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International Trophy Red Italian Varietals under £15 – Fattoria Dianella, Il Matto delle Giuncaie, Tuscany, Italy 2013

There’s an initial hit of plush, vanilla oak, but the violet-tinged, black cherry, cranberry, raspberry and red berry fruit comes forward and proves more than a match. They both work in harmony on the palate which holds breezy, refreshing flavours of cherry, and beautiful, savoury tannins (13%).
Not available in the UK
POA Tuscan Vineyards Imports USA

VERONICA PASSERIN D’ENTREVES grew up in the Tuscan countryside, since her family owned two estates there: Fattoria Dianella and Tenuta di Piaggia. Her own involvement in the family business began with the development of tourism at their villas, but slowly she became more and more interested in the making the wines herself.

Passerin d’Entreves’ first vintage was 2001, which was also the first vintage of this wine. The aim was to produce an expression of the Fattoria Dianella terroir, using only native grapes (100% Sangiovese) but with a modern approach.

The result, with its perfumed red fruit and hints of spice, won through in a three-way Italian taste-off for this International Trophy, against rivals from the Marche and the deep south of Puglia.

Grapes taken from the oldest part of the Dianella vineyard are hand-selected for this Trophy-winning wine, and fermented at low temperatures in stainless steel, with a long maceration on the skins, followed by malolactic fermentation, part in cement and part in tonneaux. Maturation in small French oak barrels lasts for at least 12 months, with six months’ further ageing in bottle.

It’s a wine that Passerin d’Entreves is unlikely to forget, since its first bottling in 2003 coincided with her wedding to husband Francesco.

It’s also an expression of a single vineyard, the Vigna della Madonnina. This spot has now taken on an additional role as the source of grapes for a new white wine. Serena e Nuvole is made from Vermentino grapes, which were planted as a result of frequent finds of fossilised shells while working the soils there.

vigneti 1harvesting Sangiovese grapes on the Fattoria Dianella estate in Tuscany

Tasted against

Terre Monte Schiavo, Marzaiola, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, Le Marche, Italy 2014 • Vigneti Reale, Rudiae Primitivo, Salento, Puglia, Italy 2013.

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