Mission: To respond thoughtfully and responsibly to my experiences of drinking and dining at restaurants with regard to the quality, service, preparation, presentation and overall experience received thereat. The standpoint is one who respects the crafts of the chef and sommelier and who seeks to understand their choices in the kitchen and cellar and grow in knowledge. In this, I will seek to be fair, reasoned, direct and constructive and aim to keep my ego in check on our mutual journeys through the worlds of food and wine.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

The Italian Tryst Day Three - Tuesday 30th October 2018

The Italian Tryst - October and November 2018

Write up of a seven day bus trip across Northern Italy by me and some of my Malaysian Foodie and Winey friends, taking in Lake Como, Bolgheri, Alba and Milan. Dear Leader said we were a Tryst of pilgrims on another wine and restaurant and food adventure, so we became Trystians. Photos mostly by me, though some filched from the Facebook pages of Chan May Peng, Wong Yin-How and David Teh.  

Day Three - Tuesday 30th October 2018

Ornellaia - Lunch by the sea at La Perla Del Mare - Dinner at Enoteca Tognoni

May Peng in her Facebook page wrote, "Finally got some sun in Bolgheri, Tuscany. We made the most of the sunny morning romping around the estate, before heading for wine tasting at the famed Ornellaia. Lunch was at a seafood restaurant, La Perla del Mare, on the Mediterranean coast in San Vicenzo." Which feels as good a description of the first half of the day as I could compose. The sun had indeed put its happy hat on and everyone enjoyed the rays as we made our ways to and from Breakfast. 

Though I did find it a bit difficult at first to get around to getting up and out. The rooms at the farm were big and wonderfully stone cool. The main bedroom was large and separate from the in-comparison miniscule reception area which included the attached bathroom and was dominated by a huge wardrobe which took up nearly a quarter of the room. A couple of chairs did the rest of soaking up the space. We left our bags near the door, me unpacking only toiletries and anything needing to be hung. Or thrown over the back of one of the chairs. I find they make for excellent coat hangers and trouser parks. Walking to and from the bathroom on the near freezing cold stone floor for the standard three times a night was delightful on the feet. 

Lenglui in Ornellaia
As said previously, a most excellent bed and heavy insulating covers, so it was a very good sleep indeed. Fell awake at about six, and found that the wifi at this time was pretty good so I caught up with the email and the news whilst the farm slumbered. Some of the news was not so good - seemed one of our intended stops (Portofino) had been hit with massive rains and devastation. We had planned a ferry to get there from Santa Margherita Ligure and the news seemed to be saying that they could not dock at Portofino. Ouch. Was not looking good for a stop there. 

Lenglui started stirring at 7.30 so we gently abluted and wandered down to the main building to breakfast. The sky at this time was showing promising signs of breaking into the blue which did come to pass as we enjoyed some excellent eggs, potato, fruits and cold meats at the table. We were a bit late compared to the others but no matter. We had plenty time. Sat with the Governor and Governess and chatted about the trip so far. The light was good so everyone took various photos of the breakfast and the farm. 

The pathway to the Ornellaia Museum, Bottle Plant and Tasting Rooms
If memory serves, this was the breakfast when Trystian David could no longer contain his ardent fervour for Chili and broke out a big jar of the sacred nectar to share with everyone. And many indeed signed the Trystian pledge for a spoonful of the sauce. But not me. There are many things I can do in the morning, but a whack of Chili sauce is not one of them. I still fail to understand the obsession with Chili that many endure. So it goes. Mine is the morning espresso; without it I will degenerate into a head throbbing mess somewhere close to lunchtime. Caffeine addiction is a terrible thing. 

Water Fountains in the Museum
Back to the room to do some throne business then quickly out to all gather for a 10am Marco the Bus off to the nearby Ornellaia winery. This was somewhat of a pilgrimage for the Lenglui and I. Ornellaia is one of the so called "Super Tuscans" and has been a favourite tipple of ours through the years. We got turned on to their entry wine "Le Volte" about ten years back and I would stack up whenever it was on special at either the Bacchus in Isetan or from Dear Leader at his annual Vintry sales across the Januaries. I had occasionally sipped the second wine "Le Serre Nuove" over the years - once on a post cruise trip around the Amalfi coast and more recently having bought at the Vintry Januaries. We also took the opportunity to taste some past vintages of the first wine at an Ornellaia wine dinner here in KL at Graze at the KL Hilton a couple of years back. A most enjoyable evening, though the wines were desperately young. I made friends with the waiter and whacked the wonderful Serre Nuove, the shining star of the night. 

