“Anteprima 2021”- Wine Preview of Vernaccia di San Gimignano by Filippo Magnini 

“The ancient crowned hill through the eyes of the queen grape”

When you are in the direction of San Gimignano, in the heart of Tuscany, you cannot help but be enveloped by the magical atmosphere, you get catapulted into a fairy-tale. The hills of “Queen Vernaccia” crown the city of San Gimignano; at its foot lies the most fascinating and characteristic landscape of the Val d’Elsa. Impressive from a distance are the tips of the “crown”, a little Manhattan of the Middle Ages. The city of San Gimignano in the first centuries after 1000 AD was embellished with seventy towers and numerous palaces, built by the many wealthy families to display their wealth and power. Still today, the fourteen beautiful towers remain to characterize the city center and to make the unique and recognizable silhouette of the crowned hill. It is right inside the walls of the beautiful San Gimignano that every year we have the pleasure to taste the new vintages of wines made in this fascinating territory.

The event this year was different from the usual February schedule. The Anteprima Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2021, in fact, was a month-long event that started on Wednesday the 19th of May and closed on Monday the 14th of June. The first day was dedicated exclusively to the Italian and international press. For the occasion, the consortium chose two principal venues: the De Grada Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, where all the journalists and writers were called to taste and evaluate the latest vintages of the sixty-nine wines produced by thirty-four wineries (Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2020, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019, Vernaccia di San Gimignano Riserva 2018); and the Dante’s Chamber in the Town Hall for the 16th edition of the ‘White Wine and Its Territories’ series: “Vernaccia in Comedy”.  A choice linked to the tradition and history of Italy. In fact, this year is the 700th anniversary of the death of the poet Dante. The consortium has intertwined the main six female protagonists of Dante’s work and 6 characteristic white wines of the territory of San Gimignano. These six samples were chosen to be compared with as many wines from those that are among the major denominations for white wines: Alto Adige Valle Isarco Veltliner, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Orvieto Classico Superiore, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo, Vin de Pays des Côtes Catalanes Blanc and Palette Blanc. A so-called ‘battle’ between elegant queens, in a magnificent hall that narrates through its frescoes the path of our life.

TASTING REPORT 

During my stay at San Gimignano, I blind-tasted all the wines, which were majestically presented by the Consorzio del Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 (34 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Fattoria di Fugnano
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Da Fugnano 

Brillant with pale straw core and watery rim. Pronounced flavour of pineapple with peachy overtones. Dry and sapid with bright acidity. Well balanced with good fruit and harmonious finish.  I like this wine.

Winery:  Fattoria San Donato
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 

Pale yellow core with greenish hues. The nose is fresh and fruity with scents of lemon and apricot. Vibrant entrance with medium alcohol. Dry with good acidity and a fruity finish. Lovely wine.

Winery:  Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Pale yellow core, lighter on the edge. Intense flavour of citrus fruit and green apple with light floral notes. Dry with lovely acidity which matches a good alcohol level. The aftertaste is persistent with pleasant notes of almond at the end. Very good wine !

Winery:  Il Palagione
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Hydra 

Straw coloured with paler rim. The bouquet is intense and ample with notes of grapefruit and apricot with scents of ginger. The mouth is intense and fresh with racy acidity. Quite a long finish. Fine, charming wine !

Winery: San Benedetto
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2020 – Selvabianca 

Clear with lemon colour turning slightly green on the rim. It expresses nice aromas of lemon and peach mixed with light notes of acacia. The acidity matches well with the rich fruit. Balanced palate with quite a long persistence.  I really appreciate it.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 (18 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Montenidoli
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Fiore 

Deep yellow core, lighter on the edge. The wine expresses a beautiful bouquet of lime and orange peel with overtones of thyme and mint. It is vibrant and structured to the palate with harmonious and fresh finish. Great potential for the ageing.

Winery:  Mormoraia
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Ostrea

Intense straw core with paler reflections. Intriguing nose with flavour of pear and maruted fruit with a hint of almond.  Lovely, creamy palate with present acidity. Discrete alcohol level with fresh finish. Delicious wine !

Winery:  Panizzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2019 – Vigna Santa Margherita 

Colour ranging from medium yellow core to lighter rim. Intense flavour of lemon with scent of candied apricot. Slight notes of vanilla. Dry, lively palate with good acidity. Rich and elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva (10 wines reviewed)

 

 

 

 

 

on my radar

Winery:  Cappella di Sant’Andrea
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva  – Prima Luce 

Brilliant, deep yellow colour. Intense bouquet of lemon and jasmine flowers with a hint of mint. Fragrant entrance, round with ripe fruit and good acidity.  Well structured, mineral and complex.  I really like it !

