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Divino: tasting five wines from this new Italian merchant

Tel: 0845 223 5437 
Fax : 0845 223 5437 
Email: sales@divinowines.co.uk

DiVino is a new Italian wine specialist who launched this month on the web. I was sent some of their wines a few weeks back and tried them. If anything, this mini-tasting reminded me just how diverse Italian wines are, and how frighteningly bad their representation is in the UK. No other country produces wine in every regionófrom furthest north to furthest southóin the way that Italy does. Yet while English-language guides to world wines tend to have a separate chapter for each region of France, the whole of Italy is lucky to get more than one chapter in all.

Jake Woodhouse, the man behind Divino, is a Brit who trained as a winemaker in New Zealand. Heís put plenty of legwork in, getting this business going, spending a few years based in Italy. The result is a hand-picked selection of some very interesting wines that otherwise arenít available here, delivered via a highly functional website. 

Ramato Pinot Grigio 2004 Veneto
Seven daysí maceration on skins gives a pale salmon/copper coloured wine with an intensely fruity, slightly herby nose. The palate has a lovely subtly herby cranberry fruit character: quite deep with a tangy, savoury finish. A moderately serious wine. Very good+ 88/100 (£7)

Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 1998
Aged in large slavonian oak barrels. This has an old-fashioned but lovely complex, perfumed, rather refined nose with a sweet menthol-like spicy edge to the red fruits. There are also subtle green notes and some old cedary wood hints. The palate is spicy and dry with a tarry, savoury streak, lots of concentration and a dry, but elegant structure. A rich, savoury style. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£30)

Carminucci Naumachos Rosso Piceno Superiore 2002
Very deep red/purple colour. Enticing nose of lush, sweet dark fruits with hints of black cherries. The palate shows super smooth structure underneath the concentrated, dark, lush fruit. Modern and rich with some earthy, spicy structure under the fruit. Quite a serious wine but also accessible. Very good/excellent 91/100 (£10.50)

Alvolo Alovini Aglianico del Vulture 2000
Lovely rich, dense, slightly tarry savoury nose: very full and savoury. Concentrated savoury spicy palate with lots of rich dark fruits. This is a serious, tight, structured spicy wine with a savoury character. Full and fruity, but lots of structure hiding under the fruit. Very good/excellent 92/100 (£16)

Catabbo Tintilia del Molise DOC 2004
Dark coloured. Rich, spicy black fruits (black cherry, blackberry) dominate the nose which is quite rich and fruit driven with a chocolatey edge. The palate is showing predominantly dark fruits. Itís in a modern mould but isnít oaky. Quite low acidity with high-ish alcohol. Itís a bit of a conundrum: rich and ripe, yet quite elegant and complex. Perhaps this is one for the long haul? Very good/excellent 90/100 (£13.50)

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