Those of us expecting another Marco Oops were not disappointed as he made yet another stunning backward reverse for a 180 degree three pointer to head us in the presumably correct direction of the winery. The passing countryside was pretty - slopes and fields laden with vines and poplar trees and dotted with farms glinted in the morning sun. Though somewhat less rolling and flatter than my memories of Tuscany. So it goes. 

Trystians Pitt Lee and David
After a short drive Marco pulled up to make a sharp turn left and through some hugely narrow gates and parked up in the spacious entrance area. I must say that even though I give him stick for his oopses, his driving and maneuvering out of tight spots were top class. I only recall one slight scrape on his off side throughout the whole trip. And there were some darn tight passages and entrances along the seven days. We were to be joined by our hostess (whose name i forget though I recall it was somewhat Scandinavian?) who directed Marco to slowly drive along some flat vine-laden roads to the central exhibition building further inland from the gate. A short walk along a green and pleasant walkway led everyone to the main building. This was to prove both a museum and showcase which ran alongside the wine making and bottling operations. There were lots of big double magnums on display in the reception area, which got photographed all ends up by the Trystians. I went straight to the toilet. Our guide talked about the history of the winery and its support through the years for the arts.  Everyone just kept snapping with their phones. Welcome to the new world. 

Bottling the good stuff
Wikipedia says "Ornellaia is an Italian wine producer in the DOC Bolgheri in Toscana, known as a producer of Super Tuscan wine. Ornellaia is considered one of Italy's leading Bordeaux-style red wines. 

Lady Trystians demand "Where's the good stuff?"
Established by Marchese Lodovico Antinori of the Antinori family, Ornellaia is located on the Tuscan Coast, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, in the section of the Northern Maremma between Livorno and the island of Elba. The 99 hectares of vineyards extend over two adjacent areas that are separated by Bolgheri's famed Cypress Avenue and divided into 50 parcels planted to seven varietials: Cabernet Sauvignon (38 hectares), Cabernet Franc (12 hectares), Merlot (38 hectares), Petit Verdot (7 hectares), and varieties Sauvignon blanc (2,5 ha), Viognier (0.5 ha) and Petit Manseng (1 ha)."

"Here's the good stuff!! Locked away!!" Naturally...
Wikipedia also notes that "Robert Mondavi Winery took a minority interest in the estate in November 1999, and were full owners by 2002, while initiating a partnership with the Frescobaldi family. In April 2005, Frescobaldi bought the remaining 50% shares of Ornellaia from Constellation Brands after their acquisition of Mondavi holdings, coming to own the whole estate. Axel Heinz is the current winemaker with Michel Rolland, involved with the estate since its beginning, retained as consultant oenologist."

Pre tasting explanation
After the reception, we were taken up some metal stairway to view the bottling area from an elevated standpoint and walkway. I seem to recall being advised not to take photos of the employees; something about EU rules I think. Seeing that no one else seemed to be taking any notice of this, I sneakily snapped a couple of surreptitious shots of the Viniferous Workerous species in their native environment. 

Our Ornellaia guide with Dear Trystian Leader Yin-How
We were then led to a glass door with secret keypad affair and into the impressive darkened cellar where lots of the very good stuff seemed to have been stored. And in various sized bottles - loads of Methuselahs, couple of Balthazars and loads of Magnum. And all behind locked doors - look see only. It was not really good enough light for photos so the Trystians quickly did the obligatory snaps before exiting and following the guide up to the expansive and brilliantly day-lit tasting area. Here, two long tables had been set with four glasses for the wines, one extra for water, a small spit bucket, and a notebook for, er, notes for each Trystian. It was a monument to glass and steel, with huge windows opening up the landscape. And the rain - it had restarted. Though it would prove short lived. We all parked ourselves at the tables as we felt fit and comfortable given the Feng Shui of the vista and the location of the booze and continued snapping with our phones. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer my 15 year old Sony powered by its two rechargeable AA batteries. Photo quality beats the phone and the lens gets great colours. 