Winery:  Cesani
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva – Sanice 

Medium yellow core with lighter hues. The wine displays an intense perfume white peach, grapefruit, and lemon with a light buttery note. Dry, sapid and intense with good acidity and freshness. Well balanced and harmonious. Excellent wine.

Winery:  Guicciardini Strozzi
Wine:   Vernaccia di San Gimignano Docg 2018 Riserva

Medium yellow core with paler rims. Clean with beautiful nose of ripe apricot and mango with flowery overtones and a hint of almond. Medium body with lively acidity and freshness. The alcohol is well balanced with the fruit.  Elegant aftertaste.  Great wine.

A FEW NOTES ABOUT THE 2020 VINTAGE  

2020 was characterised by an excellent seasonal trend. The onset of the vegetative stages was a little early but still normal for the long term. The harvest also started a week earlier than in 2019. The health of the grapes was excellent and their quality was good, albeit slightly lower than the previous year. The wines of this vintage are smooth and round, have good aromas and their acidity is not excessive.

SAN GIMIGNANO AND ITS QUEEN GRAPE VERNACCIA 

San Gimignano is a small town of Siena, rich in charm and history. The village of San Gimignano is located almost halfway between Florence and Siena (about 60 and 45 km), and is easily reachable by car or a bus. It is a territory situated completely on hills at altitudes between 200 and 400 m above sea level. The soils are of the Pliocene era, dating back between 6.8 and 1.8 million years. And it is certainly the composition of the ancient soil that makes the wines produced in this denomination extremely fascinating and complex. The terroir of this area is characterized by the presence of fossils and shells, it is composed of pliocene soil and clay. These extremely calcareous sediments make the soil ideal to create vigorous and mineral white wines.The surface area of the Municipality of San Gimignano is of about 12,500 hectares, 5,600 of which are destined to farm productions (vineyards, olive groves, cereal crops). The San Gimignano hills present variable exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and availability of water. The multiple and sometimes unique combinations of these single factors have, even in such a small area, a significant effect on the characteristics of the wines made there.  The combination of the unique variables for wine growing in San gimignano: different exposures, altitudes, soil compositions and water…, determine, even in such a restricted area, a significant impact on the characters of the wines produced there.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a white grape variety present in Tuscan since ancient times. Its bunches are large, long and pyramidal in shape, with an average density of compact and medium berries, round, very pruinose with thick peels. It has an unmistakable amber color when it is shone by the sun. A vine that finds its perfect condition in growing in calcareous-clay or tuffaceous soils

Always a big thanks to my colleague and friend Liz Palmer ! 

Great Italian Wines Masterclass – Understanding Indigenous Grape Varieties – Fiano and Primitivo

I attended another amazing Masterclass last night. The seminar was led again by the knowledgeable Sandra Colosimo, a member of the Associazione Italiana Sommeliers.

Sandra explored, in-depth, the Fiano and Primitivo varieties. The seminar not only gave me a deeper appreciation of two of the most important varietals of southern Italy, it also gave me a sense of the history and geography of Campania and Puglia (which I love).

Here are details on the two wines tasted:

  1. 2018 Fiano di Avellino DOCG

Varietal: 100% Fiano (organic)
Vinification/Aging: The wine remains on the fine lees for 12 months in stainless steel; further aging 12 months in the bottle
Alcohol: 13.5%

Tasting Notes:
Straw-yellow in colour, expresses scents of pear, peach, hazelnuts and aromatic herbal notes on the nose; a fine bouquet opens up to a palate of some smokey and spicy flavours with refreshing minerality; good body and excellent balance.  What a wonderful surprise!

  1. 2017 Carvinea Primitivo (Organic) IGTAging/Vinification: 20-day maceration with skins, aged in French oak 9 months,
    with 6 additional months in the bottle.
    Alcohol: 14.5%

Tasting Notes:
Deep ruby in colour; on the nose are pronounced aromas of mulberry, black plum, black cherry, with slight notes of smoke and vanilla; It’s packed with black cherry, mulberry, spices, vanilla, tobacco and dark chocolate flavours, leading to a long finish; It is a well-balanced wine; tannins are present, but are elegant and soft. Beautiful wine

The two wines were beautifully paired with Terroni Mezzo e Mezzo antipasto plate with specialty meats and cheeses: Prosciutto Crudo di Parma DOP, Soppressata Piccante Grana Padano DOP, Fior di Latte Olive verdi di Cerignola Focaccia Barese.

