Welcome to Stannary Wine’s most comprehensive Italian wine offer to date, with new releases from estates the length of lo Stivale (the Boot). Here is what to expect.

Tuscany is well-represented, and indeed, in Montalcino, 2019 was earmarked for greatness from the moment the grapes were picked (if not before). Our three Brunello producers, Le Potazzine, Cerbaiona and La Fiorita, have new releases worth celebrating.

2019 was also an excellent vintage in Chianti Classico, and the 2019 from the region’s illustrious Castell’in Villa is one of many highlights.

No serious survey of Italian wines would be complete without a selection of great Nebbiolo from Piedmont. Wines to look out for include the 2020 Barolo Ravera from Elvio Cogno, a trio of 2019s from Agricola Brandini and 2021s from “sister” property Sorì della Sorba, the 2020 releases from Franca Miretti at Cantina del Pino in Barbaresco, the ethereal 2020 Gattinara from Mauro Franchino, and a host of wines from Roero ace Giovanni Correggia.

Two new additions are Emiliano Falsini, one of Italy’s top consultants, introducing his own wines from Etna and the Tuscan coast, and Chiara Condello, a rising star in Emilia Romagna. Both Emiliano and Chiara make site-specific wines of freshness and finesse: the watchwords for Italian producers we represent.

Also making their Stannary debut are a number of estates we’ve worked with for some time, but whose wines we’ve sold primarily, up to now, to restaurants, where they have won a loyal following. In this category are Novaia (Valpolicella), Cantina del Castello (Soave) and Borgoluce (Prosecco), as well as Kuenhof and Cantina Bolzano, two of Alto Adige’s best addresses. Further south, we have Ciro Picariello, a leading light in Campania, who crafts drop-dead gorgeous wines from the local Fiano, Falanghina and Aglianico grapes.

Wines marked with an asterisk are here in the UK, and available for immediate delivery. In many cases, volumes are strictly limited (and we anticipate high demand).

Will Heslop • Italy Buyer

 

Scroll down to see the wines available for immediate delivery, or click below to download the PDF including all new releases available later this year.

See the new releases

 

Borgoluce

Borgoluce is not only one of Prosecco’s most ambitious producers, but one of the most spectacular estates in our entire portfolio. It amounts to 1,200 hectares but only a fraction is given over to vines – most are woodland, orchards or pastures for livestock. The estate makes outstanding mozzarella and prosciutto, as well as sparkling wines of exceptional freshness and purity. Sustainability is among the watchwords here: all energy to run the winery is derived from plant and animal by-products. Even the swimming pool at the guesthouse is kept clean by the process of phyto-purification. Borgoluce is owned by the Collalto family, whose ancestral home, the Castello di San Salvatore, overlooks the estate. The family also lend their name to the prized Riva di Collalto vineyard.

Cantina del Castello

Cantina del Castello, the only winery located within the town’s city walls, is a source of top- notch Soave. An ancient tunnel links the cellar to the castle itself. The estate totals 13 hectares, lying exclusively in the volcanic (and most sought-after) sector of the Soave appellation. Vinified in stainless steel, the Cantina’s wines combine freshness and salinity with Garganega’s inherent richness. The excellent Soave Classico contains 10% Trebbiano while Pressoni, from the eponymous south-east facing Cru, contains 20%. Spending two years on its lees, Pressoni is a touch fuller, more complex and concentrated – and will only improve with further ageing in bottle.

Azienda Agricola Novaia

Novaia’s wines will make you fall (back) in love with Valpolicella. This organic-certified estate comprises seven hectares in the bucolic Marano Valley, the heart of the upper Valpolicella Classico region. Novaia was founded by Paolo Vaona at the end of the nineteenth century and is now run by fourth-generation Marcello, who took over in 2005. Planted to Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, Rondinella and the seldom-seen Oseleta, the vineyards encircle the winery at 300-450m altitude and are divided into three parcels including I Cantoni (with its distinctive volcanic tuffaceous soil). Novaia’s Valpolicella Classico, raised in tank, is sapid and immensely moreish, while even the Amarone is fresh, digeste and can be enjoyed throughout a meal – for dessert try the drop dead gorgeous Recioto.

Kuenhof

Kuenhof, one of the best white wine estates in Italy, has belonged to the Pliger family for 200 years. It is today operated by Brigitte and Peter Pliger and their energetic son Simon. The family’s vertiginous vineyards are located at high altitudes in the part of South Tyrol called the Val d’Isarco (or Eisacktal), not far from the border with Austria. Riesling, Sylvaner and Grüner Veltliner all thrive here. The wines are organic and reveal an electrifying mineral character from the schist, quartz phyllite, and morainic layers of crushed rock in their vineyards. Raised primarily in neutral casks, these are understated, nuanced and extremely food-friendly wines that only get better with age.

