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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > ITALY: North-East Whites,Veneto including Soave

Winner Details

Italy: North-East - White, Veneto including Soave

2017 Gold: 6 Silver: 5 Bronze: 4 Commended: 11
2016 Gold: 2 Silver: 5 Bronze: 4 Commended: 2

The Veneto has two of the biggest beasts in the Italian white wine world, home, as it is, to both Soave and lots and lots of Pinot Grigio. After that, you’re into random blends and regional oddities, though in fact our teams found plenty worth celebrating across the board here. And it was refreshing to have almost half our medal-winners under the £10 mark.

It’s clear that (unless you’re happy to run suicidal margins) the days of the ‘£20 on a list Soave’ are as passé as the Sugababes, but the more ambitious versions mostly found favour with our tasters.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Pinot Grigio is always difficult. The perception is cheap and cheerful. Can it be expensive? Yes. Are people willing to pay? I’m not too sure. But it can deliver a lot of pleasure. It can go from pub to fine dining, it depends on the style and richness that you’re looking for.’ Andrea Briccarello, team leader

‘The north-east whites were a great flight. Even at the entry level, there wasn’t a lot wrong with these.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘In some examples, there was both an oiliness and a freshness to these wines, while others were made to appeal to a young, stylish, contemporary audience, with high acidity.’ Carlos Ferreira, The Sign of the Don

‘I was surprised. I was expecting lighter, more floral wines, but actually the north-east whites were textured and complex. You could divide the flight into two, the first well suited to by the glass lists. The other half were too rich to have on their own, but better served with food.’ Chantal Serrano, Tamarind of Mayfair

‘I think we need to create the demand for these [pricier] styles [of Pinot Grigio]. People don’t think about Pinot Grigio in fine dining restaurants. Twenty years ago, the character of Pinot Grigio was completely different in the UK.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

 ‘I really liked the Soaves. There was good acidity throughout, while some had some body, and a honey note. They’re wines that you can play with a lot when it comes to food pairing.’ Mattin Larraburu, Sexy Fish

Award winners

Found 26 wines

Italy: North-East - White, including Soave

St Michael-Eppan, Sanct Valentin, Pinot Grigio 2014, Alto Adige, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Not textbook, but very interesting,’ commented team leader Jade Koch as this remarkable Pinot Grigio took Gold. Corin Ireland of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms found ‘ripe fruit character, creamy texture, notes of spice, sweet vanilla and lemon curd with good depth and length’, while James Fryer of Portland Restaurant enjoyed ‘a nutty hazelnut and ripe apricot nose, with a cereal note, too, leading to more nuts on the palate, and some sweet peaches’. Markus Dilger of MAD F&B Consulting enjoyed ‘vanilla, citrus and white blossom on this complex nose, with honey and brioche on the palate’. A match for lardo and walnuts, thought Koch.

£19.64 Eurowines

Cielo e Terra, Amatore, Bianco Verona 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

A clear Gold candidate, packed with generous fruit and some floral notes, too. ‘Green straw with apples and lime on an aromatic nose,’ began Tamarind of Mayfair’s Chantal Serrano, who found ‘warmth and texture, white flower notes and fresh, fruity character on the palate, with a long finish’. ‘Easy-drinking, light and delicate, with stone fruits and a touch of residual sugar on the mid-palate,’ added Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall. ‘This delivers on price, and would make a good by-the-glass option. A good match for light tapas,’ thought team leader Angela Reddin.

£5.99 LWC Drinks Ltd (Merchant and Shippers)

Riondo, Lunardi, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2016, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner By the glass

‘Classic Pinot Grigio,’ began team leader Lionel Periner of this Gold winner, as well as a By The Glass Trophy recipient. He noted ‘citrus and lime fruit with a greener edge like garden peas, and well-balanced acidity and alcohol on the palate’, while Jacopo Mazzeo of The Pig Hotel (Brockenhurst) found it ‘harmonious with good acidity and minerality, with a decent finish making it good value for money’. Portland Restaurant’s James Fryer liked its ‘intense, ripe apricot note and textural palate, with peach skins and white pepper’, while team leader Jade Koch thought it ‘pretty, with peachy fruit, warmth and minerality’.

£5.40 Moreno Wines, Try Wines, The Great Grog Company Limited

Suavia, Monte Carbonare, Soave Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘A different, original style,’ began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW of this deserving Gold winner, highlighting its ‘mineral, almost spritzy, salty edge and a refreshing, likeable and long palate’, while Mattin Larraburu of Sexy Fish noted ‘vibrant, fresh, floral aromas with minerals and slightly honeyed notes on the finish’. Team leader Angela Reddin appreciated the minerality here, too, noting ‘a seashell, breezy freshness, with a herbal, citrus and melon palate with a hint of marzipan – works on many levels’.

