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Home Winners > Winners 2020 > Central - White (including Verdicchio)

Winner Details

Central - White
(including Verdicchio)

Central Italy isn’t necessarily the sexiest of regions in this competition, but on the plus-side it can – and often does – provide real vinous gems at affordable prices.

The reds were markedly less good this year. There was only one Gold and tasters generally bemoaned both the inconsistency and the not-always-useable pricing.

But the whites were far better. Pecorino and Verdicchio, in particular, attracted a lot of praise for their balance, food-friendliness and value for money. These are wines that are fresh, elegant, gastronomic and still allow for a good mark-up.

From The Tasting Teams

‘The best Pecorinos had the perfect balance between floral notes, fruit and acidity. I think these are really useful for a wine list, and the prices were good too.’ Gianluca Provenzani, Belmond Cadogan Hotel

‘If the reds are well made they’re a joy, but the price tags of some of them were expecting a lot from the UK market at this current time.’ Antóin UáRuairc, UK Midland Sommelier

‘We didn’t have anything [in the Verdicchio flight] that was over-extracted, or with overuse of oak. Everything was balanced, with citrus and mineral notes. A very good flight.’ Laurent Richet MS, team leader

‘Quite a few of the central whites had a pleasant bitterness, with really good, engaging aromatics, making them very food friendly, especially for Mediterranean food. That’s where these wines can really shine.’ Jan Konetzki, team leader

‘The reds were all over the place. We saw lots of extracted wines with huge tannins and a huge amount of fruit, sometimes with complete disregard for grape variety or terroir.’ Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade

‘Verdicchio was a really strong flight. We had different styles, from old-school, super-concentrated, herbaceous and nutty wines that are quite gastronomic, and then the lighter, fresher styles around £7 and £8 that work for bistro-style venues.’ Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards

‘I can see Pecorino working for people wanting an alternative to something like Picpoul, because it has that high acidity and freshness.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘Montepulciano d’Abruzzo is the sort of wine that’s the second on a gastropub list.’ Stephanie Robertson, RA Group

‘Verdicchio is a more grown-up style of wine, that needs food. You’re probably looking at about £40-£50 on a list for these, and you could definitely find good examples for that price point here.’ Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House

‘I was expecting light, mineral, citrus wines, but also found a lot that were complex and creamy and nutty. It’s nice to see this experimentation.’ Elisa Soggia, Trivet

Award winners

Found 39 wines

Italy: Central – White

Moncaro, Vigna Novali, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico 2015, Marche, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Good complexity here, with some green notes to it.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'Old school style of Verdicchio with and intensely rich nose with lemon curd, burnt peaches, wet rocks, and some earthy, funky characteristics. A gastronomic style that can stand up to rich fish dishes with creamy sauces and aromatic seasonal green flavours like wild garlic too.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

£13.85 Eurowines

Orsogna, Aete 2013, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Fantastic for the style, with dried tropical fruits, nuts and caramel on the nose, leading to a complex, sensational palate with honey, nut brittle and savoury preserved lemon, and an enormous finish.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'Lots of tertiary, autumnal, dried fruit notes, yet it's still fresh on the finish, with some attractive lemon peel notes and some spiciness too.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£12.43 Cantina Orsogna

Fazi Battaglia, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2019, Marche, Italy

Gold medal winner

'A crisp and green style with a bit of weight on the palate and some lovely minerality.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'Complex and multidimensional, and convincingly Italian!' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader. 'A creamy edge to the nose, with a full body and an edge of pepper to the aftertaste. A good pairing with oily fish as cicchetti.' Antóin UáRuairc, UK Midland Sommelier.

£10.27 Enotria&Coe

Contesa, Caparrone Pecorino, Colline Pescaresi 2019, Abruzzo, Italy

Gold medal winner

'An excellent, flavoursome wine that's so easy to drink, with notes of peach, iris, dried grasses and lemon curd, leading to lifted stone fruit flavours and some tropical notes, and some lively lime zest acidity that softens into a creamy, long finish.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'An aperitif wine by the pool on a hot summer's day, and great value for money too.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London.

£7.45 Boutinot

Frescobaldi, Castello Pomino, Benefizio Bianco Riserva 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

'A very serious style, with smoke and spice from French oak and some high-toned acid, and notes of crab apple and generous lemon verbena citrus.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy. 'Complex aromas of citrus, as well as ripe yellow fruit, and a buttery note with a hint of vanilla, leading to a dry palate with a lovely richness and great balance of acidity and alcohol.' Lionel Periner, team leader.

