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.


1998 Gabbro, Montepeloso x 6
 6 Bottles
"The debut vintage of the 100% Cabernet Sauvignon cuvee, the 1998 Gabbro, is a terrific example of what can be produced in this area adjacent to the Mediterranean. Keep in mind that the famous Sassicaia is close by, as are the hillside vineyards of the cult wine, Tua Rita. The saturated black/purple-colored 1998 Gabbro boasts sumptuous aromatics of cherry liqueur, cassis, toasty new oak, minerals, spice box, and tobacco. There is extravagant intensity, an opulent texture, and a large-scaled, rich, concentrated finish. 93" Robert Parker 

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