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Italy

The history, passion and peculiarities of Italy are eloquently expressed in its wine.  It can be brilliant, bullish, exciting, seductive and wrapped in impenetrable bureaucracy.  Wine is produced from the southern tip of Sicily to the foothills of the Alps and is the preserve of everyone from peasants to international experts.

The history, passion and peculiarities of Italy are eloquently expressed in its wine.  It can be brilliant, bullish, exciting, seductive and wrapped in impenetrable bureaucracy.  Wine is produced from the southern tip of Sicily to the foothills of the Alps and is the preserve of everyone from peasants to international... read more.

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History

The Romans found the vine flourishing, courtesy of the Greeks and Etruscans, by the time that they controlled the peninsula.  With their love for wine they came to understand its requirements and develop an enormous range of indigenous grape varieties, many of which survive and thrive to this day.  With the collapse of the empire the country was fragmented for centuries and, though it was unified in 1861, it will take more than 150 years to lose the fierce and fabulous regionality that developed in the era of the great city states.

Classification System

The Italian system of classification came late compared with Spain and France, but its laudable aim was to preserve the character and traditions of hundreds of regions and thousands of wines. Unfortunately, the Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) classification of 1963 was flawed through an overly rigid approach. Since then it has been considerably altered and a total of four classifications now seek to clarify the often perplexing richness of Italian winemaking.

Climate and Conditions

Ten degrees of latitude and 1300 metres of altitude separate the extremes of Italian winemaking.  From the steepness of the Alps to the shores of the Mediterranean the vine is ubiquitous.  Over two thousand native grapes have developed across thousands of years and each has found a niche in the extremely varied regions of Italy.  The diversity of wines this allows is immense.

The Wines of Today

It is hardly surprising that with over a million grape growers the Italian wine industry is highly fragmented and devoid of large international brands.  There was a time when this greatly handicapped the quality of the wine being produced, but since the Second World War huge strides have been taken to remedy this.  An emerging and discerning middle class, the DOC classification system, international influences and modernisation have been allied to the independent spirit, regional character and indigenous grape varieties that have always existed to produce unique and increasingly excellent wines.  Italian wine, beyond the most famous, requires effort to understand but rewards the intrepid.

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  1. Asti Spumante Ca'Solare

    Asti Spumante Ca'Solare, Italy 75cl

    Light, bright and fruity with greater sweetness than champagne.

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    £7.92
    6 or more
    £7.94
    each
    £6.60
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £6.62
    each Excl. VAT
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  2. Franciacorta Miledi Brut, 2011, Italy

    Franciacorta Milledi Brut, 2014, Italy 75cl

    A very attractive and delicate sparkling wine. Soft and persistent with subtle hints of white flowers on the aroma and notes of dried nuts. Lively on the palate with delicate citrus fruits and an apple like character on the finish.

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    £25.98
    6 or more
    £28.94
    each
    £21.65
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £24.12
    each Excl. VAT
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  3. Prosecco Amori Spumante, Italy

    Prosecco Amori, Italy 75cl

    Pale light yellow colour, with fine and elegant bubbles which create a soft yet refreshing mouth feel. The fruit is delicate with a slightly aromatic nose which harmonises beautifully on the palate. Excellent as an aperitif but also wonderful with white fish and shellfish.

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    £9.54
    6 or more
    £9.95
    each
    £7.95
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £8.29
    each Excl. VAT
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  4. Prosécco Extra Dry Vetriano, Italy

    Prosécco Extra Dry Vetriano, Italy 75cl

    A delightful easy-drinking sparkler. A touch of retained sugar adds a pleasing sweetness to the crisp and aromatic palate.

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    £9.59
    6 or more
    £10.50
    each
    £7.99
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £8.75
    each Excl. VAT
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  5. Prosécco Lunetta, Italy

    Prosécco Lunetta, Italy 75cl

    This is what Prosecco is all about. A delicate example with a long persistent mousse. Light and fruity with hints of ripe apples, peaches and ripe stone fruits.

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    £10.02
    6 or more
    £11.50
    each
    £8.35
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £9.58
    each Excl. VAT
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  6. Prosécco di Valdobbiadene, Riva dei Ciliegi Ca'Vittoria

    Prosécco di Valdobbiadene, Riva dei Ciliegi Ca'Vittoria, Congellano Valobbiadene, Italy 75cl

    This Prosecco is a cut above the rest with a richer edge and more depth than most of its counterparts. It is a beautifully balanced wine that is full of flavour whilst retaining that deliciously fresh and zingy character that we have grown to love.&nb

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    £12.36
    6 or more
    £14.26
    each
    £10.30
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £11.88
    each Excl. VAT
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  7. Prosécco Follador Frizzante, Treviso

    Prosécco Follador Frizzante, Treviso 75cl

    This is an amazing Prosecco. Frizzante is a style that is slightly less sparkling than you would perhaps expect from a Prosecco and, as such, the bubbles are soft in the mouth and feel like they just melt. Fresh and velvety on the palate with aromas of

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    £14.59
    6 or more
    £16.80
    each
    £12.16
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £14.00
    each Excl. VAT
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  8. Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry Millesimato, Bepin de Eto

    Prosecco Superiore Millesimato, Bepin de Eto, Congellano Valobbiadene, Italy, 2014 75cl

    Apple, pear, and peach fruit on the nose, lifted by delicate floral notes of rose petals and acacia blossoms. The palate is both sweet and smooth leading to a finish ennobled with a hint of fresh greens. 

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    £16.14
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    £17.94
    each
    £13.45
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £14.95
    each Excl. VAT
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  9. Prosecco Superiore Extra Dry, Raphael Dal Bo

    Prosecco Superiore, Raphael Dal Bo, Congellano Valobbiadene, Italy 75cl

    Notes of apple, pear, and peach emerge in the bouquet, then delicate floral impressions of rose petals and acacia blossoms.

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    £15.06
    6 or more
    £16.94
    each
    £12.55
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £14.12
    each Excl. VAT
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  10. Bepin De Eto Flave Rosato Brut Millesimato

    Bepin De Eto Flave Rosato Brut Millesimato, Congellano Valobbiadene, Italy 75cl

    The generous yet refined bouquet exhibits a rich summer fruit character remeniscient of fragrant white peach and apricot. the palate consists of  melon, lychee, and pink grapefruit, ending on a fine note of ripe pineapple.

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    £16.14
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    £17.94
    each
    £13.45
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £14.95
    each Excl. VAT
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  11. Lunetta Rosé Spumante, Italy

    Lunetta Rosé Spumante, Italy 75cl

    Fresh summer fruit supported by lively fizz, great approachable sparkling wine for a celebration or any occasion.

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    £10.02
    6 or more
    £11.50
    each
    £8.35
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £9.58
    each Excl. VAT
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  12. Vetriano Pinot Grigio Rose Spumante, Italy

    Vetriano Pinot Grigio Rose Spumante, Italy 75cl

    Fresh, dry and crammed with summer fruits, a sparkling version of the Italian classic grape Pinot Grigio, with a twist of pink. Enjoy chilled, perfect for all occasions.

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    £9.42
    6 or more
    £9.95
    each
    £7.85
    6 or more Excl. VAT
    £8.29
    each Excl. VAT
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