marche , Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Pineapple and pear with hints of angelica on the nose, good intensity on the palate with bright acids and grapefruit pith on the finish,' said team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£9.75 Vintage Roots

Monte Schiavo, Coste del Molino, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, 2015, Marche , Italy

Bronze medal winner

Simple, well made and classic, neutral style with floral notes from the cool ferment. 'Subtle pear drop and slightly green, brisk character,' said team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£6.00 Boutinot

Villa Simone, Villa dei Preti Costantini, Frascati Superiore, 2014, Lazio , Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.53 Bibendum Wine

Frescobaldi, Massovivo, Vermentino, 2014, Tuscany , Italy

Commended medal winner

Santa Barbara, Stefano Antonucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, 2013, Marche , Italy

Commended medal winner

£14.54 Delitalia

Colonnara, Tùfico, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, 2010, Marche , Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.12 Alivini