Of the many wine producing regions of Italy, we concentrate principally on two - Tuscany and Piedmont - where arguably the finest wines are made. Tuscany is the home of Sangiovese - which finds its greatest expression in the wines of Montalcino - while Piedmont is the home of Nebbiolo - the grape variety of Barolo and Barbaresco. In addition, we have wines from Friuli in the far northeast, close to the border with Slovenia, from the Veneto (particularly famous for the sparkling wines made from Prosecco) and from Umbria, where quality can be very fine, while price remains remarkably reasonable.

Wine production in Italy has undergone an extraordinarily rapid period of change over the last 20 to 30 years. Gone is the obsession, born at least in part from the impoverishment of the post-War years, for producing the maximum possible volume from the vineyards, which resulted in the production of vast quantities of dilute, under-ripe and poorly made wines. The generation of the increasingly affluent decades of the 1970s and 1980s, which has now taken control of family vineyards, has very different ideas. The transparency of the global market, and the competition for the attention of wine drinkers has brought in its wake the realisation that wine, however cheap, will not sell if the quality is not there. Now we have a generation of Italian producers making wines of the highest quality at all levels of price.

Campi di Fonterenza

Twins Francesca and Margherita Padovani run this tiny estate of just 2½ hectares of vines.  The Campi di Fonterenza is a small traditional Tuscan farmhouse, tucked away in the hills between Sant’ Angelo in Colle and Castel Nuovo dell’Abate, south of Montalcino, and the vineyards lie within the Montalcino ‘appellation’.  The twins do everything by hand here, and are completely passionate about the wine (and the olive oil) they produce.  This is Tuscany as it ought to be: peaceful, unhurried and dedicated to the production of all things delicious - the sort of place that makes you want to move there at once.

Fonterenza label


2007 Brunello di Montalcino, Campi di Fonterenza Magnums x 3
 3 Magnums
Deep ruby colour, powerful dark cherry and damson fruit on the nose. Very intense fruit attack lovely balance, terrific concentration, really layered and complex. Big fruit with super ripe tannins, very, very long. The wine was then tasted after decanting: The nose has opened out to reveal more complexity and intensity. There are now smoky notes and floral ones as well as the concentrated flavours of plums and cherries. Really intense on the attack with an impressive core of concentrated blackcurrant fruit. Long and balanced as well as fresh and vibrant. Very long and very impressive. 
2008 Brunello di Montalcino, Campi di Fonterenza x 6
 6 Bottles
Very dark ruby colour. Intensely aromatic. Powerful and concentrated on the palate (at least in part because the crop was 30% down thanks to a very poor fruit set). The wine has the most lovely balance and freshness despite its tremendous weight of flavour. Very long. Outstanding. 
2011 Brunello di Montalcino, Campi di Fonterenza x 6
 6 Bottles

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