Wonderful Virtual Experience!  #lovepuglia

#italianwine #toronto #Italianwinelover #wineeducation #wine #instawine #winelover #winelovers #sommlife #sommelier  #terroni
#vino #winestagram #wineoclock #winetasting #wineagency  #trueitaliantaste #masterclass #friday #italianfood #italianstyle #italianwinery #italianwinetasting #redwine #whitewine #extraordinaryitaliantaste #Salento #Puglia #iffoodcouldtalk

@italchambers @trueitaliantaste @cavinonawine

 

Benvenuto Brunello 2021 Preview  – Tasting Sensational New Vintage Brunellos – A Tempting Invitation To Discover the Wines and the Captivating Region of Montalcino – by Filippo Magnani

After Benvenuto Brunello “OFF”, the first preview of the year which was in March, an additional edition of Benvenuto Brunello was organized for the press from the 16th and the 17th May dedicated to the Tuscan wine previews “Anteprime di Toscana”. Thanks to the diligence of the Consortium Brunello di Montalcino, the tastings took place in-person in the heart of Montalcino village in the beautiful Monastery of Sant’Agostino. Forty kilometers south of the city of Siena, Montalcino is a stunning hilltop town in the heart of Tuscany. With rolling hills and farmland of rare beauty, the village’s distinctive mount is encircled by forest. Vineyards and olive groves fill the countryside and many historical stone buildings are witness to centuries of cultivation in this area. Montalcino and the villages of Castelnuovo dell’Abate, Sant’Angelo, and Torrenieri are picturesque hamlets with an overall population of just over five thousand inhabitants. This territory is of particular historical character, having never lost touch with the cultural heritage and traditions.

It is important to note that this DOCG is among the wine-growing areas with the highest organic incidence in Italy.

Following safety protocols, the capacity of participants was extremely limited and ensured proper distance between persons. All journalists and writers were called to taste and evaluate the last vintages released on the market: Rosso di Montalcino 2019, Brunello di Montalcino 2016, and Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2015. We can say that this edition of Benvenuto Brunello will surely remain a memory in each of our minds, not only for the outstanding organization that the consortium put on stage but also for the combination of two remarkable vintages.

Both 2016 and 2015 had exceptional conditions in the vineyard and produced wines of absolute complexity and longevity.

 The vintage 2016 was outstanding in terms of balance. Rainfall throughout the winter into the beginning of the spring was consistently average. After the blooming, rains in July set the perfect conditions for a great vintage. Summer shifted from not so high temperature (max 32°) to very chilly nights (min 13°), diurnal moderate temperatures alternated to night precipitation, which offered the wines an amazing structure, complexity, and aroma. The maturation took longer, a fundamental factor both for the different layers of the aroma and the quality of the tannins (especially in the Sangiovese grape and for long lasting wines)

The 2015 vintage was characterized by a cool winter preceded by an irregular spring, which continued with a hot growing season during the summer with adequate rain. Harvest brought limited rainfall and good ventilation which favoured the last stages of ripening of the bunches up to harvest…..continues .. https://bit.ly/3zbCDJR.

I have missed my friends and colleagues during this Benvenuto Brunello but I really hope that was the preview of the restart, once again in-person hopefully we will be able to discover this beautiful wine paradise in the near future.

Always a big thank to my collegue and friend Liz Palmer !

#wine #winetasting #winenews #italy #tastingnotes #winewriter #winejournalist #winetourism #winetravels #benvenutobrunello #brunello #AnteprimediToscana #Montalcino #wine #winetasting #wineblog #wineblogger #winelover #winestagram #winecritic #wineevent #vino #winetime #wineoclock #winewinewine @brunellodimontalcino #montalcino #brunellodimontalcino #benvenutobrunello #italianwine #redwine #brunellowinestage  @filippomagnaniwine

JeT 2020 Wine Launch [Castello Di Montepo]

What a lovely surprise – I received a personal letter from Jacopo Biondi Santi and Tancredi Biondi Santi announcing the launch of their JeT 2020 vintage – what a nice touch!

Here is a unique backstory on this wine.

  • This wine was created out of passion and innovation
  • The initials “JeT” represents Jacopo and Tancredi
  • This wine was developed with oenologist Donato Lanati after 3 years of research
  • The Sangiovese Grosso “BBS11” clone is the innovation of the Family – an off-the-skin vinification at low temperatures
  • This variety is typical of the Tuscan Maremma’s territory

Soil: coarse-grained Galestro

Altitude: 300 – 500 metres a.s.l.