“ 2022 was a hot, dry year in the vineyards. Therefore the grapes were more concentrated. The wines have an impressive tension with medium to full body and nervy, linear acidity that cuts through the palate (and) gives it a drive and freshness. ”
Simon Pliger, Kuenhof

Cantina Bolzano

Cantina Bolzano – or Kellerei Bozen, as it’s known by Alto Adige’s German speakers – is a high-class operation. A co-operative formed in 2001, it’s supplied by some 224 smallholdings. Initially focused on the local Schiava and Lagrein grapes, production now includes an excellent Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Chardonnay, Merlot and more. While Bolzano’s entry-level whites are hugely popular among our restaurant customers, we are this year offering, for the first time, the barrel-aged ‘Dellago’ Pinot Bianco and ‘Taber’ Riserva Lagrein – more complex, age-worthy wines named specifically after the families who grow them. The winery itself is housed in a gleaming bronze cube, surrounded on all sides by vineyards.

Azienda Agricola Matteo Correggia

Az. Agr. Matteo Correggia has been a standard-bearer for Roero since the eighties, when Matteo (having taken charge at the age of just 23) became an honorary member of the Barolo Boys, a group of young winemakers driven by the belief that Nebbiolo could and should express Piedmont’s distinct terroirs. Matteo tragically died in 2001, but his philosophy endures through his son Giovanni, who today manages the estate with winemaker Luca Rostagno. Grown on well-exposed, sandy soils, their Roero Arneis is vibrant, mineral and wonderfully easy to enjoy – no wonder it’s proved such a hit with our restaurant customers. Correggia’s single-vineyard Val dei Preti and Roche d’Ampsej are two of Roero’s most complex, age-worthy Nebbiolo wines.

“The classic Roero is one of the most iconic 100% Nebbiolo we make. The 2021, in particular, is very fruity and juicy, smooth tannins and amazing balance.”
Giovanni Correggia, Matteo Correggia

Agricola Brandini

An estate that’s really going places, Brandini was established in 2007 by Piero Bagnasco and is today managed by his two delightful, dynamic daughters Giovanna and Serena. Located in the commune of La Morra, Brandini takes its name from the eponymous cru, whose cool, windswept slopes make it less vulnerable than many parts of Barolo to global heating. Since taking over, Giovanna and Serena have been fine-tuning the operation, not least by converting the estate’s 18 hectares to organic farming and experimenting with whole-bunch fermentation to achieve extra freshness and elegance. No Annunziata was produced in 2019 due to hail, but the small quantity of healthy grapes harvested here have provided a qualitative boost to the always excellent multi-site Comune di la Morra.

“2019 is a classic vintage – reminiscent of 16. The wines are a bit more introverted but (have) great potential.”
Giovanna Bagnasco, Brandini

Sorì della Sorba

Sorì della Sorba stands out even in a region as beautiful as Piedmont, not only aesthetically, but for the sense of tranquillity that prevails here. The estate’s 3.7 hectares occupy a south-facing amphitheatre encircled by woodland, high in the hills above Diano d’Alba. It’s immediately apparent why such a place would capture the hearts of Giovanna Bagnasco (of Agricola Brandini in Barolo) and her now-husband Carlo Mondavi, who chose it to realise their dream – with the inaugural 2019 vintage – of making a wine together. Drawing from Nebbiolo, Dolcetto and Barbera vines up to fifty years old, Sorì della Sorba today produces two exquisite reds. Solo per Amore is a playful, juicy Dolcetto-lead blend of the three varietals, while the flagship cuvée ‘Sorì della Sorba’ (100% Nebbiolo), is equally fresh and expressive, but with a little extra grip and concentration. Both are made with a judiciously high-proportion of whole-bunches and raised in neutral Slavonian oak casks.

Mannucci Droandi

Another estate whose wines we’ve hitherto sold primarily to restaurants where they’ve gained a loyal following – little surprise given how characterful and approachable the Droandi family’s wines are, and what excellent value they represent. Organic certified, the lion’s share of the Droandi vineyards is in Campolucci, on the eastern slopes of the Chianti mountains in the subzone of Colli Aretini. The well-exposed slopes and sandy, alluvial soil here produce a Chianti with bags of juicy fruit, freshness and a sapid, moreish finish. Roberto Droandi, who heads up the estate with his wife Maria-Grazia (of the Mannucci family) and nephew Tommaso, is a champion of obscure local varieties such as Pugnitello and Foglia Tonda. This adorable trio make wines just as charming as they are.

