Home Winners > Winners 2018 > ITALY: Tuscany, including Montalcino & Montepulciano DOCG

Winner Details

Italy: Tuscany, including Montalcino & Montepulciano DOCG

2018 Gold 4       Silver 11              Bronze 8              Commended 8
2017 Gold 7       Silver 11              Bronze 3              Commended 15

Readers on a budget might want to look away now. Not just because the prices here are uniformly high (our last medal of any description under £10 here was in 2016, and even then we only had one!), but because the quality is excellent, too. It’s the sommelier equivalent of walking into an amazing sweet shop with 10p when all of the interesting stuff starts at twice that price.

There were a lot of very good wines here. Glossy, yes, and expensive, yes – they’re the equivalent of Arabian racehorses – but alongside the sleek musculature and gleaming flanks there was also real regional style. So, an indulgent trade-up for sure – but great stuff to be had here provided your customers don’t count the zeros too closely.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘These were good and interesting in lots of different ways. I don’t think any were generic. They all tasted of Italy and Tuscany, but not of a specific grape. They were from all over the place, and were proud of where they were from. Tuscan wines under Tuscan sun.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘The Brunellos are great wines to age and match with rich food, though there’s not as much demand as for other regions like Barolo and Amarone.’ Mattia Scarpazza, Petersham Nurseries

‘The few that tried to be more New World in style were out of place.’ Laurent Richet MS, team leader

‘The Montepulcianos we liked the most turned out be quite pricey. They’re good wines, but in the end I’m not sure whether they would sell.’ Linh Ziolkowska, Yauatcha City

‘There’s a lot of very interesting wine here, with lots of different flavours and characteristics. But there’s seriously good winemaking there, too. I think these could be used in a wide variety of restaurants. They were all Italian, but within that there’s a wide spectrum of flavour.’ Joseph Lunn, Suave Wine

‘For people that ask for something different to Argentinian Malbec for a good piece of meat, you could pick some from this flight.’ Frédéric Billet, Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa

Award winners

Found 31 wines

Italy: Tuscany, including Montalcino

Frescobaldi, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

A ‘beautifully perfumed style, with violets and blackberries, meaty and fleshy on the palate,’ began team leader Andrea Briccarello as this took the Gold, with an equally impressed Carolina Seibel of Portland Restaurant finding it ‘plush yet angular, showing dark berries and good oak structure with lightly floral and orange characters on the finish and fine, grippy tannins’. ‘Spicy and toasty, with tar and violet notes, as well as plums, with ripe, mature tannins and good concentration,’ concluded Diana Rollan of More than Wines Academy.

£38.91 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

San Felice, Campogiovanni, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

The first of a pair of Golds for Montalcino and Portland Restaurant’s Carolina Seibel was impressed with its ‘complexity, developing red and dark fruit and dried red berry aromas, leathery plushness on the palate with good structure, solid tannins and notes of orange with oak integration and a plummy finish’. ‘Textbook nose, with cigar box notes, great freshness and vibrancy,’ added team leader Andrea Briccarello, while Mathew Simmonds of Paul Kitching 21212 Restaurant, Edinburgh thought it perfect for lamb or boar dishes.

£25.72 Boutinot

Argentiera, Bolgheri Superiore 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte was most impressed with this wine’s Gold-worthy SuperTuscan styling, finding a ‘silky mouthfeel with grip, and tonnes of fruit that makes this very appealing now, though it’s built to last, showing lots of leather and pepper, plenty of tomato and well-integrated oak’. Team leader Laurent Richet MS noted ‘hints of smoke on a ripe, juicy palate, with great texture, balance, length and power’, while fellow team leader Sam Caporn MW appreciated its ‘green and leafy notes, with deep cedar and capsicum, and a silky palate’.

£51.50 Eurowines

Capannelle, Solare 2007, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Drink this with urgency!’ advised Street XO’s Raphael Thierry on encountering this worthy Gold winner, loving its ‘balsamic and smoky nose, followed by a palate showing good development with dried fig, chocolate and tomato, leather and dark spices’, while Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte noted a ‘soft palate and more traditional style, with cooked red fruit and blackberry crumble characters, some hints of sweaty leather and worn oak’.

