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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > ITALY: Central - White (including Verdicchio)

Winner Details

Italy: Central - White, including Verdicchio

2019 GOLD: 6      SILVER: 10      BRONZE: 6      COMMENDED: 18
2018 GOLD: 2      SILVER: 7        BRONZE: 0      COMMENDED: 15

From being the most ‘meh’ of categories four or five years ago, with bored tasters and a handful of medals, this section is starting to generate real interest now – and has done over the past few years.

It helps that the wines are (generally) relatively well priced – there’s a good swathe of medals here that could make it on to wine lists around the £35-£40 mark. But most significantly of all, they seem to be stylistically in an area that our judges (and their customers) are looking for.

If 15 years ago it was all about ripe fruit and oak, now zip and freshness are the key – and these wines have that in abundance.
Sure, it’s good to see quality Chardonnays and ambitious oaked wines being rewarded, but the story here seems to be the continuing emergence of Pecorino, which our tasters loved. Watch this space.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘Really interesting in terms of quality, even in the higher prices. Good personality, good freshness, good fruitiness. Good food wines too.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘I didn’t get on board with the oaked styles of Verdicchio – it didn’t work for me.’ Sean Arthur, Cliveden House

‘Charming in style, but northern Italian whites are more exciting.’ Adam Michocki, The Glasshouse

‘Really impressive. The centre of Italy’s not really as popular as the north – it should be.’ Elisa Soggia, Kai Mayfair

‘Most Pecorinos we tried today were fantastic value for money. I think about saffron notes, a little bit of pepper, it should be bright and mineral on the palate.’ Olivier Gasselin, Hakkasan

‘At the lower end, Verdicchio is not more interesting than Pinot Grigio. But you do see some premium cuvées, and the good examples of those really stand out.’ Charlie Young, team leader

‘Pecorino is a delicious grape than needs to be explored more. Good with seafood, great as an aperitif. You can sell a glass for £8 or £9. It’s a grape that gives great value for money and cash margin.’ Emanuel Pesqueira, consultant 

Award winners

Found 40 wines

Italy: Central – White

Santa Barbara, Tardivo ma non Tardo, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Riserva Classico 2016, Marche, Italy

Gold medal winner

With its ‘wow factor’, according to team leader Charlie Young, a Gold medal was certain here. Young went on to speak of ‘elegance, depth and very well-defined fruit, with citrus, apple and almond notes’, while impressed team leader Laura Rhys MS described it as a ‘polished, classy wine, with herbaceous notes, lovely acidity and minerality, too’. House of Sake’s Honami Matsumoto decided that its ‘grapefruit and yellow citrus, with a hint of saltiness and smokiness’ made it perfect for ‘veal with tuna mayonnaise’.

£22.50 Delitalia

Torre dei Beati, Bianchi Grilli, Pecorino 2017, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Pure, crystalline and very incisive’ were the Gold-worthy characteristics that impressed Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan here, who found notes of ‘saffron, leading to a mineral, salty finish, with a lovely texture’. Consultant Anja Breit added praise for this ‘classy wine, with ripe apple and stone fruit, good spice and green herbs’ and a palate that featured ‘yellow apple and lemon pith, and an oiliness on the finish’, which made it ideal for ‘richer fish dishes such as smoked salmon with horseradish cream’.

£17.35 Matthew Clark

Paolo e Noemia d'Amico, Falesia, Chardonnay 2017, Lazio, Italy

Gold medal winner

With its ‘concentration and elegance’, according to Gymkhana Restaurant’s Savvas Symeonidis, this couldn’t be anything but Gold. Symeonidis went on to describe ‘sweet spices and a creaminess, alongside citrus and stone fruit’, while Kai Mayfair’s Elisa Soggia thought it ‘rich and smoky, with almond and brioche, with real complexity on the rounded palate’. ‘A sweet almond, marzipan nose and a generous, warm and balanced palate, with some juicy, intense acidity and a lingering honeyed almond finish,’ concluded team leader Lionel Periner.

