Here Clinton Cawood rounds up some of the top wines from Imbibe Live 2018, ranging from smaller English vineyards to imports from Portugal, France and Italy
Moulin de Gassac, Guilhem 2017 (£7.72) is a rosé that ticks all the boxes, from its light peach colour, to its drinkable, food-friendly structure – and all at a great price. Dry and elegant upfront, light berry notes emerged on the bright, fresh palate. For a less conventional sunny afternoon option there was Medici Ermete Concerto Lambrusco 2017 (£10.20), said to be the first single-vineyard vintage Lambrusco. It’s packed with red fruit, and with a vibrant acidity that’s further lifted by some soft effervescence. A slight grip on the palate makes this fun, versatile wine perfectly suited to barbecue fare. A decidedly more substantial option from VinumTerra was La Luna e I Falo, Barbera d’Asti 2015 (£12), with a rich blueberry nose leading to crunchy berry fruit with generous spice, no shortage of acidity, and a mineral hit on the finish.
An uncommon tour of Portugal on the DFJ Vinhos stand began with Grand Arte Pinot Noir 2013, Vinho Regional Lisboa (£8.95), showing restraint on the light and floral nose, along with some strawberry fruit, but leading to some substance on the palate, showing some good development too. Elegance and power from an unexpected source of Pinot Noir. The same grape joined one that’s indigenous to Portugal in Consensus Pinot Noir & Touriga Nacional 2013 (£8), with plum, prune and spice leading to gentle tannins and more juicy fruit on the lively palate, with some well-managed oak.
Bedfordshire’s Double Hedges were showing a pair of noteworthy English whites, starting with Double Hedges Solaris 2015 (£7.58), winner of the Sommelier Wine Awards Gastropub Wine of the Year trophy this year. The palate’s ripe, with fleshy fruit, but the palate that follows is bright and crisp, and with a touch of chalkiness to the finish. Alongside it was Double Hedges Bacchus 2015 (£8.66), comparatively light and elegant on the nose, but leading to some juicy nectarine notes on the palate, with great texture – a highly drinkable wine.
Rovellotti Viticoltori in Ghemme
There were some noteworthy bottles to be found on Rovellotti’s stand, starting with its Rovellotti Nebbiolo Valplazza 2015, packed with primary red fruit, but with a great structure for food on the palate as a result of some skin contact. A step up was its Ghemme Chioso Dei Pomi 2011, which snapped up Gold in this year’s Sommelier Wine Awards. Also made from Nebbiolo, this had serious complexity on the nose and palate that was less about the fruit, and more about spice and food-friendly tannins, all leading to a mineral finish with a touch of bitterness. Rovellotti is seeking UK representation.