Musella make very special wines! What makes them unique is that they look for harmony and balance in the wine, not just power and intensity. Don't get me wrong, this is still a full-bodied wine, made with dried grapes in the usual way, but it isn't too intense or too alcoholic like a lot of modern Amarone. This is deliciously drinkable; more than one glass won't knock you out! Maddalena Pasqua is passionate about her vineyards and the land on which she lives; she makes wines that shine with this love. All the vineyards and farmed Biodynamically and the wines made by hand. A great wine to finish the meal and can accompany a range of cheeses including complex Cheddars such as Montgomery or Pitchfork, or soft blues like Beauvale.
Barbaresco, Produttori del Barbaresco, Piemonte
In 1958, the priest of the village of Barbaresco, recognizing that the only way the small properties could survive was by joining their efforts, gathered together nineteen small growers and founded the Produttori del Barbaresco. The first three vintages were made in the church basement, and then in the winery built across the square from where the Produttori is still located. United once again, the small growers continued the work started by Domizio Cavazza, producing only Barbaresco wine and enhancing both the reputation of the wine and the village. The Produttori del Barbaresco now has 50 members and 100 hectares (250 acres) of Nebbiolo vineyards in the Barbaresco appellation, which amounts to almost a sixth of the vineyards of the area. The most important thing, however, is that quality is always the highest priority and in Aldo Vacca, they have one of the World's most respected winemakers. We buy this wine every year and it never disappoints; every vintage is different, reflecting the year itself, but has the hallmark of class and quality. The thing I like most about this is the amazing perfume; great Nebbiolo has a unique nose that is hard to beat! These wines age gracefully for decades and really represent great value in the context of Piemonte's top producers. A great wine for the cheeseboard but also, venison and duck; when young the tannins are firm, so the food does need some richness and fat. As they age, the tannins soften but strong, hard cheeses (Old Winchester, Double Barrel, Cornish Kern...) are still my favourite match.
Pedroni Aceto Balsamico ‘Vecchio’
The Pedroni family history in Rubbiara started with an 'Osteria' in 1862, but it was after the Second World War that Italo - the fifth generation - started to take the vinegar side of the business to another, more professional level. Using only the best techniques passed down through the family, father to son, and adding his own expertise, the Pedroni name became synonymous with quality. It is now Italo's son, Giuseppe, who runs the family's vinegar production and maintains the high standards set by his father.Traditional balsamic vinegar is obtained from a cooked grape must and wine vinegar. Slow acetification is the result of natural fermentation and the gradual concentration of the vinegar occurs through a very long ageing period in a series of small casks made of different kinds of wood. For the Vecchio this is for seven years and the casks typically include mulberry, chestnut, cherry, juniper and oak. No flavouring or caramel is added, as is often the case with lower quality vinegars.This vinegar is marked by its softness and balance, and the aromas that develop during the extended ageing period. A dense vinegar, the Vecchio has natural viscosity and intense aromas. The flavours balance sweet and sour, with good depth and great acidity.This is a great single-estate aged balsamic that is perfect for finishing dishes, drizzled over charred steaks or shaved pecorino and bresaola.
Musella Valpolicella Ripasso
Musella make some of the most elegant wines in the Valpolicella region; where most wineries are looking for power and intensity in their Ripasso and Amarone, Maddalena Pasqua makes wines of elegance and focus. Her love of nature and respect for the land have led her to become one of the leading proponents of Biodynamic winemaking in Italy. This Ripasso certainly has depth of flavour and richness but the overriding effect is one of drinkability. And that is a good, I’m sure you’ll agree. It’s not a showing off wine but a really pleasurable drinking wine. Perfect with lasagne and other meaty pasta dishes as well as grilled meats.
Fontodi Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Fontodi olive oil is made from Corregiolo and Frantoio olive groves. The olive trees grow beside Fontodi’s vines in the Conca d’Oro estate. With aromas of artichoke leaf and an elegant peppery flavour, this has a fragrant, lingering finish.One of Italy's top wine estates also makes one of it's best olive oils.
‘Chiaraluna’ Viognier, Muralia
Muralia is a beautiful organic winery in the Maremma region of Tuscany, owned and run by Stefano Casali, who is an absolute perfectionist when it comes to wine!This is a very elegant Viognier, with clean, pure stone fruit flavours and without the heaviness that sometimes comes with that grape. One of the best expressions of Viognier I've ever tasted (from anywhere!).Absolutely delicious with poached salmon or lobster.
The Sesti family are one of the best producers of Brunello di Montalcino. Based at the beautiful Castello di Argiano, they have the most beautiful property imaginable and they make wines in a thoughtful and balanced style; traditional in the best sense of the word. The grapes for this wine are selected because they are felt to be best for drinking young; so they could become Brunello but they are aged for less time. More character than many actual Brunello and for half the price, this is one of Montalcino’s best buys. Great with hard cheeses (Cornish Kern or Old Winchester?), as well as roast lamb with lots of garlic and rosemary, pasta with meat sauces and stews.
‘Le Merlettaie’ Pecorino, Ciu Ciu
100% PecorinoThis organic farm in the Offida region of Le Marche, was established in 1970 and is owned by brothers, Massimiliano and Walter Bartolomei. Pecorino is the grape variety here, named after the fact that the bunches look like sheep's heads (or because sheep like to eat the grapes, depending on who you listen to...). It is a great variety that, in the right hands, can have real personality and quality. This wine sees a little bit of barrel ageing which gives some richness and a hint of vanilla to compliment the fresh orchard fruit flavours. This is great with pork and apple dishes as well as simple grilled fish, or with a nice risotto. It also goes well with sheep's cheese...English Pecorino!
Custoza, Monte del Fra
Monte del Fra is a great family winery based just south of Lake Garda in the Veneto region, north-east Italy. Run by the Bonomo family since 1958 and now in the hands of brothers Eligio and Claudio, it is one of the most progressive and quality-minded producers in the area. This wine is one of our all-time favourites! A blend of Garganega, Trebbiano, Trebbianella and Cortese, it is clean and fresh but with a lovely depth of juicy citrus and pineapple flavours. Delicious. Similar in style to a Soave or Lugana, this is a perfect aperitif, garden wine or a very classy party wine; it is also very versatile with food and is one we reach for more than most in the summer as it is perfect with salads, shellfish and light fish dishes. I've never met anyone that doesn't like this wine...one to stock up on!
Cantele make some of the best value wines in all of Italy. Puglia (the heel of Italy), is a hot and dry region and makes for rich and powerful wines like this. The skill of the Cantele family is evident in the balance they achieve, food-friendly but smooth enough to glug on it’s own!
White Truffle Oil
It was obtained through a production process at the forefront that allows you to obtain olive oil with a strong fragrance of white truffle, preserves in time aromas and unique fragrance.