Variety: Sangiovese grosso BBS11 100%

Tasting notes

This elegant rose from Castello Di Montepo is pale blush and soft rose in colour; it exhibits freshness with the intensely of fruit and floral notes which all transforms on the palate; impressive structure, well-balanced through to a long lingering finish.  Delightful!

91/100

#CastellodiMontepò #natura #Maremma #castello #Toscana #italianwine #italianwinelover #terroir #winemaking #winelovers #wineglass #CastellodiMontepò @castellodimontepo #winery #awardwinning #Tuscany #winemaker #Jetrosé #Sangiovese #rosèallday #JacopoBiondiSanti #TancrediBiondiSanti

Nebbiolo, a milestone for exploring the magnificent wines of Barolo, Barbaresco and Roero wine destinations [Part 2] – Filippo Magnani

Nebbiolo Prima 2021 is an important tasting that embraces the wine areas of Barolo, Barbaresco, and Roero, the champions of Piedmont. Considering this particular period, my colleague Filippo Magnani was very fortunate to participate in the 25th edition, hosted by Albeisa at the end of March 2021.

Part 2 continues ….

Barbaresco 

The area of production includes the entire territory of the villages of Barbaresco, Treiso and Neive, plus part of the territory of the Alba municipality.

Wine denomination DOCG

(controlled and guaranteed designation of origin)

Grape  Minimum ageing  Released on the market 
Barbaresco Docg 100% Nebbiolo 26 months, of which 9 in wood from the 1st January of third year after the harvest
Barbaresco Docg Reserve 100% Nebbiolo 50 months, of which 9 in wood from the 1st January of fifth year after the harvest

 

Tastings Barbaresco DOCG  2018  (57 wines reviewed)

Overall the Barbaresco’s this year turned out to be soft, fruity with good structure and balance. This is partly a reflection of the vintage which started cool and finished warm with nice weather during harvest.

 

 

 

On my radar:

Winery: Giuseppe Cortese  – Barbaresco
Wine: Barbaresco Docg 2018 Rabajà

Deep garnet core with ruby tinge. Intense bouquet of black cherry and prune with note of rhubarb. Good structure with medium-plus acidity, medium alcohol and leather overtones. Velvety tannins, well integrated with the fruit.

Winery: Pasquale Pellissero – Neive
Wine:  Barbaresco Docg 2018 Bricco San Giuliano 

Bright, deep garnet colour. The nose rich in blueberry and forest floor perfumes. Nice, vibrant entrance in the palate. Medium body and harmonious structure with dried prune and liquorice. Quite a long aftertaste.

Winery:  Cascina Alberta – Treiso
Wine:  Barbaresco Docg 2018 Giacone

Medium garnet core, paler towards the edge. The wine displays intense flavour of cherry, balsamic overtones and light earthy notes. The palate expresses ripe red cherry, blackberries with a hint of vanilla. Good acidity, firm tannins and long finish. I really like it.

My pick:

Winery:  Cascina Morassino  – Barbaresco
Wine:  Barbaresco Docg 2018 Ovello

Intense and brilliant garnet colour. Pronounced intensity of dark cherry and plum with spicy notes of liquorice. Medium plus acidity, full-body wine with silky good tannins and toasty light notes at the end. Excellent wine.

Tastings Barbaresco DOCG  2016 RISERVA   (15 wines reviewed)

I found a wide range of great wines, showing high intensity and complexity of aromas. I have tasted well balanced wines with body and finesse, signs of an excellent vintage with long and constant ripening of the Nebbiolo.

On my radar:

Winery: Albino Rocca  – Barbaresco
Wine:  Barbaresco Docg 2016 Riserva Ronchi

 The colour is deep garnet with a compact rim. Intense bouquet of cherry with floral notes of violet. Scents of spices, tobacco and fig. A dry, full body wine with good acidity, well balanced structure and medium ripe tannins. Elegant.

 My pick

Winery: Cascina Luisin Barbaresco
Wine: Barbaresco Docg 2016 Riserva

Bright with deep garnet core. Pronounced flavour of blackcherry with scents of roses. Spicy notes of liquorice. Rich in structure and strong freshness. Good balance of body, fruit, acidity and velvety tannins. Long, vibrant, finish. Outstanding wine.

Barolo 

Barolo is made in eleven ‘communes’ or village territories: Barolo itself, La Morra, Monforte, Serralunga d’Alba, Castiglione Falletto, Novello, Grinzane Cavour, Verduno, Diano d’Alba, Cherasco, Roddi.