Trystian May pouring the good stuff for Trystian Chris whilst Trystian Sanjeev gazes enviously
We would be tasting four wines - 2016 Poggio Alle Gazze dell' Ornellaia, a 2016 Le Volte, a 2016 Serre Nuove and a 2015 Ornellaia. The Poggio was a blend of 80% SAUVIGNON BLANC, 10% VIOGNIER and 10% VERMENTINO, the Ornellaia tasting notes say that Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia "owes its elegant Mediterranean style to the Estate’s unique microclimate. This gift of nature allows Poggio alle Gazze dell’Ornellaia, with its predominance of Sauvignon Blanc, to display a firm structure and ripe fruit while maintaining great finesse."

Trystian Brian waiting for more white; Trystian Lenglui not so impressed
For the 2016 vintage (asserted to have been "a classic Bolgheri wine making year"), "the Estate’s proximity to the sea brought fresh moist wind with a remarkable night-time temperature change, allowing the vines to recover from the daytime heat and preserve their scents and zesty acidity, despite high sugar levels. The Sauvignon and Viognier harvests took place in the last week of August, while the Vermentino was harvested in the second half of September after some welcome rainfalls." Elsewhere, winemaker Axel Heinz noted the pale yellow Poggio alle Gazze "has a classic nose where the scents of a typical mature Sauvignon, grapefruit, passion fruit and white peach, all come through. The palate is rich and full-bodied with notes of ripe yellow fruits and honey, interwoven with a well-balanced acidity. The long finish lingers with flavours of white flowers and fresh almonds.”

Trystian Amret and Trystian Bachan
I found it…  okay, I suppose. Yes nuts, yes fruits, but overall missing the zing of the New Zealand grapefruit and grass I am used to. Clean and lean, pleasant to chug and fair balance, it felt like it needed some food to set something off. Be good to try it in a restaurant setting. 

Trystians Kalsom and Jeremy waiting for the good stuff
The other three wines got subsequently and quite quickly poured into the glasses, with Trystian May helping with the honours. As said, all of them desperately young. The Le Volte (WS 92, JS 92) was a good easy drinking red, which the webbie says "combines the Mediterranean expression of opulence and generosity with structure and complexity". A blend of Merlot, Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, winemaker Axel asserts it as "one of the purest expressions of Le Volte dell’Ornellaia, combining perfectly ripe yet vibrant fruit with a silky and generous texture underlined by a fresh and lively acidity." Would have been perfect with some of that Ragout we had the previous night; tomato and beef and garlic facing down the fruit and firm tannins. 

Trystian Joe angling for a photo
For the Le Serre Nuove (WA 94 pts), the grapes come primarily from the Estate’s younger vineyards though "made with the same passion and attention to detail as Ornellaia". A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc & Petit Verdot, the web notes say Le Serre Nuove is "a true second vin… (which) combines generosity and depth of flavour with an engaging and vibrant personality."

Fermented for two weeks in steel before maceration (12 - 15 days) and malolactic fermentation ultimately completed in 25/75 new/old barrels. 12 month in barrel before being assembled and returned to barrel for 3 more months. Sim months in the bottle prior to release. Winemaker Axel says the dark wine is "shows a charming nose of perfectly ripe red fruit and spices. The palate is rich and well-rounded with beautiful velvety-textured tannins that coat the palate. A wine that combines immediate pleasure and great ageing capacity”. 

Naturally a shade more austere than its kid brother, Le Serre was firm, tending toward sleek, throat drying tannins, perhaps a shade grapey and, for me, (as memory serves) a little hint of stalky green. Didn't quite enjoy it as much as I thought I would - ah, those darned expectations of mine! But one to perhaps return to as and when the occasion arose. Considered to buy, but at Euro40 we pay about the same price in Malaysia at the Januaries so no real advantage. 

Trystian May angling for a similar photo
The 2015 Ornellaia "Il Carisma"  (WS 97, JS 98) is a BOLGHERI DOC SUPERIORE cuvĂ©e of 53% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Merlot, 17% Cabernet Franc and 7% Petit Verdot. It was a "textbook" vintage (mild rainy winter, early April buds, dry sunny spring, scorching summer, cool autumn rains) allowing for perfect timings for harvesting. Varietals got vinified separately with two week steel tank fermentation, 10 to 15 day maceration, and malolactics in 70%/30% new/once used oak barrels for 18 months (though assembled after 12 months and returned to the barriques). Bottle aged 12 months before release. 

