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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > ITALY: Central Whites, including Verdicchio

Winner Details

Italy: Central - White, including Verdicchio

2017 Gold: 2 Silver: 8 Bronze: 9 Commended: 9
2016 Gold: 4 Silver: 11 Bronze: 3 Commended: 4

If you like oak, we have oak. If you like freshness, we have freshness. Flowers? Got ’em! Tropical flavours? Those too… This part of the Sommelier Wine Awards is a real smorgasbord of styles, with something for everyone and pricing to match.

A good performance from the (increasingly expensive) Verdicchios underpinned this section of the competition, but the Pecorinos were popular and perhaps deserved at least one Gold, while the mixture of entries (and medals) from the Abruzzo, Umbria, etc, provided some much needed value for money.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I was really impressed with the Pecorinos. At the cheaper end especially they really delivered. I want to buy some immediately and experiment with food matching!’ Sue Jones, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn

‘The best Pecorinos had a real perfume, texture and minerality.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘The poor consumer! There were so many styles in our Verdicchio flight, from fresh and tanky to Fiano-like richness. If you had them blind you would think they were all different varieties.’ Sam Caporn MW, team leader

‘I prefer the volcanic, coastal style of Verdicchio with that salinity and acidity. If you are going to frame a picture [with oak] make sure you can still see the picture.’ Kelvin McCabe, Yauatcha

‘Generally I prefer the lighter, fruitier styles. I’m not such a fan of the oakier styles, though they can match more complex food like sauced fish or white meat.’ Mattin Larraburu, Sexy Fish

‘There needs to be more than just citrus and acidity to Verdicchio – stone fruit, texture and minerality. Oak is trendy at the moment, but Verdicchio is not Chardonnay.’ Daniele Di Blasio, Pollen Street Social

Award winners

Found 28 wines

Italy: Central – White

Santa Barbara, Stefano Antonucci, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2014, Marche, Italy

Gold medal winner

A textured, complex and slightly savoury palate earned this offering from Santa Barbara the Gold. Sara Bachiorri of Chez Bruce described it as ‘mineral with chalky notes on the nose, opening up into a more floral character as it sits in the glass. Poached pears, custard tart, candied lemon. Good balance, dry with medium acidity and good minerality on a long finish.’ ETM Group’s Guillaume Mahaut appreciated the ‘complex palate, with fennel, lemon, lemon grass and some lees notes’, while team leader Olivier Marie paired this with a salt-baked seabass and a Waldorf salad.

£14.54 Delitalia

Luretta, Boccadirosa, Organic, Malvasia, Colli Piacentini 2015, Emilia Romagna, Italy

Gold medal winner

Unusual, interesting and entirely deserving of Gold, according to our judges. Consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates found ‘pronounced ginger and cardamom spice, candied lemon and residual sugar on the palate, but good mouthfeel overall’, while Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park, Ascot, enjoyed ‘a complex nose with beautiful aromatics, including acacia honey, leading to a silky-smooth and refreshing mouthfeel’. Frédéric Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa noted ‘Turkish Delight and lychee – a good food match for fusion food’.

£15.39 Alivini

Moncaro, Vigna Novali, Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio, Riserva Classico 2013, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A richer, more phenolic, yellow plum style, distinctively Italian,’ began team leader Sam Caporn MW, while Avenue’s Agustin Trapero found intriguingly ‘expressive, green asparagus and kiwi notes with touches of cinnamon and a green tea aftertaste’.

£12.70 Eurowines

Cantina Tollo, Pecorino, Terre di Chieti 2016, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A fruity and elegant style, with fine structure and white flower notes,’ began Andrea Cotichella of Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa, with The Harrow at Little Bedwyn’s Sue Jones thinking its ‘pear drops, cleanness and beautiful balance’ added up to an ‘excellent value wine’.

£6.12 Eurowines

Cantina Tollo, Colle Secco, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2016, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

A ‘delicately aromatic’ style, according to Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot, who enjoyed its ‘light pear drop aromas and more tropical, warm fruit on the palate’.

£8.18 Eurowines

Belisario, Vigneti B, Verdicchio di Matelica 2015, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

Mattin Larraburu of Sexy Fish found a ‘fresh, balanced attack and slightly savoury palate, with underripe apricot, notes of lemon and fresh herbs’. ‘Delicate and intriguing nose. Lively but not sharp on the palate,’ added Pollen Street Social’s Daniele Di Blasio.

£12.00 Liberty Wines

Orsogna, Aete, Pecorino, Terre di Chieti 2013, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn admired its ‘lovely balance of dryness and richness’, and team leader Laura Rhys MS highlighted some notes of ‘candied citrus, with creamy oak overtones, ripe fruit character and full weight’.

