Featured Reviews

Italian Selection from Macvine International

19 December,2018

Macvine International has a very strong and eclectic range of imported wines that they distribute. Many of these wines have been obtained through the personal connections and preferences of company founder Michael Jemison. Invariably they are of very good quality and have individuality. Here, I review a selection of Italian wines available from Macvine. The ‘Alpha Zeta’ wines are modern Veneto wines from David Gleave MW and Kiwi winemaker Matt Thomson. The ‘Fidora’ wines from Veneto are some of Italy’s first organic wines, having that status from 1974. The ‘Il Faggio’ Abruzzi wines are made in a modern style by Kiwi winemaker Alana McGettigan, a colleague of Matt Thomson. And ‘Poggio Nicchiaia’ is a company making traditionally-inspired Tuscan wine for the modern global market. www.macvine.co.nz


Alpha Zeta ‘P’ ‘Terrapieno’ Pinot Grigio delle Venezie DOC 2017

Pinot Gris from Italy – Veneto


Bright, pale straw colour with some depth, lighter on the rim. The nose is taut and tightly bound, with elegance and a slender expression, showing clear and pure aromas of white stonefruits with subtle notes of nuts and white florals that form a fine core. This has a delicate mouthwatering freshness. Dry to taste and medium-light bodied, the palate has taut and finely concentrated flavours of white stonefruits with an amalgam of white florals and subtle nutty elements, along with mineral nuances. The fruit forms a fine-textured heart with light phenolic grip, and the wine flows with good linearity and drive. The acidity is integrated, but lends the mouthfeel poise, freshness and brightness as the wine carries to a thirst-quenching finish. This is a taut and finely concentrated dry Pinot Grigio with white stonefruit, nutty and floral notes on a mouthwatering, fine-textured palate. Serve with seafood, antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. Hand-picked Pinot Grigio fruit from the ‘Terrapieno’ vineyard, Valpantena Valley, cool-fermented to 12.5% alc. and 4.21 g/L RS. 17.5/20 Dec 2018 RRP $25.00

Alpha Zeta ‘R’ Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso DOC 2016

Blended Red from Italy – Veneto


Dark, even garnet-hued red colour, a little lighter on the edge. The nose is elegantly presented with well-concentrated and packed aromas of dark-red and black berried fruits entwined with dark herbs and background savoury earthy elements. This has good aromatic lift and freshness. Medium-full bodied, the palate has sweet, juicy, bright and lusciously succulent flavours of ripe dark-red and black fruits along with soft herbal notes, and hints of earthiness. The mouthfeel is bright and vibrant, the fruit sweetness enlivened by light, refreshing acidity, and the wine flows along a fine-textured line lending structure with elegance. The wine carries to a long, nuanced finish of sweet, black fruits. This is a sweet, juicy and succulent Valpolicella Ripasso with dark-red and black fruits, on a fresh palate with fine-grained tannins. Match with lamb, beef and venison, or semi-hard cheeses over the next 4-5 years. A blend of 85% Corvina and Corvinone, and 15% Rondinella, fermented with Amarone skins to 13.5% alc. and 5.45 g/L RS, the wine aged just over a year in large and small format French oak. 17.5+/20 Dec 2018 RRP $32.00

Fidora ‘Tenuta Cirvanetta’ Pinot Grigio Venezia DOC 2016

Pinot Gris from Italy – Veneto


Bright, light straw-yellow colour with some depth, a little paler edged. The nose is softly full and broad with gently concentrated aromas of white and yellow stonefruits along with nutty, oxidative detail and mineral elements. The aromatics grow in depth with aeration. Dry to taste and medium-bodied, the palate is soft and full, broad and mouthfilling with flavours of white and yellow stonefruits harmoniously melded with nutty notes and complexing oxidative elements. The palate has a gentle richness and juiciness that is balanced by light, grainy phenolic textures and soft acidity. The wine carries to a soft, lingering, nuanced finish of stonefruits. This is a soft and gently broad, mouthfilling dry Pinot Grigio with stonefruit, nutty and oxidative flavours on a textured palate. Serve with antipasto and tapas over the next 2 years. 100% Pinot Grigio from ‘Tenuta Cirvanetta’, fermented to 12.5% alc. Certified Agricoltura Italia organic. 16.5+/20 Dec 2018 RRP $25.00

