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En Primeur

Justerini & Brooks
En Primeur Italy

While Italy's reputation as a wine-growing region is undoubtedly built on history and the legacy attached to names like Barolo, Chianti and Brunello, there are also amazing things happening across the rest of the country. A quick look at Tenuta Delle Terre Nere on the north face of Mount Etna and at Rocca del Principe, who are making outstanding Fiano from the prime Arianiello Hill in Lapio, Campania - for example - and it is clear the quality and diversity of Italian wines has never been better. In fact, it's improving year after year. New artisan producers keep popping up onto our radar, passionate growers who make utterly compelling wine from indigenous varieties in far flung corners of the country. These are exciting times indeed.

Italy 2016

Il Sogno!

2016 has made a reputation for itself as a great vintage in Piedmont. On the evidence of the wines our buying team tasted in February, such a tag is well-justified. Its place amongst the pantheon of top vintages is assured. The question is whether it surpasses legendary years such as 2013, 2010 and 2001. Many believe it does. People will judge for themselves and no doubt time will tell but, for now, what we can say is that we were thoroughly impressed by this thrilling and harmonious vintage that teeters somewhere between classical and modern in style. Classical in the sense that the wines display fresh acidities and veins of pure, crisp fruit, but modern in the sense of greater attention to detail in the vineyard and the cellar; gentle extractions, restraint in favour of power, and tactile, sophisticated, ripe fruit profiles displaying none of the rusticity sometimes seen in the past. Indeed, 2016, although early days, has every potential to set a new bar for the region’s most dynamic, terroir-driven producers – many of whom are represented in our offer today. Furthermore, the growing trend for more neutral oak and lower density wines is has imbued many of these 2016s with a newfound clarity – it is potentially the most graceful vintage of modern times.

Italy 2015

“Non Si Siedono”

These are words borrowed from Alex Sanchez at Brovia which for us perfectly sum up all that is great about this vintage: “They don’t sit down.” For as generous and richly-fruited as these 2015s are, the best wines clearly have posture and a certain energy. They are alive. Silvia Altare goes as far as to call this a “radiant” vintage, whilst the team at Paolo Scavino consider the wines “amazing” and Castello di Verduno wine-maker Mario Andrion thinks “it is one of the most beautiful vintages ever.”

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