 Wine denomination DOCG

(controlled and guaranteed designation of origin)

Grape  Minimum ageing  Released on the market 
Barolo Docg 100% Nebbiolo 38 months, of which 18 in wood from the 1st January of fourth year after the harvest
Barolo Docg Reserve 100% Nebbiolo 62 months, of which 18 in wood from the 1st January of sixth year after the harvest

Tastings Barolo DOCG  2017  (202 wine reviewed)

The 2017s showed ripe fruit and good structure with great aromatic intensity. A sufficient level of acidity guarantees freshness to almost all wines. In general, I tasted good wines that proved the hard work of the producers during an uneasy season.

 

 

On my radar:

Winery:  Mauro Molino  – La Morra
Wine:  Barolo Docg 2017 Bricco Luciani

Medium garnet core with narrow tawny rim. Great nose with ripe plum, spicy notes of liquorice and rhubarb. Slight notes of leather. Medium  body with ripe red fruit and freshness. Moderate coarse tannins. Quite a long finish.  I really appreciate it.

Winery:  Cascina Ballarin  – La Morra
Wine:  Barolo Docg 2017  Bricco Rocca

Bright with intense garnet core and paler rim. The wine displays ripe red fruit and floral notes of violet with hearty overtones. Exuberant and full body in the palate, elegant fruit and velvety tannins. Long, fresh finish. Very good wine.

Winery: Enrico Serafino  – Serralunga d’Alba
Wine:  Barolo Docg 2017 Meriame

Medium garnet red turning slightly twarny. Pronounced bouquet of black cherry, dried prune and fig. Overtones of coconut and the scent of tobacco.

Winery: Conterno Fantino – Monforte d’Alba
Wine:  Barolo Docg 2017 Ginestra Vigna Sorì Ginestra

Brilliant, deep garnet colour with compact rim. Various and intense aromas of ripe plum, blackberry and chocolate. Rich in structure, with persistent ripe fruit well balanced with the soft tannins. Fresh long finish. I like it.

Winery: Oddero  – Castiglione Falletto

Medium garnet core, paler on the rim. The nose shows beautiful flavour of blueberries. Spicy with a hint of mint. On the palate is elegant with overtones of black cherry and fig. Dry, medium plus body, silky tannins and a long finish. Great wine.

My pick:

Winery:   Poderi Luigi Einaudi – Barolo
Wine:   Barolo Docg 2017 Cannubi

Clear, deep red garnet colour. Intense flavour of dark cherry and prune. Light  notes of eucalyptus and hint of pepper. The mouth is dense with medium soft tannins and toasty hints. Elegant wine with long and pleasant aftertaste. This is an excellent wine.

Tastings Barolo DOCG  2015 Riserva  (31 wine reviewed)

In general, the wines were balanced showing good ripeness and discrete alcohol level. Averagely rich in tannins with long finish. To me these riservas showed great potential.

On my radar:

Winery:  Bric Cenciurio Barolo
Wine:  Barolo Docg 2015 Riserva Coste di Rose 

Intense garnet red colour with pale tawny reflections. Complex nose with intense flavour of dark cherry, liquorice and cinnamon. Fragrant, with juicy palate with present acidity. Discrete alcohol level and soft tannins. Long finish. Really good wine.

Winery: Silvano Bolmida – Monforte d’Alba
Wine:   Barolo Docg 2015 Riserva Bussia 

Deep garnet core with paler rims. Pronounced intensity of ripe plum and prune with overtones of tabacco. Lovely ripe blackcherry in the palate. Well-integrated into a medium body with round, fine tannins. Fresh delicious finish.

My pick:

Winery:  Fenocchio Giacomo  – Village: Monforte d’Alba
Wine:   Barolo Docg 2015 Riserva Bussia 90 

Brilliant, deep garnet core with pale tawny rim. Intense bouquet and aromas of ripe cherry with spicy notes of rhubarb and scents of leather. Well structured wine with high acidity. Beautiful aroma of blackcherry and velvety tannins. Elegant with long finish.  I love it.

Filippo Magnani – Wine Writer, DipWset, Wine travel expert in Italy

I want to thank you Liz Palmer, who

kindly proposed for me to participate and report on the
Nebbiolo Prima 2021, to represent her website

See you in Piedmont !

#nebbiolo #winewriter #winetravel #Italy #italianwine #Barolo, #Barbaresco #Roero #FilippoMagnani #NebbioloPrima2021 #Piedmont #Italianwinelovers #winelovers #instawine #winetasting #NebbioloPrima #winetasting #redwine #italy @filippomagnaniwine @albeisawines