Berrys’ 2012 Italian Tasting


On Thursday 6th September, Berrys hosted the second ever Italian walkaround tasting in Lindley Hall, St James. Even in its infancy, this annual wine tasting is increasingly recognised as showing an excellent selection of Italian wines and, as such, was extremely well attended by customers and journalists alike. For this growing, important wine-producing country, this gathering was another nod to the sheer quality being produced in Italy, and the commitment and dedication of the region’s suppliers to shun previous negativity associated with them and showcase their world class wines.

As imagined, there was great passion in the room from the producers, who’d travelled over especially for this launch – customers could taste the latest vintage of wines from north to south of the country and take something a bit more special home with them in the form of interaction with the producers themselves. Wines from the north such as Mario Fontana’s Barbaresco and Fratelli Allesandria’s Barolo; from the midland of Italy such as Cerbaiona’s Brunello di Montalcino, Badia A Coltibuono’s and Bibbiano’s Chianti Classico, and from the South and Islands (which continues to make an increasingly important addition to our Italy selection) such as Alberto Gracis’s Mount Etna wines were among those available to taste.

The first wine of note from the evening was the 2009 Chianti Classico, Bibbiano, Castellina-in-Chianti. From a fantastic vintage, the beautifully elegant Chianti Classico of the noble Marrocchesi Marzi was showing excellently. With feminine charm, pretty fruit character, and scintillating acidity, it is far subtler than international varieties, the intense sangiovese fruit shone through. Enhanced by the limestone soils of Castellina-in-Chianti, and vinified in time-honoured fashion, it didn’t disappoint and proved to be youthful and drinking now but will mellow and mature with time. Great with ham and lamb.

We were also really excited to release our very first Berrys’ Own Selection Barolo. From the 2008 vintage, it was going to be the first showcase of this wine, and it was really popular with producers and customers alike. Easy to drink now even in this youthful stage, this 100% Nebbiolo wine was exhibiting red berries and liquorice notes with gentle tannins – perfect with game or fowl. Also, ideal to buy now and keep in your cellar for a decade or so. This traditionally-made oaked wine is yet another example of the excellence being produced in Piedmont now.

This doesn’t give justice to the sheer volume and variety of wines that were on show. From the north to the South of Italy, something special was being represented.

All in all, it was a really energised  atmosphere, made more dynamic by the presence of the producers. We’re used to holding events but not always with so many producers in attendance. It’s a chance for customers and staff alike to learn more and get to the source of the product. The feedback of the tasting was great: an authentic Italian feel! For more on this range of wines view the full selection online and look out for our first ever Spain offer in November.

To give our Wine Club members a chance to taste some of our finest Italian treats, we have four Club cases available in November which include Italian wines. To change your case, or for more information on Wine Club please contact