£29.36 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Banfi, La Pettegola 2019, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Ideal for a hot summer's day, this is elegant and fresh, with good lemon character.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'This has crunchy citrus and stone fruit, as well as red apple and floral notes, with good concentration and good acidity.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair. 'Juicy, with lifted aromas and good ripeness, as well as keen acidity and good complexity.' Charlie Young, team leader.

£10.98 Louis Latour Agencies

Moncaro, Le Vele, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico 2019, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Good value for money, and a great introduction to Verdicchio. Herbal, lemon and lime notes with hints of yellow grapefruit and a fleshy greengage mid-palate, and lovely minerality too. A lovely wine by the glass.' Laurent Richet MS, team leader. 'Really fresh and crisp, with some pleasant fennel aromas alongside zesty notes and minerality.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

£7.85 Eurowines

Poderi dal Nespoli, Dogheria, Pinot Bianco Rubicone 2018, Emilia Romagna, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Fresh, with ripe lemon and blossoms on the nose, with ripe fruit and some concentration on the palate.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Mineral, with crunchy stone fruit, citrus and a touch of melon and pineapple. A herbaceous and floral wine with crisp acidity and good concentration.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair.

£9.20 Bibendum

Marotti Campi, Luzano, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2018, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Some herbaceous fennel notes with a really good concentration of citrus and a stony mineral nose, with some creaminess on the palate alongside crisp lemon zest and peaches, and a touch of minerality and richness to it too. A gastronomic style that is crying out for some shellfish in a butter-orientated sauce.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards.

£9.23 Bibendum

Fazi Battaglia, Massaccio, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2018, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

'A very nice, lightly oaked style with a lot of elegance, some good mineral notes and with the oak not overpowering the delicate fruit.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Soft, round and ripe, with some yellow apple and salinity all coming together.' Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House.

£13.63 Enotria&Coe

Umani Ronchi, Vecchie Vigne, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2017, Marche, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Complex and multidimensional, with notes of petrol, fruit and hay, and a consistent palate with riper fruit lifted by acidity.' Carolina W Seibel, Comptoir Cafe and Wine. 'Fresh, with a great level of acidity, great complexity and very good balance.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair.

£16.94 Berkmann Wine Cellars

Mullin Estate Wines, Grechetto 2018, Umbria, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Crisp acidity, some ripe stone fruit and citrus, with good concentration and finish.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair. 'Very bright and opulent on the nose, with some citrus and creaminess on the palate, along with freshly cut grass, lemongrass and a toasty character. Good structure and a long finish.' Jurijs Nemkovs, StreetXO.

£22.22 Mullin Estate Wines

Terenzi, Balbino, Vermentino di Maremma 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Spicy, oaky aromas, with richness and sweetness, but with high-quality fruit, and the oak on the palate very reined-in.' Charlie Young, team leader. 'With smoked almonds and white apple blossom on nose, this is restrained and elegant, with very lean citrus acidity, and a fresh, sweet Braeburn apple finish.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy.

£13.19 Top Selection

Vini Valori, Abruzzo Pecorino 2018, Abruzzo, Italy

Silver medal winner

'An elegant wine, taking Pecorino to a high level, with great interpretation and winemaking. This is mineral and precise.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone. 'Green apples and some herbal notes, with lemon peel and some attractive stony minerality, leading to a fresh lemon and stone finish.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£12.49 Bibendum

Paolo e Noemia d'Amico, Falesia, Chardonnay 2018, Lazio, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'An elegant, complex nose with some candied lemon and floral notes. Well-integrated oak on the palate, with a long finish and silky acidity. A very charming wine.' Lionel Periner, team leader. 'A creamy palate with fresh, ripe yellow stone fruits like peach, some sweet vanilla oak notes and an elegant, long creamy finish.' Marco Marcuzzo, Zuma Rome.

£20.40 Eurowines

Fazi Battaglia, San Sisto, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Riserva 2016, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Full-throttle Verdicchio with some great concentration, a really rich creamy and stony palate, and an impressive finish.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'A succulent, supple wine with a stony mid-palate and a long, exotic finish.' Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader.

