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Home Winners > Winners 2020 > North-East - White (Veneto, including Soave)

Winner Details

North-East - White
(Veneto, including Soave)

Slowly but surely, the Veneto is developing a good reputation for its whites in SWA, particularly with its elegant, super-food-friendly Soaves, where we saw some really attractive wines this year.

But there was affection, too, for the other white styles – Veronese blends, Luganas and so on. Our tasters knew what they were looking for from the latter: wines with texture and a bit of fleshy richness; the kind of bottles that would work well with big fish dishes. Those that had it did well. Wineries who were trying to bolt on missing complexity with oak were usually found out and sent packing.

The Pinot Grigios from here were generally less popular than those from further north, but once the less-good wines had been weeded out we were left with some really decent examples for the price. And well done to Alpha Zeta – its Terrapieno made the Gold List for the second consecutive year.

From The Tasting Teams

‘At their best Soave can have really elegant fruit and nice weight, but also this ginger, mineral complexity coming through. They’re really nice wines for food matching, offering a fair amount of wine for the price.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘The Pinot Grigios were awful. I can’t even say they were cheap and cheerful. Picpoul is a far more interesting wine at a similar price.’ Victoria Sharples, St John Restaurant Group

‘There were some really surprising gastronomic wines here. I was anticipating something more neutral and generic, but there were roasted fruits, nutty wines and some real standouts. These would be good with food.’ Joshua Castle, Noble Rot

‘The sweet spot for Soave was around £15. It’s a bit pricey for a restaurant, but at least they deliver: good food wines with lovely minerality.’ Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group

‘The market has never been as strong for whites from this region as it is for reds, but they are developing more quality and complexity – more creamy and gastronomic compared to what they used to be.’ Marco Marcuzzo, Zuma Rome

‘Pinot Grigio is always fashionable and can fit any wine list, from classic pubs to gastropubs – the ones here would work for all of them.’ Chiara Sieni, MM Grocery

‘I really enjoyed the Soaves. They were high-quality, food-friendly wines at decent price points.’ Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks

‘The texture is what caught my eye in these wines. They were quite fresh, with depth and weight and had lingering personality and a good flavour profile.’ Filippo Pastorini, consultant

Award winners

Found 22 wines

Italy: North-East - White, including Soave

Alpha Zeta, Terrapieno, Pinot Grigio 2019, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'A fresh and light wine with nice minerality, some green fruit and stone fruit notes, and a hint of vanilla.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'A candied fruit nose, with pear and pineapple on the palate, as well as some white pepper, lime and passion fruit on the finish.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks. 'Light pear and apple flavours with a lemon note, along with some stony mineral elements and a crisp finish.' Tom Forrest, team leader.

£8.75 Liberty Wines

Cantina di Custoza, Val dei Molini, Custoza 2019, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Lemon, lime and crunchy apple joined by a floral element of white blossoms and acacia, and a touch of minerality on the palate.' Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain. 'White flowers, unripe apricot and nectarine, and a hint of ginger on the nose, leading to a fresh, agile palate - a great by-the-glass option that would match with a herb salt-crusted sea bass.' Filippo Pastorini, consultant.

£7.75 Eurowines

Pieropan, La Rocca, Soave Classico 2017, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner By the glass

'This opens with a beautiful smoky nose, leading to herbal and citrus tones on the palate, all balanced by a creamy finish.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks. 'An excellent, rich and oaky Soave that has good persistence.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'A weighty and intense wine that's stacked with ripe orchard fruit notes, and well framed with a little oak use.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot.

£20.95 Liberty Wines

Bertani , Soave, Vintage Edition 2017, Veneto, Italy

Gold medal winner

'A really lovely wine that's textural and grippy, with nice almond notes, and some freshness and persistence.' Harry Crowther, Grape Times UK. 'Green and yellow apple on the nose, alongside ripe citrus notes, followed by a juicy and fruit-driven palate with good length. A lovely wine for food pairing, especially for richer fish dishes and creamy sauces.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£15.26 Enotria&Coe

Cantina di Custoza, Superiore Custodia 2017, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Very food-friendly, with a creamy, rounded texture and notes of lime, lemon, melon and pomelo with some cream, butter and vanilla.' Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain. 'Floral elderflower and honeysuckle aromas and a creamy, mouth-coating palate with herbal rosemary notes. Very gastronomic.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader.

