Definitive Italian
Published:  13 June, 2008

Andrew Catchpole sizes up some of the exhibitors representing their country with their pick of the best at this year's annual tasting

Once again Lord's Cricket Ground plays host to the most important Italian wine event of the year when The Definitive Italian Wine Tasting rolls into town on June 24. This year marks the 10th anniversary of an event that has grown from 51 exhibitor tables at Chelsea Galleria in 1999 to 84 exhibitor tables in 2007, now including all the UK's major and specialist Italian importers of wine.

Aimed solely at trade and press, the

tasting is the only generic trade event for Italy in the UK and showcases wines

commercially available through a UK importer or dedicated UK office. It is a must-attend

for all

who buy and sell Italian wine,

and anyone who

wants to keep abreast of recent developments in this dynamic and ever-evolving country.

In addition to the wines


exhibitors' tables, th e supplementary tasting will be a cross-regional snapshot of the

indigenous varietals available. For this, each exhibitor has been invited to present two wines retailing at £6.50 or more.

Full details of transport links, including trains, tubes, buses and car parking, plus a map of the neighbourhood, can be found at, al-ong with a list of exhibitors, organiser's contact details , online registration

and a download of the tasting catalogue.


Piccini, which has captured the UK number one slot for Chianti with its distinctive orange-labelled brand, will be revealing its new 100% IGT Sangiovese Rosé, believed to be the first such rosé produced in Italy.

PLB will be majoring on five new wines from Cantina di Soave, its newly-signed Venetian co-operative . Styles includ e Soave, Valpolicella and Bardolino,

shown under the off-trade focus ed Cadis label.

Thierry's is showcasing a new Bardolino

in its Ravelli branded range, plus Marleo, an organic Sangiovese from Salustri in Montecucco in Tuscany, and new organic Prosecco and Pinot Grigio under its Terra Organica label. Two hot new agencies, Malgra from Piedmont and Vivallis from Trentino, also join the fold.

In addition to its full portfolio of Brunello, Super Tuscan, Sant'Antimo and Chianti wines, Banfi will be showing a selection of wines from its sister winery, Vigne Regali in Piedmont. Other highlights include Banfi's San Angelo Pinot Grigio 2007, the Centine Rosé IGT 2007 and the 6.5% abv Rosa Regale Brachetto d'Aqui.

Playford Ros will be showcasing top quality Prosecco courtesy of producer Villa Sandi, which currently supplies 18 wines

to the UK. Th ose on show will include Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Frizzante, Prosecco Il Fresco Brut, Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Brut and Prosecco Di Valdobbiadene Dry Cuvée.

Guy Anderson Wines

offers several new wines from its recent venture into Italy, with a focus on indigenous varieties and less well-trodden regions. A taster

includes L'Aquila di Todi from Umbria,

a high-quality wine from DOC Lambrusco Grasparossa di Castelvestro, featuring quality producer Chiarli on the label rather than the much-maligned Lambrusco name, and the Giardini range of affordable IGT wines from Sicily, including a Nero d'Avola/Shiraz and a Grillo/Chardonnay blend.

Crush Wines is launching a number of

wines and formats , including the iconic Materia Prima, a Prosecco, a Pignoletto, new wines for the Gorilla range and the first 75cl Tetra Prisma, Oro e Verde. The

Gorilla range


Syrah, Primitivo and Grillo from Puglia and Sicily, with donations from


going to gorilla charities such as the Gorilla Organisation.

High-end importer Astrum will once again be showing wines cherry-picked from its portfolio, which ranges from Alto Adige to Pantelleria and includes 30 exclusive agencies.

Bibendum will have a strong showing of new Tuscan wines . These include

Super Tuscan



Baby Tuscan

blends jointly developed under the Ceppiano label with the Castellani family; from Vigneti di Campomaggio a Chianti Classico and a Super Tuscan blend, to a new organic Teroldego-based wine made at Poggio Al Casone in La Crespina called La Cattura. Other newcomers include Testal, a 94% Corvina wine from Valpolicella producer Nicolis. Also highlighted are

Aglianico and Falanghina wines from Bisceglia .


offering will include Costasera Riserva Amarone Classico 2003, a special cuvée of Masi's flagship Costasera Amarone, made using grapes that include the ancient Oseleta and using a long appassimento process, which lasts more than 120 days. Other highlights include Mastroberardino's Taurasi Riserva "130 Anni" 1999, a 100% Aglianico wine produced to celebrate Mastroberardino's 130 years as an officially recognised winery, and Fattoria Mancini wines, including the exclusive white grape varieties of Pesaro province, such as Ancellotta and Albanella.

Building on the success of its Gambero Rosso "due bicchieri" (two glasses) award last year, Piedmont producer Noceto Michelotti will be showing the latest vintage from its all-new winery at the show.

Pol Roger is launching Mongrana, a biodynamically grown Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend made by Chianti-based Querciabella. The wine, priced £8.99, is named after the family of knights in Ariosto's epic poem Orlando Furioso.

Richards Walford will show highlights from its mainly northern Italian range, including newly-launched Spanna, a Montalbano/Casa Rosa blend from Antonio Vallana & Figlio of Maggiore, the outstanding 2007 vintage from Riccardo Falchini of San Gimignano and the UK launch of Rovescala-based Castello di Luzzano's 2007 Malvasia "Tasto di Seta" from Colli Piacentini.

Alto Adige is exhibiting as a regional generic body, showing aromatic whites such as Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc and reds including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir and local varieties Lagrein and Schiava.

Cantina La-Vis has revamped its Storie di Vite range of Trentino wines with new additions and new packaging. The range now has nine wines.

Casa Girelli is showing the latest vintages from Chianti Classico estate Villa Cafaggio, plus the seven-strong Canaletto range.

Liberty Wines has added the Da Vinci range of wines from Cantine Leonardo to its portfolio. A Chianti 2006 and Chianti Classico 2005 will be on taste. Gran Sasso has added a deep-coloured rosato Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Cerasuolo 2007 to its range, plus Montepulciano/Sangiovese/Primitivo/Negroamaro/Malvasia Nera blend Cinque Autoctoni 2005 - which creator Valentino Sciotti calls "a true taste of southern Italy".

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