Tuscany

The wines of Tuscany/Toscana

Sottimano HQ

Diary: 12 – slow, slow, Sottimano, slow,

With the Covid-19 crisis in full swing, we are all becoming expert at video conferencing. The new nightmare scenario would be to have simultaneous calls on Zoom, Microsoft Teams and a family call on Whatsapp! But this week I did have a conversation of over an hour with Andrea Sottimano via Zoom. The wifi in

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Thank you card from The Harrow

Farewell to The Harrow, Little Bedwyn

As a small, gastronomic, diversion from the wines of Piemonte, I am marking the end of an era with the imminent closure of The Harrow, Little Bedwyn. For the last 21 years Roger and Sue Jones have run this brilliant and civilised restaurant with a great cellar.  For many of those years it had a

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Diary of a wine writer 3: cue celebration!

In my last post, I reported that Piemonte won the race over Tuscany and Campania/ Basilicata. But can I persuade a publisher that this is a good subject … and that I am the person to write the book? I am a fan of the Classic Wine Library. It was founded 50 years ago and

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Diary of a wine writer 2: choices

As I explained in my last blog post, I have now completed my wine studies and have decided I would like to write a book. But what is the subject going to be?  Readers of this website will know that I have devoted much of the last decade to the wines of Italy. But that

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Castello di Radda

Radda is probably my favourite Chianti Classico commune. With elevations up to 550m, sweeping slopes and dense forests, it is the coolest part of Chianti Classico. Historically, the challenge was to ripen grapes fully. Radda is also home to a number of great wineries, Montevertine, Volpaia and Monteraponi to name a few. The revived Castello

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Line-up June 2019

My favourite wines

My favourite wines – for a special occasion, celebrating the end of MW exams

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How does a vine gets the nutrients it needs?

In my last post Mineral muddle, I wrote about Alex Maltman’s new book on geology, soils and the vine. His main concerns are geology and soils. But along the way he explains how a vine gets the nutrients it needs. Reading this book reminded me that these basic processes are rarely explained outside of scientific circles.

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Sangiovese Aug 2018 tasting

Like, admire or love?

I recently held a small tasting of Tuscan reds, mostly Sangiovese-based which raised intriguing questions about how much we like a wine.  The occasion was the opportunity to taste the glossy wines of Podere Forte (which I review at length here) alongside some Tuscan classics.   The rest of the group tasted the three Podere Forte

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Ruffino trio

Ruffino’s top wines

Ruffino is a large wine company with an annual turnover of €100m. It was founded in Pontassieve, the gateway to the Chianti sub-region of Rúfina, in 1877 and has since gone from strength to strength.  The Riserva Ducale (‘reserved for the Duke’) line is named in honour of the Duke of Aosta. Back in 1890

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Sangiovese in 5 Tuscan regions and … Corsica

I recently had the opportunity to taste six Sangiovese wines in very good circumstances. They were mostly high-quality examples, bought from reputable merchants and stored in good conditions.  They all came from the excellent 2010 vintage and, therefore, vintage variation was taken out of the equation.  The aim was to see whether I and a

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