£11.50 Eurowines

Zenato, Sergio Zenato, Lugana Riserva 2017, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'A charming nose with good fruit and some lees notes, and a complex, very elegant palate with fine oak.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'A developed, honeyed and nutty nose, with a weighty, spicy palate. A gastronomic wine that speaks to richer, cream-based sauces and curries.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot.

£21.80 Eurowines

Cielo e Terra, Bericanto, Pinot Grigio, Vicenza 2018, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'With green fruit notes, some stone fruit and a hint of vanilla, this is fresh and light, with nice minerality.' Elisa Soggia, Trivet. 'Benchmark Pinot Grigio, with green fruit, decent concentration and minerality, some weight on the palate and a lingering finish. Great Value.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone.

£6.95 LWC Drinks

Prà, Otto, Soave 2018, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Candied citrus rind, juicy stone fruit and green apple notes, with a creamy texture and juicy acidity. A lovely example for the price.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'This has green-tinged fruit with a nice fleshy mouthfeel and a pithy finish.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot.

£9.60 Boutinot

Pieropan, Calvarino, Soave Classico 2017, Veneto, Italy

Silver medal winner

'A fleshy, silken, leaner style of Soave, with more minerality.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'Quite a serious wine with really well-worked lees bringing a nice creamy mouthfeel.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot. 'Nice complexity and weight, with citrus rind, bold fruit and some ginger, as well as white-pepper spice on the finish.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£15.80 Liberty Wines

Ca' dei Frati, Brolettino 2018, Lombardy, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Green notes of lime, peach and toastiness on the nose lead to great complexity on the palate, with a long finish.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'Fresh and easy-drinking, flinty and mineral. This is a real crowd-pleaser that's perfect for aperitifs.' Bianca Potenza, 212 Amsterdam.

£9.00 Liberty Wines

Ottella, Le Creete, Lugana 2018, Lombardy, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Citrus and herbaceous, with some lemon peel notes and great, refreshing acidity, this is grassy on the palate, with great intensity and a long finish.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'A strong orchard fruit character, with crunchy apples, pears and mirabelles, with some minerality on the palate, and good concentration.' Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain.

£18.88 Enotria&Coe

Suavia, Massifitti, Bianco Veronese 2016, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Fresh cut grass and a salinity that reminds me of summertime.' Bianca Potenza, 212 Amsterdam. 'Honeyed, textured and smoky with a leesy, rich and really well-rounded palate with great balance - and good potential to age.' Harry Crowther, Grape Times UK. 'Ripe, rich fruits and a full, rich body. A wine for food.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£15.48 Bibendum

Roccolo Grassi, La Briola, Soave 2016, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Complex and aromatic, with orange peel and gentle blossom notes, as well as some lovely minerality to pair with white meat dishes.' Arturo Scamardella, The Ritz London. 'Juicy citrus fruit combined with a smoky minerality, as well as some savoury, herbaceous notes.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader.

£15.19 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Ancilla Lugana, 1909 2017, Lombardy, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A very forthcoming wine, with ample savoury notes and toasty fruit, and a slightly nutty, oxidative edge that brings lots of complexity.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot. 'Notes of yellow apple and pear, and a light almond hint, and a delicate brioche note, leading to a creamy finish, with balanced alcohol and fruit intensity.' Marco Marcuzzo, Zuma Rome.

£17.87 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Villa Mattielli, Soave Classico 2018, Veneto, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Opening with citrus rind and lemon pith, there's some attractive herbal and mineral notes on the finish here - a lovely aperitif style.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'A pleasant nose of ripe apricot and a touch of flowers, with a fruity, soft palate with preserved lemon notes.' Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group.

£9.86 Top Selection

Cielo e Terra, 3 Passo, Bianco 2018, Vino d'Italia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.95 LWC Drinks

Gabbiano, Cavaliere d'Oro, Pinot Grigio 2018, Venezie, Italy

Commended medal winner

£6.04 Molson Coors

Prà, Monte Grande, Soave Classico 2018, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£17.00 Boutinot

Suavia, Monte Carbonare, Soave Classico 2017, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.12 Bibendum

Corte Giara, Pinot Grigio delle Venezie 2019, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£7.80 Liberty Wines

Bartolomeo Breganze, Le Colline di San Giorgio, Pinot Grigio 2019, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

Paolo Zucchetto, Casa del Vescovo, Chardonnay 2016, Veneto, Italy

Commended medal winner

£24.50 Wine Traders


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