£20.30 Eurowines

Monte Schiavo, Ruviano, Verdicchio Classico 2018, Marche, Italy

Gold medal winner

A unanimous Gold for our judges, with House of Sake’s Honami Matsumoto finding it ‘mineral and salty, with citrus and white stone fruit, and some good concentration’, before recommending it be paired with seafood. Consultant Anja Breit described ‘lemon peel and apple, as well as a herbal note’, while team leader Laura Rhys MS concluded: ‘Fresh, elegant and fruit-driven, with some herbal notes – a super glass of wine as an aperitif, and great value too!’

£6.35 Boutinot

Capannelle, Chardonnay 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Lime zest, peach, rubber and petrol’ summed up this Gold Lister’s complex nose, according to team leader Lionel Periner, who went on to describe ‘a dry, well-structured palate with walnuts and ripe yellow fruit’. Fellow team leader Carlos Ferreira declared it ‘a beautiful wine’, which had ‘very complex notes of stone fruit and pear, with excellent acidity’, while James Fryer of Woodhead 17 praised ‘oxidative bruised apple notes and oily caramel and nutty notes, with some bright fruit and coconut on the finish’.

£25.99 Top Selection

Colle Corviano, Pinot Grigio, Colline Pescaresi 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

Earning a spot on the Gold podium with its ‘aromatic style’, this Pinot Grigio had, for team leader Lionel Periner, impressive ‘floral and lemon aromas, leading to white pear on the palate, with well-balanced acidity’. It was ‘super-crisp and bright, with some peach and banana peel, and a pétillance’, according to Woodhead 17’s James Fryer, while Kai Mayfair’s Elisa Soggia noted ‘lemon and lime peel, and green apple, too, with good freshness’.

£7.87 AZIENDA VINICOLA TALAMONTI SRL

Contesa, Caparrone, Pecorino 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘An elegant wine that’s peppery on the nose, with some wet stone notes,’ began Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan, further describing ‘silky texture, with some bitter lemon notes’, while Flat Three Restaurant’s Heesoo Kang thought it ‘a food-friendly wine, with good weight and body’.

£7.45 Boutinot

Fattoria Le Pupille, Poggio Argentato 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

For Adam Michocki of The Glasshouse, this was ‘rounded and concentrated, with good orchard fruit and floral notes’, while Elena Serban of Hakkasan found it ‘refreshing, with some spiciness, and oak present but not overpowering’.

£12.00 Armit

Belisario, Del Cerro, Verdicchio di Matelica 2017, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Beautiful tropical fruits on the nose,’ began Cliveden House’s Sean Arthur, who described this wine as ‘very well balanced, with great drinkability’, while Manor House Hotel’s Anita Vighova described ‘floral notes, and a savouriness that carries through to the palate, joined by orange and lemon’.

£10.50 Liberty Wines

Cantina Villafranca, Roma, Bianco 2017, Lazio, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A fun wine, with richness and complexity shining through,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, who went on to describe ‘honeysuckle, some waxy, bruised apple, and cinnamon bun’, while Adam Michocki of The Glasshouse summarised it as ‘a fruit-forward wine for a summer picnic’.

£8.95 Eurowines

Moncaro, Verde Ca' Ruptae, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2018, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A great example of a classic, foodie Verdicchio,’ decided team leader Charlie Young, on the basis that this wine had ‘marzipan and almond aromas, which lead to quite a rich palate, with some decent complexity, too’.

£8.65 Eurowines

Moncaro, Vigna Novali, Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva Classico 2014, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

This opened with ‘freshly baked pastry, cream, apricots and acacia honey on the nose’, according to Manor House Hotel’s Anita Vighova, who found ‘quite a rich palate, and herbaceous, with a dry finish, making this a great food wine’.

£13.75 Eurowines

Colle Corviano, Pecorino, Colline Pescaresi 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Earthy and mineral, with some good floral notes,’ was consultant Emanuel Pesqueira’s first impression, while Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan went on to identify ‘saffron and white pepper notes, alongside bright stone fruit – fresh, zesty, ripe and bittersweet’.