Winemaker Axel says that 2015 "is certainly one of the great Ornellaia vintages. The usual intense colour indicates a wine of great texture and intensity, followed by a fruity scent that is ripe and fresh at the same time, emphasized by classic balsamic and spicy hints. On the palate it is rich, dense, and full-bodied, with an exceptional tannic texture, dense and velvety, of great refinement, that extends throughout the mouth. The long finish concludes with a feeling of firmness and finely spiced hints." Further, ‘Like people of great ‘Carisma’ (Charisma), wines of great vintages know how to impose themselves naturally, without force, their balance allowing them to shine without having to flaunt themselves. The 2015 vintage perfectly expresses this behavioural trait."

The Good Stuff. In about ten to twenty years...
Taste-wise, whilst it may indeed have vinous charisma, for me it did not fully engage, and will need at least ten years to become half drinkable and assert its gravitas. As Lenglui reminds, she probably does not have such a time frame, so we passed on any purchase. Equally, at about Euro 180 a hit, we get the same price in KL for a drinkable vintage and not need to have to pay for years of storage and TLC. We buy to drink. And we couldn't really drink the 2015 - at least not in 2018. I mean, we do whack it down, because…   well, in truth I whack it down because I can and I won't probably get another chance at wines like this anywhere down the near future line. And I am in Ornellaia, birthplace of wonderful memories of chugging its wines with the Lenglui across the years and places. And we are together making another one. Cheers indeed. 

(sings) Can you taste with all the colours of the wine...
Appearing somewhat similar to the Mouton Rothschild labels, the Ornellaia winery has in recent years taken to engage someone from the arts world to create a work of art for the vintage. 2015 saw South African artist William Kentridge has been chosen to interpret the character “Il Carisma” (Charisma) of the Ornellaia 2015 vintage. This also involves customising a limited series of large bottle format offerings and a label that expresses the vintage character (ie Charisma) which gets inserted in each Ornellaia 6 x 750ml case and on all Magnums. 

Some of the VERY good stuff
There was some interest in a special wine from the previous year, a single varietal expression of Cabernet Franc about which some of the Trystians appeared quite knowledgeable and pleading for a taste or a takeaway. There was little joy in this respect from our host - it was only apparently available to the highly selected few and a Tryst of Malaysians did not qualify. I can understand that. Whether as a result, I don't think anyone bought much of the other wines. 

Though at the retail outlet near the exit, a wave of purchasing was unleashed as the Trystians snapped up Ornellaia oil and other sorts of foodie adds and nibbles. We bought some olive oil for Xmas gifts and a few other bits. Quite good fun watching everyone scrabbling for the wares. Then it was back on the bus for a thirty minute drive to lunch. 

Lunch by the sea at La Perla Del Mare 

La Perla del Mare. Blue skies on the Mediterranean coast
We were originally scheduled for lunch at a restaurant name of La Pineta, an apparent favourite of Trystian May. However, we just missed its last serving for the season so Dear Leader booked us for lunch at a place name of La Perla Del Mare - the Pearl of the Sea. Which would prove about a forty minute drive from Ornellaia (thanks in part to another Marco ooops). 

It is listed in the Michelin Guide which shares that the "occasional creative touch is evident in the fish and seafood dishes served in this welcoming Mediterranean-style restaurant with an attractive outdoor terrace. The restaurant stands right on the beach!" 

Interior of La Perla Del Mare
The website says that La Perla Del Mare's philosophy "is to make the most of the relationship with the territory with a pinch of creativity…." and to "enhance our local dishes by cooking each of them upon request, relying especially on seasonal produce."

Amuse bouche of fried anchovy and pizza dough filled with anchovy ricotta
Chef is Deborah Corsi, who likes to indulge the artistic side of her nature - as she says "My never ending will to experiment and the thrill of the creative effort, due to my artistic vein, challenge me to revisit the classic dishes of the gastronomy of our region and to conceive colorful, funny dishes that satisfy both sight and taste, with a certain penchant for the oily fish of our sea."

Grilled Octopus, buffalo mozzarella and chickpea puree
And it works. The dishes were vibrant, visual, and full of huge taste. May Peng writes "Our favourite restaurant La Pineta was closed for the season so we tried this highly recommended seafood restaurant. Certainly did not disappoint, the grilled octopus was earthy and tasty. Seafood risotto with lashings of local sea urchin and fresh cuttlefish and mussels was divine and tasted simply of the sea. Monkfish main showed why this fish is said to mimic the texture of lobster and such a prized fish in this region.
The seafood risotto with sea urchin - molte bene!

"The wines were chosen for their freshness and the Schiopetto Sauvignon Blanc was excellent: crisp and redolent of gooseberries, Yuzu citrus and lime blossom. Grattamaco was typical Bolgheri, succulent, suffused with dark fruits and generous."