£29.85 Top Selection Ltd

La Togata, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Mattia Scarpazza of Petersham Nurseries found plenty to like in this wine’s ‘peppery, bright red cherry and cedar spice aromas, black plums and damsons on the palate’, and thought it was ‘rounded and long on the finish’, while team leader Andrea Briccarello picked up ‘good wild berry, gamey, very intense aromas, and a great, complex, juicy mid-palate with a spicy finish’.

£25.00 TryWines Expertise Limited - edoardo amadi

Castello Vicchiomaggio, Ripa delle More 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A good restaurant wine,’ declared Frédéric Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa, enjoying its ‘pleasant nose of blackberries, chocolate and spices, good balance of tannin and acidity with notes of black pepper and leather’.

£21.86 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Terenzi, Madrechiesa, Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn liked its ‘inky, brooding and dark’ appearance, finding a palate of ‘lively fruit and prominent acidity that could mature’, and Vinoteca’s Charlie Young praised its ‘great mix of fruit and spice on the nose, dark fruit with loads of tannins but lovely balance’, declaring it ‘young but very good’.

£25.28 Top Selection Ltd

Castellare, I Sodi di San Niccolò 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Team leader Jade Koch highlighted ‘aromas of tea, raisins and tobacco, an interesting baked character on the palate with lots of straw and thick fruit, hot and lean, drying yet long’, while Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn found it ‘subtle yet complex, with smooth and well-integrated tannin and good acid balance’.

£39.69 Bibendum

Rocca di Frassinello, Maremma Toscana 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A food wine for stewed meals,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, finding ‘baked tomato and cedar aromas, very Sangiovese, lovely structure with moderate acidity’, while for Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte it was ‘very elegant, fresh and medium-bodied with great balance, peppercorns, cinnamon and clove notes with a long red-fruit finish’.

£27.00 Bibendum

Podere Albiano, Citto, Rosso di Toscana, Val d'Orcia 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

This ‘evolved wine with an orange rim’ was a hit with team leader Laurent Richet MS, with its ‘aromas of prune in eau-de-vie, incredible spice, cedar, leather and dried mushroom notes, turned earth, cigar box and cassis, then a lightly fragrant palate with fairly powerful tannic structure’. ‘Lovely,’ agreed Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, also noting ‘rustic, crunchy red fruits, Christmas spices, tomato leaf and worn oak, leather and earth’.

£12.50 Gentle Wine Merchant, 3Venice Wine Merchants, Natural Bay Limited

Capezzana, Villa di Capezzana, Carmignano 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Interesting roasted tomato and thyme on the nose, and on the palate there’s leather and a tannic structure just asking for food,’ said Street XO’s Raphael Thierry, with team leader Laurent Richet MS liking its ‘sour cherries, cedar, leather and earth notes’, adding: ‘A little austere on the palate but lovely dark fruit and youthful tannin structure.’

£18.04 Liberty Wines

Capezzana, Ghiaie della Furba 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Street XO’s Raphael Thierry was very taken with this wine’s ‘lovely dried herbs, redcurrant and roasted tomato on the nose, good concentration and juiciness on the palate showing sandalwood complexity on the finish’, while for team leader Laurent Richet MS it was ‘more on the prune and dates side, a complex wine, well-mannered, with cassis fruit and good acidity to last well’.

£22.55 Liberty Wines

Petrolo, Bòggina C, Val d'Arno di Sopra 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Vinoteca’s Charlie Young was struck by this wine’s ‘mint and mineral freshness on the nose, lovely freshness and purity, beautifully defined red fruit with elegance and fine tannins on the palate’, while Suave Wine’s Joseph Lunn enjoyed a ‘perfumed nose with redcurrants and bramble bushes, soft and silky on the palate with a long finish’.