£11.78 AZIENDA VINICOLA TALAMONTI SRL

Casata Mergè, Sesto 21, Frascati Superiore Riserva 2017, Lazio, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Green asparagus, gooseberry and lime leaf, with flinty flavours, too,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS, while Tatiana Mann of The Vine Eno Gastropub spoke of ‘sun and sea breezes, with floral notes and exotic fruit, leading to grapefruit and orange blossom on the finish’.

£20.92 Casata Mergè

Talamonti, Trabocchetto, Pecorino, Colline Pescaresi 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

Heesoo Kang of Flat Three Restaurant appreciated this wine’s ‘ripe stone fruit character, with peach and a hint of melon’, while Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan described it as ‘bright and vivacious, with zesty, peppery aromas, and some elegance on the palate, leading to a fresh, crisp finish’.

£10.48 VinumTerra

MGM, Villa dei Fiori, Pecorino, Terre di Chieti 2017, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A lovely floral aroma, with some fresh apple, too,’ began Heesoo Kang of Flat Three Restaurant, who went on to describe this as ‘lively, fresh and fruity – an easy-drinking wine that’s good value for money’.

£6.72 Bibendum

Paolo e Noemia d'Amico, Terre di Ala 2017, Umbria, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Citrus and salinity on the nose, followed by a very juicy and appealing palate, with well-integrated acidity and minerality, and an elegant, dry finish,’ said Mattia Mazzi of The River Cafe.

£13.25 Eurowines

Belisario, Vigneti B, Verdicchio di Matelica 2018, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Manor House Hotel’s Anita Vighova found ‘floral notes and white grapes, as well as some lemon juice, with zingy acidity and some almond notes on the finish’.

£12.50 Liberty Wines

Colonnara, Cuprese, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2017, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Candied lemon peel, almost oily in its nature’ was joined by ‘a resinous character on the palate, with hints of pine and bergamot’, thought 67 Pall Mall’s Terry Kandylis.

£8.74 Alivini

Cecchi, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A great value, straightforward, crisp white wine,’ said The River Cafe’s Mattia Mazzi, while team leader Lionel Periner highlighted its ‘refreshing, fruity style, with good acidity’.

£6.14 Vinexus Ltd

Umani Ronchi, Centovie Pecorino 2016, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Grassy, floral and perfumed, with an exotic smoky note, leading to a fruity palate with well-balanced acidity and good weight,’ said Heesoo Kang of Flat Three Restaurant.

£14.56 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Cincinnato, Castore 2017, Lazio, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘A flinty, mineral nose, leading to a juicy palate with more minerality, and all balanced by some crisp acidity – a great wine for food matching,’ thought Mattia Mazzi of The River Cafe.

£9.22 Wine Traders

Cantina Tollo, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo Biologico 2018, Abruzzo , Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.80 Eurowines

Terenzi, Balbino, Vermentino di Maremma 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.81 Top Selection

Tenuta Ammiraglia, Vermentino 'Massovivo', Toscana, Frescobaldi 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Santa Barbara, Back to Basics, Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi 2017, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£20.00 Delitalia

Cantina Tollo, Pecorino, Terre di Chieti, Linea Cru 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.15 Eurowines

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

Commended medal winner

Paolo e Noemia d'Amico, Calanchi di Vaiano, Chardonnay 2017, Lazio, Italy

Commended medal winner

£14.05 Eurowines

Casal Thaulero, Orsetto Oro, Pecorino Terre di Chieti 2017, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.39 Alivini

Cantina Tollo, Pinot Grigio, Rocca Ventosa, Terre Di Chieti 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.50 Eurowines

Monte Schiavo, Villaia, Verdicchio Classico 2017, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.35 Boutinot

Monte Schiavo, Coste del Molino, Verdicchio Classico 2018, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.25 Boutinot

Marotti Campi, Luzano, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2017, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.15 Bibendum

Belisario, Cambrugiano, Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva 2016, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.00 Liberty Wines

Moncaro, Le Vele, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico 2018, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.70 Eurowines

Contesa, Terradura, Pecorino 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.90 Boutinot

Umani Ronchi, Vecchie Vigne, Castello di Jesi Classico Superiore 2016, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

Colle Corviano, Chardonnay, Colline Pescaresi 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

Talamonti, Aternum, Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2017, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.48 VinumTerra

 

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