Stop and Smell the Vinegar

Recently I wrote a couple of articles about Ciliegiolo and the Maremma. This was made possible because I had been invited to Grosseto to take part in the Maremmachevini event, showcasing the wines and producers from the area. Normally, it is necessary to fly to these kind of events – particularly if the events are […]

A five-barrel Solera found at Ermete Medici

Solera and the Solera System

Solera You may have encountered this word before. If you drink Sherry or Spanish Brandy, you almost certainly have. But what does it mean? Let us first get some possible confusion out of the way. “Solera” is not to be confused with “Solaris”, which is both 1: a disease-resistant grape variety first created in Freiburg […]

The colour of Ciliegiolo

Ciliegiolo: Jewel of the Maremma

Ciliegiolo, Jewel of the Maremma For all my talk – and writing – about little-known or forgotten native grapes, there is another category that is no less worthy of closer examination. Not forgotten, perhaps, but overlooked. An ensemble player – often in the scene playing a supporting role, but seldom in the spotlight: the blending […]

Pitigliano in Tuscany

Maremma, Che Vini!

Maremma, Tuscany’s Underestimated Corner Driving south from Siena, I enjoyed experiencing the landscape and climate of Tuscany undergo nuanced changes. The vegetation became more spaced, the fields wider. The hills became more rolling. It was palpably warmer. Below the vines, the grains and the cypress trees the soils, which I obviously was not able to […]

Monte Amiata

Montecucco: Sangiovese’s best-kept secret

What is Montecucco? We are in the warm south of Tuscany. Here, sandwiched between two well-known denominations specialising in Sangiovese, you will discover a third – much newer and very much less well-known – that benefits from similar advantages to its well-heeled neighbours, and which is producing some very characteristic, Sangiovese-based wines of high quality. […]

Six tasting glasses with Amarone 2014 vintage at the Anteprima amarone

Anteprima Amarone 50° – the 2014 Vintage

Anteprima Amarone 50° – Presentation of the 2014 Vintage It was a tough year, 2014, and not only in Valpolicella. Nearly every wine region in Europe had difficulties. Simpler wines requiring no long ageing before release have already long since moved on to succeeding vintages, including the universally-acclaimed 2015, the challenging but interesting 2016 – […]

Eight bottles of vintage Amarone

Can Amarone Age?

Can Amarone della Valpolicella age? It isn’t as strange a question as it might seem. Not all wines age well, and most of the Amarone more than ten years old that I have tried have been more tired than lively. Nevertheless, over the past 70 years Amarone has rightly secured a place as one of […]

All 26 Barolos

Barolo: tasting across seven decades

Barolo at its best: the epic tasting event Nebbiolo is the name of the grape responsible, in the right hands and conditions, for some of Italy’s – and the world’s – greatest red wines. Although planted in many places around the globe, nowhere else – so far – does it reach the heights to which […]