New faces from Italy

The biggest Italian wine event for the trade is now in its 12th year. It will see some new faces attending this year, including Ehrmanns, John E Fells & Sons and Stevens Garnier.

The Italian Journey tasting will feature around 75 wines illustrating a cross-section of wines available with rrps of £6.50-plus from all over Italy. They have been selected for their unique character and high quality.

Enotria will show Fumin from Valle d’Aosta and a Biferno from Molise, plus new wines from Sardinia and Puglia. Its selection is based around the theme “upgrading your wine thinking”. Visitors will be able to compare styles and prices for Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Falanghina and Sauvignon Blanc, which it believes will “help drive a resurgence of interest in the category”. Red indigenous grapes from southern Italy with fruit-led character include Primitivo, Monte­pulciano and Nero d’Avola.

Richards Walford will have a number of producers attending. From Tuscany’s Azienda Agricola, Casale Falchini’s Michael Falchini will present his new vintages of Selva d’Oro (Chardonnay/Vernaccia) 2009, Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2009, Chianti Colli Senesi 2008 and Vin Santo del Chianti 2003. Monte Bernardi’s Michael Schmelzer will show the 2006 vintage across the range and the Retromarcia Chianti Classico 2007. Piemonte producer Roberto Minuto, from Cascina Luisin, will be presenting a side-by-side tasting of his 2006 and 2004 vintages.

?Boutinot will be showing its new listings, including the Valpolicella Superiore Ca Morandina’ 2006 from Azienda Agricola Prà – the first red wine from Prà, sourced from its Vigna Paradiso estate in eastern Valpolicella.

Les Caves de Pyrene will showcase one of its most recent agencies, Montevertine, from Chianti Classico. On show for the first time will be Gianfranco Manca’s organic Alvas Bianco from Sardinia, an amber blend of seven indigenous grape varieties and a Fiano from Guido Zampaglione’s Il Tufiello estate, made with extended skin contact from “some of the highest vineyards in Campania”.

Liberty Wines will introduce several southern Italian wineries. Vigneti del Vulture is its first foray into Basilicata – a small co-operative in Acerenza in the Aglianico del Vulture zone. From Puglia, Mark Shannon of A Mano has relaunched the Promessa label for his new Syrah/Merlot blend. And from Sicily, comes young estate Vigneti Zabù, with vineyards planted five years ago on hills around Lake Arancio in Sambuca di Sicilia.

Bottle Green is planning to push its Italian portfolio this year and will focus on the new pan-Italian range Vespucci, low-unit brand Vetro and premium offering Revero. It will launch with a Frascati Superiore, Soave Classico, Chianti Riserva, Valpolicella Ripasso and Lambrusco.

Bibendum claims to be showing more wines than ever. Featured wineries include Bisol, Castello Banfi, Suavia, Montenidoli, Nicolis and Castellani. New biodynamic wine Alois Lageder’s Beta Delta Lagrein/Merlot 2008 from Alto Adige (rrp £16.99) joins the Beta Delta Chardonnay/Pinot Grigio launched last year. Also new for 2010 is the I Fiori range from the Veneto that comprises a Soave and a Valpolicella. Made by Lamberti, these wines have an rrp of £5.99-£6.99. Two 2005 Brunelli di Montalcino from Castello Banfi will be launched.

Barone Ricasoli, one of the oldest Chianti houses, will feature for the first time with John E Fells & Sons. Wines include new vintages of its Chianti 2009, Brolio 2008 and Castello Di Brolio 2007. Other highlights include Barone Ricasoli’s Torricella 2008, Casalferro 2006, Campo Ceni 2008 and Vin Santo 2004.

Wineaux says its showing marks the start of a two year roll-out of fine Italian wines aimed at wholesale buyers and the on-trade. Benoit Faure Romanelli, proprietor of Tenuta di Riseccoli, will be there.

Ehrmanns will show its newly expanded Italian portfolio. Santa Tresa’s Rina Ianca Grillio Viognier (rrp £9.95) and Nivuro Nero d’Avola Cabernet Sauvignon (rrp £11.15) from Sicily are new for independents. For multiples there will be a certified organic range from the Wine People, a new project led by Stefano Girelli, which includes Catarratto Pinot Grigio and Nero d’Avola (rrp £4.99-£6.99).

Guy Anderson Wines will feature Giorgio Flessati’s Sicilian Appetito, Chianti Rocca Vecchia and Orchid Vale, a medium Pinot Grigio.

Gruppo La-Vis will be exhibiting for the first time with partner United Wineries and will be unveiling its relaunched top Trentino range Ritratti, which consists of eight styles made from both indigenous and international grape varieties. The packaging has been modernised, aiming to “express the quality and provenance of the range”. Ritratti wines are targeted at independent wine merchants and the on-trade.

D&D Wines International will be presenting wine from Prosecco winemakers Villa Sandi and La Gioiosa from Veneto, Cevico from Emilia- Romagna, Fontnafredda from Piedmonte and Tuscany and Fazio Wines from Sicily.

Hallgarten Druitt will show wines unearthed by Italian buyer Amanda Mencacci, such as Terre di Sava from Puglia, Podere Vaglie in Umbria and Sacchetto Vini in the Veneto. There will be a number of new wines from established partners such as Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi and Azienda Agricola Fratelli Tedeschi.

Stevens Garnier is launching a new portfolio of Italian wines including Musella from Veneto, “renowned for its Amarone and Valpolicella and its Bianco del Drago”. Also on taste will be three new wines under the Canapi label for Orestiadi winery in Sicily, a Pinot Grigio (rrp £5.49), Grillo (rrp £5.99) and a Nero d’Avola (rrp £5.99).

Ad Vinarium will be showing Franciacorta “La Valle”, Avanzi with rosé sparkling wine, Sagrantino red wine “Romanelli” from Umbria, and three wineries from Sicily with Nero d’Avola, Cataratto and Grillo.

Highlights on the GIV table will include the new design of the “iconic shaped” Frascati bottle from Fontana Candida and a complete range overhaul from Bolla. The white wines are showing “fresher styles alongside great character complexity” and include Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie 2009, Soave Classico 2009 and the Soave Classico Tufaie 2009.

Importer Swig is hoping to find independents and restaurants “who can see that there is life beyond the established names” and will be showing artisanal wines such as Brunello di Montalcino Cupano, which makes just 500 cases a year from yields of 20hl per hectare.