£33.88 Liberty Wines

Carpineto, Poggio Sant’Enrico, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2009, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

For Geoffray Bénat of Cépage[s] Wine Bistro there was plenty of ‘dark fruit, blackcurrant and blackberry with cigar box spicy aromas, full body with sweet blackberry and nice freshness’, while team leader Martin Lam highlighted a ‘rich, ripe, savoury nose, lifted, then a rich palate, quite high-toned with deep black cherry fruit and a long finish’.

£33.48 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Campaperi, Rosso di Montalcino 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Carolina Seibel of Portland Restaurant found ‘overripe strawberries with herbaceous and slightly medicinal notes on the nose, great structure on the palate with dark chocolate and great integration, leafy with freshening acidity’. ‘Cherry stone, fleshy fruit with lots of juicy character, soft and easy to drink,’ added team leader Andrea Briccarello.

£12.15 Top Selection Ltd

Uggiano, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

A ‘classic style and good value’ for senior judge Nigel Lister, who liked its ‘farmyardy, sour cherry and bright aromatics, typical Sangiovese red fruit on the palate’, describing it as ‘rich yet elegant’, while team leader Andrea Briccarello found it ‘moreish, with meaty and savoury aromas, great cherry and plum notes’.

£19.38 Boutinot

Rocca di Frassinello, Le Sughere di Frassinello, Maremma Toscana 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Joseph Lunn of Suave Wine noted ‘ripe fruits on a youthful and bright nose with menthol hints, ripe plums and prunes on the palate’, and for Vinoteca’s Charlie Young it had ‘understated, savoury aromas, scented herbal character with a great balance of tannins and acidity’.

£17.51 Bibendum

Capezzana, Ugo Contini Bonacossi 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Intense nose and palate of plums, tobacco leaf and chocolate with pleasantly intense tannins; a food wine, finishing with cassis and notes of leather,’ said Janusz Pawel Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles, with team leader Laurent Richet MS noting its ‘impressive aromas of concentrated fruit in full ripeness, delicate structure and a saline note’.

£35.89 Liberty Wines

Camigliano, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Nigel Lister found ‘lovely typicity, elegant with charry liquorice and red fruit’, while team leader Andrea Briccarello enjoyed its ‘intense, complex leather notes, great cherry and plum with bitter chocolate on the finish’.

£26.70 Eurowines

Argentiera, Villa Donoratico, Bolgheri 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Lovely, intense and spicy on the nose, with cherry, plums and earthy character, a well done, honest wine,’ said Janusz Pawel Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles, with Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte noting ‘green bell pepper and heavy wood aromas, tasting of French varieties, with dense, dark fruit concentration and a long finish’.

£19.95 Eurowines

Petra, Hebo, Suvereto 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Sweet, floral nose, lots of ripeness on the palate, power and spice with some elegance on the finish,’ began Vinoteca’s Charlie Young, while team leader Jade Koch found it ‘brooding, inky and robust, with jammy fruit, dusty and a little earthy, but interesting’.

£12.75 Liberty Wines

Col d'Orcia, Organic, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Very juicy, cherry and plum fruit with a smoky and wild character and soft tannins, spices and chocolate,’ said team leader Andrea Briccarello, with Portland Restaurant’s Carolina Seibel highlighting ‘red fruit and orange zest notes, mushroomy and grippy character with a hint of tannin tartness’.

£23.30 Alivini

Ruffino, Greppone Mazzi, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Rich fruit, sour cherry aromas with some nutty hints,’ began Mattia Scarpazza of Petersham Nurseries, continuing: ‘Full body and rich, baked damson fruit, elegant and bright with notes of fresh black fruits, and very easy to drink.’

£37.54 Matthew Clark

La Togata dei Togati, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Petra, Quercegobbe, Merlot 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£24.50 Liberty Wines

Poggio al Tesoro, Il Seggio, Bolgheri 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£18.30 Liberty Wines

San Polo, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£34.45 Liberty Wines

Valdipiatta, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£17.20 Liberty Wines

Villa S Anna, Rosso di Montepulciano 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.88 Bibendum

Campaperi, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Ruffino, Lodola Nouva Estate, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.09 Matthew Clark

 

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