White or red? Old or New World? Classic or unconventional? The diversity and sheer number of wines available to sample at Imbibe Live earlier this week was astonishing – and perhaps a little overwhelming (particularly if you decided to warm up your palate with a gin or five). Fortunately, we've selected six standout bottles that are sure to do some heavy lifting in your restaurant this summer.
Villa Mattielli Campolungo Soave Classico Superiore 2017, Veneto
The fruit for this wine is sourced from centenary pergola veronese-trained vines located on the volcanic hillsides of Soave Classico's Campolungo area. It’s rich, full of fresh lemon juice character, pear and candied apple.
The grapes are hand-picked slightly later than usual, lending this brilliant Soave concentrated aromatic profile and significant complexity. There is also a little cold maceration on the skins to give the wine a gentle tannic bite, which makes for an ideal match with food.
£11.75, Top Selection
Mamete Prevostini Botonero Nebbiolo 2017, Valtellina, Italy
Not too far from Veneto, Valtellina in northern Lombardy is making a name for itself thanks to its elegant and light Nebbiolo expressions. The Botonero isn’t exactly light in the same way, but it certainly shows clear focus and fresh fruit flavours.
It sees no oak, just eight months of stainless steel tank then some maturation in the bottle. The result is a soft, focused, bright nose of dark berries, cherry, strawberry, black currant and pleasant floral notes of rose and violet.
£10-£11.80, Alpine Wines
Bella Luna Nero d’Avola 2018, Victoria, Australia
If you’re struggling to find the perfect summer red for your by-the-glass selection, you can stop pestering your suppliers: just give this juicy, fruity, quaffable, soft Nero d’Avola from Down Under a go.
There’s nothing reminiscent of Sicily here, and rightly so. Instead, it’s all about packing maximum flavour: ripe fruit, with hints of spice and some dried herbs. Served slightly chilled, sit back, and let your GP rejoice.
£6.31, Lanchester Wines
Gut Oggau Weinland Winifred 2018, Burgenland, Austria
A blend of 60% Zweigelt and 40% Blaufränkisch, Winifred is a pink wine that isn’t really pink. It's more of a dark rosé, perfectly suited to the dining table.
The grapes come from Demeter-certified vineyards and are hand-harvested, then fermented in large oak barrels. There is no fining or filtration and no added sulfur. It's delightfully concentrated and has a noticeable tannic bite. Serve not too chilled.
£17.50, Dynamic Vines
Caggiano Devon Greco Di Tufo 2018, Campania
Despite its southern latitude, Campania makes some of Italy’s best whites, thanks to the rigid continental climate that characterises its inland region of Irpinia. Cool night temperatures and a long growing season allow the grapes to slowly develop outstanding complexity while retaining good acidity.
Devon is a classic expression of the Greco di Tufo Docg, with a nose of lemon, dried herbs and pear, and a rounded, rich texture on the palate. The high acidity and the flavour concentration mean that it can happily age in the cellar for a few years, though your guests won't want to wait that long.
Prophet’s Rock Cuvée aux Antipodes 2015, Central Otago
From one of New Zealand’s most exciting producers, this minimal-intervention Pinot Noir represents the encounter of Old and New World being the collaboration between Prophet's Rock winemaker Paul Pujol and François Millet from Burgundy.
The fruit comes from the Home Vineyard, located on a high-elevation glacial terrace in the Bendigo sub-region of Central Otago. With a little bit of age on it already, this concentrated and intense Pinot Noir is drinking perfectly now, showing black cherry, bramble, blackberry and just enough signs of development.
Featured image: the cellars of Caggiano Winery