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Why do we love this case?

You’d be forgiven for thinking that an Italian red lineup might consist of Ferraris and Alfas, with a bum pinch or lurid wink here or there. But this one’s not. And don’t be so stereotypical. Gosh. Instead, this covers the full kicking range of the boot, from Tuscany in the northwest to Sicily in the far south. And it’s much tastier than a supercar. Take that, Enzo.

Every case contains one of each of the following:

Red
Nebbiolo
Piemonte

Massimo Rattalino Ventisei26 DOC Nebbiolo 2018
Herbaceous
Plum
Spice
Medium-bodied
Grippy
Ethereal

In a world where imported wines often cost so much as to simply not be worth it, this beauty is a very welcome relief. It’s not Barolo, but it was never meant to be! It’s a delicious nebbiolo from Italy, with bags of character, at a price that means you can actually enjoy drinking it any day of the week. How’s that for a revolutionary concept? There’s all the acid and tannin you’d expect from the grape, framing a rustic picture of violets, rosehip and sour cherries. In the spirit of the wine, leave your white truffles for the real exxy stuff. This one is happiest with a simple Bolognese or cheese sauce, and poured round the table in hearty glugs. Cin cin!

Red
Sangiovese
Tuscany

Corte Medicea Aros Rosso IGT 2016
Black Cherry
Redcurrant
Spice
Medium-bodied
Bright
Concentrated
Luca Maroni
Luca Maroni

Outstanding consistency from this half/half sangiovese cabernet blend typifies Toscana IGT (aka Super Tuscan), with all the cherries and sandy tannins you’d expect, plus structure, plums and blackcurrants from cabernet and a few good licks of chocolate and vanilla from judicious oak use. So here’s where we are, in a world where the likes of Gaia and Sassicaia have paved the way for entry levels from Italy of this quality, just because they don’t conform to outmoded rules. Let the Italians experiment, I say!

Red
Dolcetto
Piemonte

Periplo Quinque Dolcetto d'Alba 2017
Plum
Spice
Violets
Medium-bodied
Lively
Concentrated

They drink dolcetto in Piemonte while they’re waiting for the nebbiolo to ripen, or so they say. It’s probably fair to assume that not all of our mofos have vineyards planted to nebbiolo. You can drink it while your Barolo’s cellaring, though. It’ll give you much more time to enjoy it and all! And enjoy it you will. This is a concentrated wine, bursting with rich, juicy fruit. There’s depth to it, and plenty of interest in the glass. Think pinot with more body, or merlot with more cherry (and character). There’s no oak, so it’s all about that fruit flavour and fun drinking. An ideal candidate to take to dinner parties. Being Italian, it’s naturally charming, and it’ll pair with pretty much everything too.

Red
Other Red
Sicily

Papios Terre Siciliane Rosso IGP 2017
Coffee
Mulberry
Raspberry
Full-bodied
Bright
Bold
The Best Italian Wines Luca Maroni 2019
Italian import

Some of the gems taken from the tech sheet the winery provided us with on this wine include, “blanded with nouances of elegant spices” and “wide, worm and enveloping on the palate”. The less said about those, the better. The wine itself is a half-native, half international blend – 25% nero d’Avola, 25% nerello mascalese, 25% cabernet and 25% merlot. The danger would be producing a hodge-podge of provenance-deprived boozy berry-juice. They’ve skipped neatly over that pothole, however, instead making a wine benefitting from immensely characterful Sicilian charm and a good, ballsy dose of internationally adored Bordeaux-blend oomph. Make sure to drink with some “noble barbecued meet and aged hard cheese”.

Red
Other Red
Puglia

Curtis Nova Primitivo Puglia IGT 2018
Plum
Redcurrant
Spice
Full-bodied
Bright
Bold
Luca Maroni
Italian Import

Don’t let the name fool you. There’s nothing primitivo about this incredible vino. Lovers of plushness and complexity look no further. Rich, ripe berries, with spades of spice and buckets of herbs make up the luscious palate. An air of violets hangs over the whole, giving aromatic richness. For those who didn’t know, primitivo is actually the same grape as America’s zinfandel, just grown on its home turf in Puglia, Italy.

Red
Sangiovese
Tuscany

Casaponte Toscana Rosso IGT Sangiovese 2015
Blood Plum
Cherry
Strawberry
Medium-bodied
Bright
Concentrated

If you could take the classic image of Tuscany, and ferment it into a bottleful of flavour, this is what you’d get. We’re talking rolling hills, tall cypresses, gravel paths, golden sunlight, Alfa Romeo GTs… you get the picture. There’s dried strawberries, vibrant cherries and juicy plums, with lovely leathery notes and dusty tannin. It’s a perfect pairing with a nice beef ragù, for a deliciously Tuscan tasting.