Tim Atkin | Master of Wine

Tim’s Tasting Notes

90

2016 Nord Est Vermentino, Sardinia

£8.99, 12.5%, Co-op; Majestic; Wine Rack; Berry Bros; Wine Rack; Wimbledon Wine Cellars; Cambridge Wine Merchant;

Vermentino is one of the great Mediterranean white grapes, retaining acidity when other varieties have gone as soft as a tired mattress. This lovely unoaked example has notes of lemon peel and aromatic herbs with good weight and texture and classic Vermentino crunch. 

ChickenFish

 

 
 

90

2016 Nunzio Ghiraldi Il Gruccione, Lugana, Veneto

£15, 13.5%, WineTraders UK

This delicious Italian white comes from the shores of Lake Garda and shows the pepper spice and perfume that are typical of the Lugana style. Savoury and tangy, with a touch of spritz, bracing, almost salty acidity and a long finish. 

FishVegetables

 

 
 

91

2015 Masseria Pietrosa Verdeca, Cantine San Marzano, Puglia

£6 down from £8, 13%, Morrison's

Even at its normal price, this fine-looking Italian white from the country's boot heel is a total bargain, but at £6 it shoudl ahve people queueing out of the door. Blending the local Verdeca grape (not the same thing as Verdejo) with 2.5% each of Sauvignon Blanc and Malvasia, it's a tangy, crunchy thirstquencher with flavours of pear and orange zest and lovely texture. 

FishVegetables

 

 
 

93

2007 S.C. Pannell Nebbiolo, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

£32.09, 14.5%, Liberty Wines

The list of impressive Nebbiolo producers outside north-west Italy isn't a long one, but Steve Pannell, who has worked in Piedmont to familiarise himself with the grape, would definitely be on it. Suitably pale in colour, with the variety's unique combination of austerity and voluptuousness, firm tannins and sweet, savoury autumnal fruit, this wouldn't look out of place in a line up of Barolos. 

PastaLambCheese

 

 
 

88

2015 Poggio Civetta, Tuscany

£6.99, 12.5%, Majestic

If you're looking for an easy drinking pink to quaff over the next few weeks, this pale rosé made from "typical Tuscan varieties"  is a snip at under £7 (as long as you buy five other bottles at Majestic). There's a spicy, wild herb-like note to the raspberry fruit that's backed up by a nip of tannin. 

FishVegetables

 

 
 

90

NV Majolini Altèra Brut Rosé, Franciacorta

£30, 12%, Bat & Bottle

Pinot Noir is the sole grape on this very pale pink bubbly and it shows in the poise, balance and perfume of the wine. Red fruits, attractive, bottle-aged maturity and complex, toasty undertones make this an excellent alternative to Champagne. 

 

 
 

90

2012 Torre del Falasco, Cantina Valpantena, Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore, Veneto

£9.99, 14%, Rude Wines

Less sweet than many commercial Ripasso bottlings - and none the worse for that - this is also showing a bit of bottle-aged complexity, combining notes of plum, strawberry and fig, a nip of tannin and no obvious oak. The combination of fruit, acidity and residual sugar is very well handled here. 

PastaBeefLamb

 

 
 

91

2013 G.D. Vajra Dolcetto d'Alba, Dolcetto d'Alba, Piedmont

£13, 13%, Liberty Wines

This is only the "entry point" Dolcetto from the Vajra family, but it's still a deliciously aromatic example of Piedmont's everyday red. Aromatic and fruity, showing flavours of plum and black cherry, as well as aromas of violets, it's at its best when lightly chilled. Aren't we all? Long and refreshing with chalky acidity. 

PastaLambGame

 

 
 

96

2010 G.D. Vajra, Bricco delle Viole, Barolo, Piedmont

TBC, 14.5%, Liberty Wines

So appealing now that you are almost tempted to pull the cork, but give this superlative Barolo some time. Old vines, marl soils, a top vintage and brilliant winemaking all combine beautifully here. Elegant, minerally and poised, this has a red fruits sweetness that is almost reminiscent of Pinot Noir, but with a firmer backbone of acidity and tannin. Fine, silky and very long. 

PastaBeefLamb

 

 
 

95

2010 G.D. Vajra Luigi Baudana, Baudana, Barolo, Piedmont

TBC, 14.5%, Liberty Wines

The Luigi Baudana wines come entirely from Serralunga d'Alba, widely considered the best village in the Barolo region. This is more closed and concentrated than the sweeter, riper 2009, but has finer tannins, too, and the classic chalky undertone of eastern Barolo. It's a serious, even sligthly backward wine with excellent structure and ageing potential. Give this wine time. 

PastaBeefLamb