Fidora ‘Monte Tabor’ Valpolicella DOC 2016

Blended Red from Italy – Veneto


Deep, garnet-hued red colour, a little lighter on the rim with some bricking. The nose is soft and full with voluminous aromas of savoury red berry fruits harmoniously melded with nutty notes, dark herbs and a layering of earthiness. A little secondary game development is emerging, Medium-bodied, the palate is gently full with broad, mouthfilling, savoury red berry fruit flavours entwined with dried herbs, game and earth, along with some oxidative detail, showing secondary development. The fruit possesses sweetness and juiciness, and is underlined by light tannin extraction and structure, providing linearity. The wine carries to a lingering, savoury finish. This is a soft, mouthfilling Valpolicella with savoury red fruits, dried herbs, dame and earthy notes along with nutty oxidative elements on a palate with light structure. Match with casseroles and slow-cooked game meat dishes over the next 3 years. A blend of 65% Corvina, 25% Corvonone, and 10% Rondinella, from the hills of the Illasi hills, fermented to 12.5% alc. Certified Agricoltura Italia organic. 16.5/20 Dec 2018 RRP $35.00

Il Faggio Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC 2016

Montepulciano from Italy – Other


Full, even, dark ruby-red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is fresh and elegantly presented with intense aromas of savoury dark-red berry fruit with an amalgam of dark and dried herbs, and earthy elements, unfolding floral and game-like aromatics. Medium-bodied, the palate has an elegantly concentrated heart with deep flavours of savoury dark-red berry fruits melded with a layering of dark and dried herbs, along with earthy detail. The palate is taut and concentrated with fruit sweetness unfolding, balanced by fine and firm tannin extraction, providing dryness and linearity. The wine carries to a tight, lingering finish. This is a taut, sweet-fruited Montepulciano with savoury dark-red fruits along with herbs and earth on a fine, firm, grainy textured palate. Match with roasted and grilled red meat dishes over the next 4+ years. Montepulciano fruit from vineyards around San Salvo, predominantly hand-picked and fermented to 13.0% alc. 17.5-/20 Dec 2018 RRP $25.00

Poggio Nicchiaia ‘Tigliano’ Toscana IGT 2016

Blended Red from Italy – Tuscany


Deepish, garnet-hued red, a little lighter on the rim, with a little bricking. The nose is full with harmoniously interwoven aromas of dark-red cherry and berry fruit with subtle notes of redcurrants melded with dark and savoury herb notes and a spicy, floral lift. The aromatics unfold with aeration. Medium-full bodied, the palate has rich and juicy, sweet flavours of dark-red and black cherry fruit with suggestions of black and redcurrants along with lifted spices. The palate is bright and lively with fine, grainy tannins providing structure and grip, with fresh, lacy acidity lending vitality and energy. The fruit sweetness carries the wine to a lingering finish of dark-red cherry and berry fruits. This is a rich, sweet-fruited Tuscan red blend with cherry, currant and lifted spicy flavours on a bright, lively, grainy palate. Match with roasted lamb or beef, and with Middle Eastern fare over the next 5+ years. A blend of 40% Sangiovese, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Syrah, from the Pisan hills, Peccioli, fermented to 13.0% alc., the wine aged 8 months in wood. 17.5/20 Dec 2018 RRP $25.00

Poggio Nicchiaia ‘Filetto’ Chianti Superiore DOCG 2016

Sangiovese from Italy – Tuscany


Deepish, garnet-hued red colour, a little lighter on the rim. The nose is finely concentrated with elegantly presented aromas of bitter red cherry and berry fruit along with notes of fresh and dark herbs, and lifted dark-red florals. A little shy in expression, this has vinosity and good depth at the heart. Medium-full bodied, the palate has a rich, sweet and harmoniously presented core with integrated flavours of dark-red cherry and berry fruit entwined with subtle notes of dark herbs and dark-red floral element. This is smooth and seamless in flow, the palate featuring very fine-grained, powdery tannin extraction with balanced acidity. The fruit sweetness carries the wine to a soft, lush, sustained finish. This is a rich, harmonious, and integrated Chianti with dark-red cherry and berry fruit melded with dark herbs on a seamless flowing palate. Match with fine roasted red meat dishes over the next 5-6+ years. 100% Sangiovese fruit from the Pisan Hills, Peccioli, fermented to 13.5% alc., the wine aged in wood. 18.0/20 Dec 2018 RRP $30.00

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