Rocca di Montegrossi

The irrepressible Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi has wasted no time in turning Rocca di Montegrossi into one of the very best addresses in Chianti Classico. He established the estate, in Monti, just south of Gaiole, in 1994 and has steadily increased its holdings to some one hundred hectares, but only a fifth are under vine, with the same given over to olive groves and the remainder woodland and scrub – organic certified, this is also a flagship estate for biodiversity. As well as a vibrant Chianti Classico and structured, age-worthy Chianti Classico Gran Selezione from the San Marcellino vineyard, Montegrossi produces the fabulously elegant Geremia (Cab-Merlot) and spectacular Ridolfo: a detailed yet powerful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and the indigenous Pugnitello, it is perhaps the wine that best represents Marco’s commitment to embracing modernity while respecting tradition. Last but not least in the lineup is the Vin Santo – quite simply one of the greatest sweet wines to have ever passed the Stannary teams’ lips!

“All grape varieties have performed brilliantly, and particularly the 2019 San Marcellino and 2019 Geremia are amongst the best of recent times (with) amazing fruit, balance and structure with remarkably silky tannins and vibrant acidity.”
Marco Ricasoli, Rocca di Montegrossi

Castell'in Villa

There’s magic in the air and evidently beneath the ground at Castell’in Villa, whose wines are capable of real greatness, particularly with time in the bottle. Paola Bianchi today oversees the winemaking, but woe betide anyone who suggests Princess Coralia has finally retired. The Princess can be rather intimidating but there’s a playful twinkle in her eye, especially when discussing her beloved donkeys. It was she and her diplomat husband who founded the estate in its current guise in 1968. Coralia confesses they knew nothing about winemaking back then, and her approach has remained more intuitive than technical. The vineyards – primarily south-facing on complex alluvial soils – are farmed without chemicals and there is no unnecessary interference in the winery, where the wines are aged far longer (in botti) than their respective denominations require and are released only when Coralia and Paola deem them to be ready.

“The 2019 vintage shows the typical Castell’in Villa style, with powerful but gentle Sangiovese, extremely elegant but still showing a lively balance of freshness and integrated tannin.”
Paola Bianchi, Castell’in Villa

La Fiorita

This estate’s upward trajectory continues with a superb set of new releases. The 2019 Brunello may be the centrepiece, but La Fiorita’s 2021 Rosso is another outstanding wine in its class: immensely seductive, with lifted, floral notes and cleansing acidity. It is, for our money, one of the wines of the offer. The style here has changed dramatically since Natalie Oliveros became sole proprietor in 2014. Abetted by estate manager Luigi Peroni, Natalie was the driving force behind organic conversion and the construction of a new winery, memorably described by Valter Speller as ‘Montalcino meets Miami’. The wines today are expressive, fresh and accessible, albeit with plenty of capacity to age – particularly the Riserva and barrel-selection Fiore di NO.

Tenuta Le Potazzine

There is absolutely nothing one would change about this bijou estate in la Prata, named after the small, colourful birds that nest here. Le Potazzine’s 2019 Brunello, which sold out on release earlier this year (though we do still have a little 2018 available), came close to perfection, and the same can be said of the 2022 Rosso and the quite beautiful 2022 Sangiovese IGT. At the helm is Montalcino native, Gigliola Giannetti, who was working for Franco Biondi Santi when she planted the original holdings in 1993. A second site in Sant’Angelo in Colle brought the total vineyard area to five hectares, all at an excess of 450 metres, and farmed organically. Le Potazzine is today managed by Gigliola with the help of her daughters, Viola and Sofia (themselves nicknamed Le Potazzine by their maternal grandmother). Long macerations are favoured, rather than excess plunging or pumping over, and ageing – which takes place is traditional Slavonian oak botti for the Rosso and Brunello – is similarly unhurried.

