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Winner Details

 

South - Red

Last year we saw an absolute avalanche of medals from the south, with the reds, in particular, completely blowing our tasters away. This year was back to normal, with a medal haul that was decent rather than amazing.

In a nutshell, we had a smaller selection of whites that were generally quite well priced and quite well received. Reds went from cheap to expensive and, with plenty of fruit and alcohol on offer, were much more polarising. Bottles that retained a modicum of balance and overdelivered for the price fared best.

Special mention to the San Marzano co-op. Two Golds and two Silvers is a fine effort.

From The Tasting Teams

‘The whites were a very varied flight. Most were very mineral, and some had too much of an industrial style, even a gasoline character. You would expect better. But the good ones were well structured and showed the minerality we expected.’ Cinthia Lozano, The Winery Honduras

‘At the lower prices there’s real drinkability but you quickly get to big, ripe wines that I struggled with. I’m not getting asked for these boozier, riper wines.’ Joshua Castle, Noble Rot

‘For the reds I’d look more towards the entry level – I don’t see people spending that money for the higher end.’ Lukas Nikanorovas, 20 Stories

‘The reds were challenging, with a wide range of styles and grapes and winemaking techniques. We really had different opinions about the different styles – they’re like Marmite.’ Matteo Furlan, The Ritz London

‘I was impressed by the clarity I found in the whites. Producers are working with ancient varieties that in the past have been masked by poor winemaking, but the wines are now beautifully crystalline and have great, refreshing acidity, never cloying.’ Martin Lam, team leader 

‘The best value for the reds was in the £11-15 mid-range, with a lot of good options, and lots of flavour for their price point.’ Sam Weatherill, Etch by Steven Edwards

‘The whites were very good overall, with some great, complex wines for reasonable prices. A delight.’ Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns

Award winners

Found 20 wines

Italy: South – Red

San Marzano, Anniversario 62, Primitivo di Manduria Riserva 2016, Puglia, Italy

Gold medal winner

'Full and expressive on the nose, with subtle baking spices and ripe figs leading to a complex, dry palate with generous and evolving fruit on the long finish.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot. 'Ripe fruit and velvety tanins, as well as some high acidity, with savoury, leathery notes and very well-integrated alcohol, all accompanied by some delicious sweet spices.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair.

£20.92 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Masseria Borgo dei Trulli, Negroamaro Salento 2018, Puglia, Italy

Gold medal winner

'A tense and composed wine, with aromas of red and blue fruit leading to a vibrant palate with quality fleshy fruit and meaty tannins.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone. 'This has a pungent and intense nose of concentrated maraschino cherries and wild berries, followed by a palate that's very juicy, spicy and peppery, and with a good finish.' Matteo Furlan, The Ritz London.

£8.11 Bibendum

Salvatore Molettieri, Vigna Cinque Querce, Taurasi Riserva 2011, Campania, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Strong, concentrated and rich dark fruits, fruitcake and spice, with vanilla, cassis and cedar notes - this is a massive mouthful, with layered spice, balsamic, olive and graphite notes.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'This has lots of sophistication and charm - full-bodied with cherry and plum, blackberry and toast.' Jurijs Nemkovs, StreetXO.

£35.95 Eurowines

Masseria Borgo dei Trulli, Salice Salentino 2018, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Dense dark fruits with lots of vanilla and coconut, and a bit of cotton candy, with good acidity - there's freshness alongside plush red-cherry fruit.' Andres Ituarte, team leader. 'Black fruit aromas and a hint of chalkiness, with notes of fresh blackcurrant and some good concentration. This is clean, pure and well put-together.' Charlie Young, team leader.

£8.11 Bibendum

Masseria Li Veli, Askos, Susumanielo Salento 2017, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Meaty and woody, with some truffle and savoury notes alongside dried red fruits. This is concentrated and very ripe, with balsamic notes and some touches of coffee.' Matteo Furlan, The Ritz London. 'Really quite classy and smooth, with plum and rosehip, and subtle nuances of spices and sweet leather.' Michael Fiducia, Royal Automobile Club.