£12.55 Bibendum

Pieropan, La Rocca, Soave Classico 2014, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

Layers of complexity in this wine singled it out for Gold, with Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte finding ‘oak ageing and notes of lees contact richness, leading to a ripe and creamy palate with balanced fruit and hints of Christmas spices’, while Mattin Larraburu of Sexy Fish enjoyed its ‘dense and generous texture on the palate’. Stamatis Iseris of The Strathearn at The Gleneagles Hotel appreciated its ‘beautiful, creamy nose of custard, cream, ripe apples and citrus fruits, followed by zesty acidity and rich texture’, while M Wine Store’s Harry Crowther singled this out as a perfect match for shellfish.

£19.04 Liberty Wines

Sartori, Marani, Bianco Veronese 2015, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

Veneto took Gold again, this time with ‘peach and citrus aromas, then a textured and long palate with notes of camomile and ginger spice, fresh and balanced’, said Chantal Serrano of Tamarind of Mayfair, with The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira noting its ‘slightly floral, complex nose followed by a beautiful, spicy, floral and silky palate with stone fruits and a very decent finish’. Stamatis Iseris of The Strathearn at The Gleneagles Hotel praised ‘candied fruits, almonds and sweet white flowers, leading to refreshing acidity, rich texture, and intensity of flavour’, while team leader Angela Reddin identified it as a match for lemon and thyme chicken.

£8.69 Enotria&Coe

Aldegheri, Bianco di Custoza 2015, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall enjoyed its ‘fresh lemon, lime and gooseberry aromas, and minerally, ripe and fresh palate that’s clean, mouthwatering and great value’, while The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira found ‘stone fruits, really good balance, white grape juice character on the mid-palate with lots of freshness’.

£6.99 Frederic Robinson

Zenato, Sergio Zenato, Lugana Riserva 2014, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

A pleasant combination of ‘elegant florals and subtle orchard fruits on the nose’ for Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall, followed by ‘touches of butter and a slight note of petrol oiliness on the palate, which is minerally and flinty’.

£20.08 Eurowines

Alpha Zeta, P, Pinot Grigio 2016, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Crisp nose, with some notes of green apple flesh on the nose, more citrus-led on the palate,’ said Jacopo Mazzeo of The Pig Hotel (Brockenhurst), with team leader Lionel Periner highlighting ‘citrus and spring flower notes, a well-balanced, dry palate with a lime character on the finish’.

£7.13 Liberty Wines

Pieropan, Calvarino, Soave Classico 2014, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

A feast of fruits for Cristian Sanchez of Hotel du Vin Cambridge, who found ‘citrus fruits with notes of ripe peach and apricot, tropical flavours of pineapple, mango and melon, a slight sparkle on the attack, full-bodied with high acidity and a long finish’.

£14.59 Liberty Wines

Ancilla, Lugana 2015, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Light pear fruit aromas with some notes of celery and minerals,’ began team leader Tom Forrest, noting ‘some oak spice with creamy pear on the palate, elegant fruit style, some spice and a soft finish’. ‘Good to have with fatty fish in the summer,’ added The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira.

£18.34 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Sansonina, Vigna del Moraro Verde, Fermentazione Spontanea, Lugana 2015, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Soft and nutty, almond and blossom aroma notes, pear and apple fruits on the palate with more of that nutty character on the finish, a good length finish with lively touches of fresh lemon zest,’ said team leader Tom Forrest, with Robert Mason of Cheese at Leadenhall tipping it as ‘complex and unusual, great with a strudel as an alternative to a dessert wine, but dry’.

£20.40 Eurowines

Pasqua, San Giorgio, Pinot Grigio 2015, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh melon and apple, very juicy acidity, refreshing on the palate with a touch of spice and grassy character,’ said Corin Ireland of Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms, while team leader Andrea Briccarello found ‘slight richness with plenty of citrus and nicely balanced’.

£5.20 Society of Vintners

Cantina di Monteforte, Terre di Monteforte, Soave Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Red apple and citrus nose with a bit of viscosity in the mouth, long and nutty on the finish, this is good value at the price,’ began Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte, while Cristian Sanchez of Hotel du Vin Cambridge highlighted ‘high intensity, citrus fruits and ripe white peach with stony minerality’.

£5.80 Liberty Wines

Villa Mattielli, Campolungo, Soave Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Cristian Sanchez of Hotel du Vin Cambridge enjoyed its ‘tropical fruits, mango and pineapple with apricot and peach aromas, floral citrus notes on the palate with mineral touches and a very long finish’, while Coq d’Argent’s Andrés Ituarte found it ‘very apple pie, an interesting style, with cloudy apple, cinnamon and clove’.

£10.44 Top Selection Ltd

Cantina di Custoza, Custoza 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.13 Eurowines

Cantina di Custoza, Pinot Grigio Veronese 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.45 Eurowines

Prà, Monte Grande, Soave Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.63 Boutinot

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

Commended medal winner

£6.79 Liberty Wines

Riondo, Castelforte, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Suavia, Soave Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.89 Bibendum

47 Anno Domini, Sauvignon, Marca Trevigiana 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Alpha Zeta, Terrapieno, Single Vineyard, Pinot Grigio 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.52 Liberty Wines

Ca' Rugate, Monte Fiorentine, Soave Classico 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Roccolo Grassi, Soave 2014, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Bertani, Vintage Edition, Soave 2015, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.26 Enotria&Coe

 

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