Friday, 25 September 2009

Interesting everyday wines from Italy: part 2

Two wines this time...

Chianti, Malenchini, 2008

Situated within the Chianti Colli Fiorentini sub region only a few kilometers from Florence, the picturesque Malenchini estate produces a wide range of wines from table wine to a Super Tuscan, Bruzzico. From the middle of this range, the basic Chianti is made from 100% Sangiovese and is not aged in oak. It is therefore bursting with dense and ripe fruit and possesses everything I love about Italian wine in spades: indigenous grape varieties, moreish acidity & black cherry fruit, and food companions.

  • A: Deep core with scarlet & lilac rim. 
  • N: ?
  • P: Soft tannins with rich blackcurrants, and crunchy cherries & red fruit on finish. 
  • C: A great every day wine but with expressive terroir. I'd definitely reorder as a house red (£6.50, The Wine Society) 2* 7/10

Fiano, MandraRossa, Sicilia IGT, 2008

The previous vintage won a Decanter International White Single Varietal Trophy. I was therefore expecting a lot of this wine and I am happy to say that it did not disappoint. Possessing only a rudimentary knowledge of Italian, there was a limit to what I could find out about the wine on the Italian MandraRossa website. MandraRossa is a premium range of Sicilian wines produced by the Settesoli co-op in Menfi. Made entirely from the native Fiano grape and fermented in steel vats, the wine is therefore unencumbered by oak which would only overpower such a delicate and aromatic grape.
  • A: Pale gold
  • N: Honey on the nose, bit like a demi sec chenin
  • P: Lovely lemon mousse palette with masses of steely minerality (reminicant of Chablis or Santorini) but little finish. 
  • C: Nonetheless, a great & interesting wine and one I would not hesitate to reorder as a house white (£6.50, The Wine Society). 2* 7/10

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