We don't like to stand still at Whitmore & White so we're always on the lookout for new and interesting wine, spirits, beer and food. Following a bit of a spring clean of our wine range, we're pleased to welcome three fantastic new wines just in from Italy - a pair of Lugana whites and a tantalising Chianti Classico from Tuscany.
Located about a mile from the southern shore of Lake Garda in the Lugana region of Lombardy is the La Rifra farm. This has been family run since the 1970s and mainly plants Trebbiano di Lugana (Turbiana) and Marzemino grapes, together with a smattering of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. They do not use herbicides and adhere to an aggro-environmental measure for sustainability. If you ever tried the Ca Dei Frati "I Frati" and "Brolettino" from us then these wines are every bit as good.
La Rifra "Libiam"
Made from the Trebbiano di Lugana (Turbiana) grape which undergoes stainless steel fermentation followed by 4 to 5 months in tank and 2 to 3 months in bottle.
With aromas of honeysuckle and elderflower on the nose backed up by lemon and stone fruit notes this wine is quite tempting.
The palate is dry and well rounded, with notes of nectarine, orange blossom and creamy apple pie.
The acidity is well balanced making it a great pairing to many fish or white meat dishes.
La Rifra Riserva "Il Bepi"
With the Trebbiano di Lugana undergoing some barrel fermentation and malolactic conversion, this is a much fuller version to its sibling above.
The bright golden yellow colour hits you first, promising long days of sunshine.
The nose is redolent in tropical, citrus and stone fruits with a subtle ozone edge.
The palate is full bodied and rounded with stone fruit, creamy vanilla and a slight saline tang to the acidity. This makes it a great accompaniment to cheese and creamy chicken dishes.
Situated just above the town of Greve in central Tuscany, wine has been produced at Montecalvi since the 15th Century. Being part of the Castello di'Uzzano estate, for hundreds of years Montecalvi's produce was shared with the owners of the estate, as was traditional for the mezzandria system. It didn't receive independence until the 1980s when the villa and vineyards were sold to the Bolli family.
After undergoing somewhat of a restoration and with the wines having great success (tre bicchieri from Gamberi Rosso), the estate was sold to the Drake family who own Collato in Adelaide Hills, Australia. The vineyards have been updated, with possibly the oldest vines in Tuscany restored and indigenous Tuscan varieties replanted. The estate is certified organic and everything done from vineyard to winery is with an eye on sustainability.
Montecalvi Chianti Classico
Made almost entirely from Sangiovese and a small percentage of Canaiolo, the wine was fermented for 30 days in stainless steel then transferred to French oak tonneau barrels for 18 months before spending its final 6 months in bottle before release.
The wine is multi-layered with bittersweet cherry and spice aromas followed by smooth tannins, cherry, mocha and vanillin-oak nuances on the palate.
An elegant wine which needs something roasted and meaty to compliment it.