Monkfish Roulade
To which I would add that the rain stopped as soon as we got off the bus at the entrance and the sun blazed away through lunch and beyond and only started up again as we started off back to the Relais Sant Elena. It was bright and breezy both outside and inside La Perla, and feeling more like being on the deck of a yacht, whilst the dishes were pretty and plentiful and bursting with taste and verve. The amuse bouche was dangerous in that it was hugely amusing and well in line to fill the belly well before the rest of the meal - massively more-ish. The Octopus with chickpea melded gunk and chewy tentacle to perfection, the Monkfish was light and perfectly done and the Risotto was excellent. But the Black Pearl was magical - a crisp ball of chocolate surrounding sinfully wicked ice cream sitting in a sea of sweet vanilla sauce and crunchy raspberry crumble. Captain Jack Sparrow would have swapped his ship for this one - absolute belter. 

The Black Pearl Dessert - wicked sinful taste
The wines were all new and all (I think) from the Bolgheri region and very well matching with the seafood offerings of the place. The fizz was firm and full and quite masculine in its bold no-nonsense character - perfect foil for the salt of the anchovy drenched pizza dough - whilst the Donnaolympia was more delicate and fragrant and made for a good vinous contrast. It also let the Octopus sing nicely whilst slaking the throat with a silky finish. The Collio SB was somewhat firmer in texture and bolder in flavour, and stood up well to the Risotto with its zingy lemon/yuzu bite. The Bolgheri Rosso was…  can't really remember, but I recall everyone seemed to be joyfully sucking it down and clamouring for refills. It did not overpower the Monkfish or the Risotto - a good, light, fruity, well balanced non-obtrusive red that helped the food on its way to gastronomic oblivion. Everyone clearly had a wonderful time. 

Trystian Yin-How with Chef Deborah Corsi
Additional Highlights of the lunch - the restaurant showed off a little leather pouch of Chili powders, which drew loud oohs and ahhs from the Trystians. They were tiny little glass phials filled with the magic powder and showcased in a leather wallet and numbered from one to seventeen, presumably to denote their potency. Naturally, research demanded a pinch of each of the powders to assess whether it could pass the Malaysian test. I think it did - those whose craving for some chili seemed hugely replete and satisfied. I saw it was manufactured in Bolgheri town - not sure if anyone went so far as to buy a set. 

Trystian Brian playing fetch with his new friend on the beach
Not being a chili powder aficionado, I wandered out onto the restaurant verandah to enjoy the surf and the sun. Some of us went down onto the beach and got joined by a lady with her dog, a two year old hound with big dangling balls and (I think) of Weimaraner descent. She was throwing sticks for it and I asked if I could join. She acceded. It was brilliant - I haven't thrown sticks for a dog on a beach for decades and it was…  pure unadulterated and blissful fun. There is something about a dog on a beach that brings out the kid in everyone, and to see my new friend scrabbling fast across the sand keen to bring back the treasure for another throw was hugely soul satisfying. It was also a good way to work off some of the lunch. Fabulous memory for me. 

Trystians CJ and May
Back inside for the amazing dessert and a few final photos. Chef Deborah has a deft touch with balancing tastes and flavours. Absolutely would come back here in a second.  Especially when the sun is shining. And there are dogs on the beach to throw sticks for. 

La Perla del Mare

Amuse bouche of fried anchovy and pizza dough filled with anchovy ricotta
Octopus on Cream of Chickpeas and Buffalo Mozzarella
Seafood Risotto
Monkfish Roulade with Goose Ham, Pistachio and Potatoes Puree
The Black Pearl dessert

Bellavista Alma Gran Cuvee Brut
2016 Donnaolympia 1898, Bolgheri
2016 "Collio" Sauvignon Blanc, Schiopetto DOC
2016 Bolgheri Rosso DOC

Lunchtime Wines

Another boozy lunch comes to an end...

Dinner at Enoteca Tognoni

Back on the Marco Express to our digs in the village, where we all fell into our rooms and some of us slept to recharge the batteries ahead of our upcoming dinner. This would (allegedly) be a lighter affair than most and would take place at one of Trystian Dear Leader's favourite establishments, Enoteca Tognoni. He writes: "An institution in Bolgheri for wine lovers. Enoteca Tognoni is a wine bar restaurant stocked with the best of Tuscan and Bolgheri wines at close to retail price, for in house drinking." As said, he had promised a comparatively lighter meal so that we could enjoy as many of the wines as our capacity would permit. Of course - we Trystians must maximise our time and our researches so that no bottle is left uncorked or untasted in our pursuit of exquisite vinous perfection. Yes.