£14.33 Bibendum

San Marzano, Talò, Malvasia Nera, Salento 2019, Puglia, Italy

Silver medal winner

'Juicy, rich and ripe notes of black and red fruits, with black cherry and wild berries, leading to a mouth-coating palate with complexity and power, and a long finish.' Matteo Furlan, The Ritz London. 'This has a leafy character, with ripe red and blue fruit and some sweet oak. There's vibrant fruit, with a backbone of refreshing acidity and some meaty tannins.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone.

£10.14 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Leone de Castris, Villa Santera, Primitivo di Manduria 2018, Puglia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A richly scented nose with a balsamic-like sweetness to its dark and broody fruit content. The palate is very rich, with more balsamic and cocoa spice alongside stewed dark fruits - this has good structure, with velvety, rich tannins.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'A generous medley of crunchy red and black fruits, with appealing herby notes and a creaminess that ties it all together.' Michael Fiducia, Royal Automobile Club.

£12.20 Eurowines

Salvatore Molettieri, Vigna Cinque Querce, Taurasi 2012, Campania, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'A developing and complex wine that's about to hit some tertiary notes, but still displays varietal dark, meaty fruits and a touch of game, along with some oxidative notes. The palate's sleek and seriously elegant, with the fruit still there, firm and encased in ripe mature tannins and refreshing acidity.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone.

£29.15 Eurowines

Le Vigne di Sammarco, Bisso, Salice Salentino Riserva 2013, Puglia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Earthy and savoury, with ripe black fruit, leather and smoke, with additional dried figs and chocolate. This has high, smooth tannins, excellent concentration of fruit and a long finish.' Savvas Symeonidis, Goodman Restaurant Mayfair. 'Notes of dried fruit, dark chocolate and dry spice.' Dave Cushley, Prestonfield House.

£12.49 Alivini

Cielo e Terra, Gran Maestro, Appassimento Rosso 2017, Puglia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'With some juicy and jammy fruit and a hint of spice, this is very drinkable for its price point, with a good balance of flavours.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'Well-balanced, luscious dark fruit and fresh acidity, with soft tannins - this is a good entry-level red to have by the glass.' Lukas Nikanorovas, 20 Stories.

£7.50 LWC Drinks

Francesco Candido, Salice, Salentino Riserva 2016, Puglia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Oak, sandalwood and spice, along with some pretty red fruits on the nose, with the fruit carrying the oak. Overall a very drinkable wine with a long finish.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'Red and black fruit on the nose and palate, with a light touch of sweet baking spice.' Jurijs Nemkovs, StreetXO.

£9.97 Enotria&Coe

Adria Vini, Conviviale Primitivo 2018, Salento, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Showing good value for money, this is round and supple on the palate, with some red and black fruit character.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair. 'Easy-drinking, with soft, ripe crunchy fruit that's well-defined, leading to a well-balanced palate.' Joshua Castle, Noble Rot.

£6.40 Boutinot

Masseria Borgo dei Trulli, Primitivo di Manduria 2018, Puglia, Italy

Bronze medal winner

'Smoky dark berry fruits with sweet vanilla oak and some creamy notes, leading to additional liquorice spice on the palate.' Tom Forrest, team leader. 'Full-bodied and well balanced between acidity and tannins, this is complex on both the nose and palate, with ageing potential.' Immacolata Cannavo, Hakkasan Mayfair.

£10.17 Bibendum

Leone de Castris, 50° Vendemmia, Salice Salentino Riserva 2017, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.95 Eurowines

Masseria Borgo dei Trulli, Lucale Primitivo Appasimento 2017, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.31 Bibendum

Terre di Vulcano, Aglianico del Vulture 2017, Campania, Italy

Commended medal winner

£8.74 Bibendum

Le Vigne di Sammarco, Archèe, Primitivo di Manduria 2015, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.59 Alivini

Francesco Candido, Cappello di Prete, Salento 2016, Puglia, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.36 Enotria&Coe

Feudi di San Gregorio, Rubrato, Irpinia Aglianico 2017, Campania, Italy

Commended medal winner

D'Angelo, Aglianico del Vulture 2016, Basilicata, Italy

Commended medal winner

£9.10 Eurowines

 

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