£17.25 Enotria&Coe

Colle Corviano, Pinot Grigio, Colline Pescaresi 2019, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Pretty rose petal and stone fruit characteristics, with a refreshing palate.' Michael Fiducia, Royal Automobile Club. 'A light and ripe wine with beautiful melon and tropical fruit, and refreshing acidity.' Nuno Pereira, Theo Randall at the InterContinental Hotel. 'Zesty lime, ripe apricot and yellow flowers, with refreshing acidity.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair.

£8.28 Carson Wines

Colle Corviano, Pecorino, Colline Pescaresi 2019, Abruzzo, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Notes of lemon and minerality on the nose, with slight herbal notes, leading to a honeyed palate with low acidity - a perfect pairing with soft-shell crab and a delicate spicy mayonnaise.' Emanuel Pesqueira, Edwardian Hotels London. 'A crowd-pleaser, with fresh yellow flowers, apricots, peaches and mango, and a long finish.' Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant.

£11.75 Carson Wines

Casata Mergè, Sesto 21, Sauvignon 2018, Lazio, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A super-aromatic and textured white wine with good length.' Jan Konetzki, team leader. 'A fresh and flowery nose with some freshly cut grass and a creamy texture on the palate, with notes of toast and yeast. This would work well with seafood.' Jurijs Nemkovs, StreetXO.

£17.00 Casata Mergè

Tenuta dell'Ugolino, Vigneto del Balluccio 2018, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'White peach, pear and ripe apricot alongside white pepper and floral notes.' Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection. 'This has some pronounced aromas, and is juicy and aromatic. A perfect wine to have with grilled octopus.' Elena Serban, Heritage Restaurant.

£11.65 Tenuta dell'Ugolino

Val delle Rose, Litorale, Vermentino 2019, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A delicate nose of white flowers and peach, with a fresh palate with light texture and good acidity, supported by a savoury note.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant. 'Great, elegant citrus, with a floral note and fresh cut grass, with yellow fruit flavour and a long finish. A great wine for a tasting menu.' Lionel Periner, team leader.

£10.28 Vinexus Ltd

Santa Barbara, Back to Basics, Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi 2018, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Intelligent winemaking here, resulting in a great wine with harmony and balance, and notes of lemon pith, greengage, melon, golden apple and vanilla.' Laurent Richet MS, team leader. 'Notes of peach, apricot and tropical fruits, with creaminess, minerality and a touch of oak.' Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection.

£13.00 Delitalia

Monte Solaio, Allegro 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A vibrant, elegant and smoky nose, with some elegant complexity on the mid-palate, and a juicy, sherbet finish.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy. 'Young, fresh and juicy, with bright acidity and a touch of tropical fruits, and notes of rosewater and melon on the finish.' Jurijs Nemkovs, StreetXO.

£9.00 Bedmond Hill Estate

Monte Schiavo, Coste del Molino, Verdicchio Classico 2019, Marche, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Super-bright with zippy acids, lots of mineral notes, lemongrass and some apple peel.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. Soft and easy-drinking, with an attractive aroma and a soft frizzant aspect that's well balanced. One to pair with soft cheese and melba toast.' Antóin UáRuairc, UK Midland Sommelier.

£7.25 Boutinot

Moncaro, Verde Ca' Ruptae, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore 2019, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.80 Eurowines

Paolo e Noemia d'Amico, Noe dei Calanchi, Orvieto 2018, Umbria, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.65 Eurowines

Castello di Albola, Poggio alle Fate, Chardonnay 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.79 Zonin UK Ltd

Talamonti, Trabocchetto, Pecorino, Colline Pescaresi 2019, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.98 VinumTerra

Colle Corviano, Chardonnay, Colline Pescaresi 2019, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.12 Carson Wines

Tenuta dell'Ugolino, Le Piaole 2018, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.95 Bianca Trading

Laila Libenzi, Baccaloro, Verdicchio 2018, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.05 Laila Libenzi

Umani Ronchi, Plenio, Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio, Riserva Classico 2017, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

Montauto, Gessaia 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Fertuna, Droppello 2018, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Castello Montaùto, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.28 Vinexus Ltd

Monte Schiavo, Pallio di San Floriano, Verdicchio Classico Superiore 2018, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.45 Boutinot

Poggio al Tesoro, Solosole, Vermentino 2019, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£14.92 Liberty Wines

Madonnabruna, Maree, Falerio Pecorino 2019, Marche, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.05 Madonnabruna

Cantina Tollo , Pecorino, Terre di Chieti 2019, Abruzzo, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.90 Eurowines

 

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