Inside the Enoteca Tognoni - phwoooar....
At 7pm we all clambered back on the bus (though minus one or two Trystians in absentia due to a mild chest infection) and got dropped at the entrance to the village. A short walk along puddle strewn cobbled streets brought us to our destination. And what a place it would prove - walking through the door we got stunned by the sheer numbers of bottles on shelves from floor to ceiling and all around the central dining area. And all good stuff - none of your supermarket pile it high sell it cheap nonsense here. 

Trystians Allie and Yasu shooting the bread
We were seated on a long table already laid out with glasses and plates. Dear Leader went off to select some starter wines and we all took our photos of this amazing place. Naturally I tootled off to find the bathroom to get settled ahead of what could be a long night. 

Trystians David, Yasu and Yin-How selecting the good stuff
Which went amazingly fast. The bread and cold meat and pasta starters came out quite quickly and the booze started getting poured and swigged with lots of cheering going up and down the table. And then the big cahuna; a couple of plates of the classic Bistecca Fiorentina - grilled T Bone of local Chianina beef. Total Trystian heaven. The cheering went on all through the night. The rustic ambience and almost kitchen warehouse feel made for a brilliant atmosphere and it became a hugely enjoyable and memorable dinner. The locals did not seem to mind our noise, and there seemed to be quite a flow through of people traffic during the night. Great, great place - the kind of wine cave most of us would want to bring our friends for food and wine and fun times. Another be very happy to return here if the wheel of life so spins. 

Wines for the night - see notes below
And excellent choices of wines by our Dear Leader - we all could see he was very happy perusing the labels and making decisions as to which ones to crack open. I don't remember much about the nuances between them all; I append his notes from his Facebook record of the night.  

Bistecca Fiorentina Chianini - with potatoes. Got the salivatories going here!
At the end of the dinner we packed some food to take back for our absent Trystians. We also packed the remains of some wines that had gone undrunk for a light supper. A slow wander back through the streets of the town to the bus and a head count before the off. Slightly wet as I recall, but it had dried out by the time we reached the Relais. Back at the Farm, most bedded down for the night whilst some of the diehards parked themselves outside one of the Trystian rooms along a corridor to nightcap down the remains of the booze. Quite crisp and cool in the near midnight chill. It was here that one of the Trystians brought out a pot of Chinese cuisine style pork ribs and fermented eggs in herbal stew for the assembled to chow down on. Apparently it had been cooked in Hong Kong and brought on the plane to Italy. Of course. I had a couple of sups of the soup but was way too full of Chianini beef to help to do any sort of justice to this HongKong beast. We finished off most of the Enoteca booze and trundled off to our respective rooms. Lenglui was asleep when I got back so I quietly got bed ready and crawled under the cover. It had been a very good day - most enjoyable. The dreams were sweet that night. 

Enoteca Tognoni menu
Enoteca Tognoni di Franceso Tognoni
Via Lauretta, 5
Tel: 0565 762001

Enoteca Tognoni Wine Notes by Wong Yin-How@vintrywines

Terlan Kreuth Chardonnay 2015
Lithe and fresh unoaked style. Grapefruit and citrus fruits dominate. A fresh crisp style but with a textured attractive mid palate.

Profumo di Vulcano 2015 was perfumed, musky and medium bodied with fine tannins and cedar hints.

Montevertine IGT 2015
A stalwart of Radda in Chianti. The wine had a core of ripe cherry fruit, refined tannins and a smooth suave texture. Modern yet restrained.

Castello di Monsanto Il Poggio Chianti Classico Riserva 2011
A rising star build on solid traditional approach. This single vineyard from an elevated site shows old vine intensity of dark cherries and spice with wood very much supporting in the background and ripe but fine grippy tannins. Leathery savoury nuances round off the wine.

Gaja Magari 2015
Still reserved, powerful with deep seated dark Berry fruit and monolithic tannins. Long length but needs time.

Isole Olena Cepparello 2012
The elegant and classic Sangiovese from Paolo di Marchi never disappoints. Deceptive power, layered fine textured tannins and pure red and dark cherry fruit with an intense yet focused finish. Classy. 

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