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Sebastian Payne MW Sebastian Payne MW

A golden age in Piedmont and a revival in Tuscany

I cannot fail to be enthusiastic when writing about Piedmont. We are in a golden age for Barolo and Barbaresco with many talented, individual producers and an unprecedented run of fine vintages.

2014, in theory the weakest of these because of summer rains, nevertheless saw lovely wines made by names like GB Burlotto, Luigi Baudana, Luigi Einaudi, Pio Cesare and several more. 2013s are classic keepers best left for the most part till 2020, so it will be useful to have more forward 2014s to enjoy while we wait. The gorgeous 2015s, full of ripe fruit, have just been released through our en primeur offer this spring. Generous in style, they look the sort of wines that are good to drink young, middle-aged or old, because of their natural opulence.

2016 Barolos to be released next year show great potential and class. It has already proved an exceptional vintage for barbera and dolcetto as well as Langhe Nebbiolo (the name good growers use for their wines from younger vines in Barolo vineyards) and Nebbiolo d'Alba (the name used for nebbiolo grown just outside the DOCG). These wines are particularly great buys in 2016. Meanwhile 2017, a small crop from a hot summer, provides sweet ripe fruit reminiscent of 2011. Above all there is a buzz in the region as growers make some of their best wines ever.

Tuscany, home to Italy's other most famous reds, has been reinvigorated by intelligent planting and management of better-quality vines over the last three decades. Our range this year will celebrate the region's diversity with some great wines from Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti Classico, Bolgheri, Scansano and Sassotondo.

Meanwhile, if you are looking for delectable original wines with a real sense of place from Alto Adige via Valpolicella to Basilcata, or Abruzzo via Campania and Calabria to Sicily and Sardinia you will find some great-value bottles in our range.

Lastly, don't forget 2018 whites: aromatic, plentiful and now available.

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