£12.07 Cantina Orsogna

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

Silver medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS found ‘some richness and viscosity balanced by ripe citrus fruits’, while Andrea Cotichella of Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa highlighted its ‘floral, fruity elegance and good length, with a touch of sweetness on the finish’.

£7.60 Vinicola Tombacco srl

Luretta, Selín dl'Armari, Organic, Chardonnay, Colli Piacentini 2014, Emilia Romagna, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A lovely golden colour leads into tropical, peachy, Mirabelle and mango fruits on the nose,’ began a very keen Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot, continuing: ‘There’s an element of creamy oak and generous levels of alcohol on the palate, but it’s well integrated and the wine really opens up well.’

£22.09 Alivini

Umani Ronchi, Casal di Serra, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2015, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

Finding complex notes of ‘peachy stone fruit, pear and lemon tart’ on the nose, Yauatcha’s Kelvin McCabe noted ‘more peach with vanilla and honey notes, nice salinity and mineral on a long finish’.

£10.45 Enotria&Coe

Paolo e Noemia d'Amico, Noe dei Calanchi, Orvieto 2015, Umbria, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Good minerality with light citrus and floral hints on the nose, then very elegant on the palate with good acidity and finish,’ said Frédéric Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa.

£8.23 Eurowines

Paolo e Noemia d'Amico, Falesia 2014, Lazio, Italy

Bronze medal winner

A rich, full-bodied wine that caught the imagination of all our panel members, with team leader Angela Reddin commenting: ‘Summer meadow flowers, honey and lime notes with furry peaches and butter. Great balance of complex flavours, acid, mineral and length, and showing a light touch of tannin on the finish.’

£19.49 Eurowines

Cantina Tollo, Biologico, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2016, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Andrés Ituarte of Coq d’Argent was delighted with this ‘simple but delicious, bright white with a spritz’, highlighting its ‘lemon zest and bright acids with a touch of salinity’, while team leader Angela Reddin noted ‘greengage, stewed apple and a touch of Dolly Mixture on a rounded, chalky palate’.

£7.49 Eurowines

Belisario, Cambrugiano, Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva 2014, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A fruit bomb!’ began team leader Sam Caporn MW, continuing: ‘A very ripe, white and yellow stone fruit style, not subtle perhaps, but tasty.’ Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson found it ‘rich and textured, broad with baked honey and lemon pith, great with food’.

£15.00 Liberty Wines

Monte Schiavo, Le Giuncare, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Riserva 2013, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Mattia Mazzi of Lutyens highlighted a ‘suave and floral nose, with a sleek and elegant palate, and intense fruit notes of bruised apple’, while Avenue’s Agustin Trapero liked its ‘gentle nose with yellow apple and hay, white fruit flavours and bitter aftertaste’.

£12.00 Boutinot

Monte Schiavo, Coste del Molino, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico 2016, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Mineral and dried pear aromas, followed by fresh fruit and nice saline notes on a smooth palate,’ said team leader Tom Forrest, who found ‘pear drop flavours, then fresh lemon citrus on the finish’. Daniele Di Blasio of Pollen Street Social enjoyed a ‘nice balsamic touch on the nose’.

£6.35 Boutinot

Monte Schiavo, Pallio di San Floriano, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2015, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Nice stuff,’ began Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson, who enjoyed its ‘restrained nose of dried herbs and peach notes’, followed by a ‘dense, warm palate with hints of nuts on the finish’. Avenue’s Agustin Trapero noted its ‘dry white flowers with camomile touches and bitter almond finish’.

£7.52 Boutinot

Mantellassi, Lucumone, Maremma Toscana 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

A characterful combination, said team leader Olivier Marie, of ‘grassy herbal notes, sugar snap peas with a lift of horseradish and rocket leaf spice, followed by fresh greens and more herbs through to the finish’.

£9.70 Fattoria Mantellassi

Umani Ronchi, Golden Fleece, Pecorino 2015, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

An ‘intense and interesting’ wine for team leader Laura Rhys MS, who noted ‘citrus and mineral aromas, with good mid-weight complexity on the palate’, while Sosharu’s Masahito Suzuki enjoyed its ‘fine entry, mineral and almond elements’.

£9.29 Enotria&Coe

Montauto, Enos 1, Maremma 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Badia di Morrona, Felciaio, Vermentino di Toscana 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.85 Eurowines

Moncaro, Verde Ca' Ruptae, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2015, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.05 Eurowines

Belisario, Terre di Valbona, Verdicchio di Matelica 2016, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.14 Liberty Wines

Monte Schiavo, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico 2016, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.00 Boutinot

Orsogna, Calai, Pecorino, Terre di Chieti 2014, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

Castellani, Tomaiolo, Orvieto Classico 2015, Umbria, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.12 Bibendum

Castellani, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico 2013, Marche , Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.33 Bibendum

Cecchi, Val delle Rose, Litorale, Vermentino, Maremma Toscana 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.58 Enotria&Coe

 

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