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Website © 2019 Joanna Simon

Header photo © Waitrose & Partners Drinks / Cat Garcia

Affordable Italians from the south and Tuscany


My latest Wine of the Week was one of six Italian wines I tasted from Tanners. I could happily have chosen any of the other five, so I'm posting notes on them. The first two are new in and from the same Abruzzo producer as my Wine of the Week. The other three are described as "old faithfuls" by Tanners.

Tenuta del Priore Col del Mondo Sunnae Abruzzo Bianco 2017, £10.95

You don't see white Abruzzo very often – a shame if this lees-matured blend of Trebbiano, Passerino and Pecorino is anything to go by. Medium-full with subtly rich texture and an alluring combination of crisp quince, lemon, pear and green-almond flavours. Versatile with food – chicken, pasta, risotto, fish pie – and equally good as an aperitif. 13%

Tenuta del Priore Col del Mondo Terre dei Vestini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2015, £14.50

A dark, full-bodied, oak-matured Montepulciano with perfumy, spicy black fruit on the nose and dark, rich, black cherry, dark chocolate and liquorice flavours in the mouth. A wine at ease with wintry casseroles (meat, bean, pulses, root vegetables), meaty sausages, mature cheddar or some 85% dark chocolate if you like the dark choc/red wine combo. 14%

Carlomagno Fiano 2017, Puglia, £8.40

Very good value Fiano – full of pithy citrus fruit, peach, jasmine, mineral and salted almond flavours, a soft, round texture then a zingy, preserved-lemon finish. Drink as an aperitif or with the likes of shellfish, pasta or chicken thighs baked with lemon and tarragon. 12.5%

Alovini Le Ralle Aglianico del Vulture 2016, Basilicata, £11.70

Woodsmoke, plum and blackberry flavours – classic signatures of the Aglianico grape grown high up in the volcanic soils of Monte Vulture, but a more approachable, less fiercely individual style than some. A match for red meat, venison, slow-roast pork or vegetarian stews 13%

La Massa 2015, Toscana, £19.95

A non-Chianti from the heart of the Chianti Classico region, and the sort of wine I could drink everyday. It's a blend of 55% Sangiovese, 40% Merlot and 5% Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French oak and has a seductive velvety richness, spicy black fruit, hedgerow berry and roasting chestnut flavours and fragrant fir-tree freshness. I drank it with wild duck, but it would go well with most red meat and game, pork, duck, vegetable gratins, pasta with meat sauces or hard cheeses. 14%

Photographs by Joanna Simon

#wine #Italy #Montepulciano #Sangiovese #Fiano #Aglianico #red #white