“The 2019 vintage at le Potazzine was a wonderful vintage. Not by chance, we also produced our fifth Riserva in 30 years of activity! A vintage which has a very long life but at the same time is ready and very drinkable immediately.”
Viola Gorelli, Le Potazzine

Chiara Condello

Making her debut Stannary release is Chiara Condello, one of Italy’s most talented and dynamic young winemakers – whose wines have a cult following with sommeliers around the world. Having earned her stripes at her family’s winery, Condé, Chiara took charge of four hectares of vines, also in the village of Predappio (Emilia-Romagna), which she farms organically. The soil here is predominantly spungone – limestone replete with fossils – and the principal grape is Sangiovese Piccolo. As the name suggests, it has smaller berries than its Tuscan counterpart, and responds well to the whole-bunch fermentations favoured by Chiara. Her wines are characterised by scintillating floral and herbal aromas, fine tannins and cleansing acidity. The exquisite Le Lucciole (meaning fireflies) hails from a 0.8-hectare parcel notable for its biodiversity.

Azienda Agricola Andrea Felici

The Felici family are credited with producing some of the finest Verdicchios in Le Marche. Leopardo Felici, Andrea’s son, has presided over this small, quality-driven estate since 2008. It is located between Cupramontana and Apiro – Apiro being the highest ‘Castello’ of the Castelli di Jesi – where the sea breeze from Adriatic has a significant effect. At their best, wines produced here combine the richness and structure of Jesi with the aromatics and elegance of Verdicchios from Matelica. Mouthwateringly fresh and saline, Felici’s Verdicchio Classico is a blend of old and younger vineyards and is vinified and aged in stainless steel. The complex and beguiling Riserva Il Cantica della Figura comes from the San Francesco Cru, where the vines are an average of 50 years old on a mix of limestone and clay. It is vinified and aged on fine lees in cement for 12 months before spending another 6 months in bottle prior to release.

Ciro Picariello

Based in Summonte, near Avellino in Campania – where a strong breeze keeps temperatures in check throughout the year – this five-hectare estate produces vibrant, intensely mineral whites, as well as the superb traditional method Brut Contadino (100% Fiano) and brand-new Taurasi O Pilota, made from the local Aglianico (a grape of tremendous potential). Picariello’s Fiano di Avellino is, in a sense, one of the humbler wines in our range but falls into the category of ‘Could not be any better!’ Its big sibling, Cuvée 906, hails from the first vineyard Ciro planted, at some 650m, and is a richer, more complex rendition of Fiano, albeit also raised in tank for maximum freshness.

Paolo Petrilli

We love Paolo’s vibrant, characterful reds made from indigenous Puglian varietals – most notably Nero di Troia. Everything on his estate in Lucera is farmed organically including wheat (for pasta) and tomatoes that rate among the very best in Italy. The soil here is pure limestone, which delivers wines of real freshness and poise despite the warm Mediterranean climate. Offering tremendous value for money, Motta del Lupo is an unoaked blend from Nero di Troia, Montepulciano and the fabulously named Bombino. The brooding, age-worthy Ferraù, raised for ten months in used barriques, is an equally delicious but strikingly different rendition of the same varietals.

Azienda Agricola Pietro Caciorgna

Affable and self-effacing, Paolo Caciorgna has built a super reputation for his reds, made from Etna’s indigenous Nerello Mascalese. Nerello is a cross of sorts between Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo, which is very exciting on paper and even more-so in the the glass. It thrives on Etna, where the terroir is characterised by complex, volcanic soils and the climate is moderated, higher up the mountain, by a strong sea breeze. There is a wealth of old vines here, including pre-phylloxera parcels that go into Paolo’s top cuvée, N’Anticchia – a wine that needs numerous years in bottle to show its spectacular best. The intensely perfumed Guardoilvento hails from a notably windy site at some 750 metres’ altitude, while Ciauria is fresh and juicy, and a great introduction to the delights of Etna. A new addition to portfolio is Guardoilvento bianco – an intensely mineral, saline Catarratto which, frankly, we can’t get enough of.

Agricola Emiliano Falsini

One of Italy’s most respected winemaking consultants, Emiliano Falsini has a glittering roster of clients including Graci (Etna) and Giacomo Fenocchio (Barolo). When, in 2019, Emiliano decided he’d put his money where his palate is, and begin making wines under his own name, it’s significant – given his intimate knowledge of terroirs and grape varietals throughout Italy (and beyond) – that Emiliano opted for Etna and Bolgheri. He today farms approximately two hectares in each location, including a very special parcel of century-old vines ‘Davanti Casa’ on the north slope of Etna. From Bolgheri, Emiliano’s Cabernet Francs are perfumed, plush yet mineral. A masterful exponent of whole-bunch fermentation, Emiliano is also unafraid to use new oak which, invariably in his hands, is seamlessly integrated. Look out for his fine-boned, saline Etna Rosato: it is, quite simply, one of the best rosés you will taste.