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Home Winners > Winners 2016 > ITALY: North-East Whites, including Soave

Winner Details

Italy: North-East - White, including Soave

2016 Gold: 2 Silver: 5 Bronze: 4 Commended: 2
2015 Gold: 2 Silver: 2 Bronze: 5 Commended: 1

There are plenty of years (2011-2014) in this competition when not one Soave has made it on to our Gold List – something of a passive aggressive criticism from our tasters about what they thought of the standard of wines coming out of the region. So to get one – and a well-priced one, at that – was a decent showing for a category that genuinely seemed to intrigue our tasters this year.

Soave may not necessarily be the must-list that it was 20 years ago, but the stylistic variation on show makes it more interesting than it used to be, and that is reflected in this year’s medals, from the classic (and totally over-delivering) Superiore from Cantina di Monteforte to Pieropan’s oaked, complex La Rocca.

It was a similar story with the Veneto whites: plenty of stylistic variety and varying degrees of ambition made for an interesting array of medals.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘In the Veneto, once you move above a certain price point the whole style changes; the whole ethos changes.’ Hamish Anderson, The Tate Group

‘I think people who are really into wine are into north-eastern Italian whites. The more expensive wines showed real class and good winemaking.’ Peter McDaid, Spring

‘The upper end of the Veneto flight was more distinctive, more expressive.’ Sumita Sarma, consultant

‘We got the different styles we know exist within Soave: from leaner, textural and aromatic, into richer wines with riper fruit, and going into the premium level showing some oak. Some of the styles did split the panel.’ Charlie Young, team leader

“I don’t think there’s high demand for Soave.” Peter McDaid, Spring

“This tasting emphasised the disparate styles of Soave – it’s not an easy category for consumers.” Hamish Anderson, The Tate Group

FOOTNOTE: Includes wines from the Veneto; for wines from Trentino, Alto Adige & Friuli-Venezia Giuli.

Award winners

Found 13 wines

Italy: North-East - White, including Soave

Monteforte, Vigneto Montegrande, Soave Classico Superiore, 2014, Veneto , Italy

Gold medal winner

'Classic Soave at a good price,' said Vinoteca's Zigmars Grinbergs, noting 'marzipan, apple blossom and saffron, with a ripe, nice kick of freshness'. 'Complex and intense aromas with plenty of citrus and green fruits, very rounded and balanced on the palate, with great structure and terroir expression, light mineral notes on the finish and a rich mouthfeel,' said consultant Sumita Sarma. 'Opulent, decadent nose with a textural, rich palate,' agreed The Tate Group's Hamish Anderson.

£6.75 Liberty Wines

S Cristina, Vigneto Massoni, Lugana, 2014, Veneto , Italy

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Seductive and sassy, a worthy Critics' Choice Trophy winner. 'Fresh green grass, kiwi fruit and light gooseberry hints on the nose,' began Spring's Peter McDaid, continuing: 'Subtle key lime sweetness with lemon and tangerine notes, freshening acidity and a lingering finish.' 'Beautifully crafted, with lots of citrus but well-balanced fruit and structure on the palate. Very rounded, with appealing richness and mature texture,' agreed consultant Sumita Sarma.

£11.10 Eurowines

Pieropan, La Rocca, Soave Classico, 2013, Veneto , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Intriguing nose,' began The Tate Group's Hamish Anderson, continuing: 'There is oak here and it feels young, but there's plenty happening, with spice, ripe pear and herbal notes.' 'Rich and complex, with integrated oak and a real quality feel,' agreed team leader Charlie Young.

£17.35 Liberty Wines

Monteforte, Soave Classico, 2014, Veneto , Italy

Silver medal winner

Emilie Sagot of The Sign of the Don summarised this wine's appeal: 'Fresh and fruity, easy to drink – great for the price.' 'Citrus and notes of camomile and iris on the nose, pear fruit on a balanced palate,' said consultant Sumita Sarma.

£5.80 Liberty Wines

Riondo, Castelforte, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, 2015, Veneto , Italy

Silver medal winner

Soft and easy drinking, this shows herbaceous green notes alongside pine aromas on the nose, a dry, medium-bodied palate and a long refreshing finish.

£8.00 Forth Wines , Moreno Wines

Zenato, Sergio Zenato, Lugana Riserva, 2013, Veneto , Italy

Silver medal winner

Peter McDaid of Spring found 'white flowers, pomelo citrus zest and light spicy notes on the nose, delicate lemon and hints of yoghurty peach and melon, quite a serious wine', while consultant Sumita Sarma said: 'Elegant, mature and well crafted with lots of layers and good balance.'

£18.35 Eurowines

Zenato, San Benedetto, Lugana, 2014, Veneto , Italy

Silver medal winner

'Nice floral lift, this is pretty and fun,' began Hamish Anderson of The Tate Group, going on: 'Palate shows delicate wild flowers and green apple flavours. A great warm weather aperitif.' 'Expressive wine, with lots of zing and ripe fruit,' agreed consultant Sumita Sarma.

£8.50 Eurowines

Corte del Sole, Soave Classico, 2014, Veneto , Italy

Bronze medal winner

Zingy, citrus style with herbaceous notes on the nose, touches of mandarin and lime zest on the palate with an oily texture and a hint of almond kernel.

£9.25 Jascots Wine Merchants

Ca'Rugate, Monte Fiorentine, Soave Classico, 2014, Veneto , Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Savoury and mineral with good intensity on the palate, juicy citrus and a good finish,' said team leader Charlie Young, with Spring's Peter McDaid noting 'lime and orange zest, wet stone minerals with green apples on a zesty palate'.

£12.09 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Riondo, Lunardi, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie, 2015, Veneto , Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Clean-drinking style, fresh and zesty fruit with elegant floral notes,' said consultant Sumita Sarma, while Spring's Peter McDaid also noted 'stony peach fruit, classic and good value for money'.

£5.71 Moreno Wines , Try Wines , The Great Grog Company Limited

Ca' del Colle, Pinot Bianco, Colli Euganei, 2014, Veneto , Italy

Bronze medal winner

Easy to drink and refreshing, with confit lemon. 'Round white fruits with a fresh, fruity finish alongside a bit of residual sugar,' said Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant.

£7.28 Please contact winery for further information

Corte del Sole, Soave, 2014, Veneto , Italy

Commended medal winner

Suavia, Monte Carbonare, Soave Classico, 2013, Veneto , Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.52 Bibendum Wine