Paula’s Wines of the Week – 04th May 2021

Paula’s Wines of the Week – 04th May 2021

Piccini Memoro’s offer price of £6.50 at Sainsbury’s until May 4th 2021 is just the first of many reasons to get this top 5-star rated red. You could be mistaken for thinking that red is a Portuguese tawny port.

Piccini Memoro looks like port, smells like port and at 14% there’s almost enough alcohol in the wine to make it taste like a red wine “fortified” with brandy to turn it into a port. But when the label claims it’s “reminiscent of port” the game’s up – this rich unfortified red is in fact an Italian blend of four different grape varieties from four different regions of Italy.

The EU wine classification Vino d’Italia allows, for the first time, table wines from more than one Italian region to be blended together and sold under a single label.

Wine making family Piccini have taken this to extremes by blended together wines from the furthermost regions of Italy: Venetian Merlot, Primitivo from Puglia “the heel of Italy”, Sicilian Nero d’Avola and Montepulciano from the mid-Italian region of Abruzzo.

Four wines, four regions – which helps explain what a compass is doing on the brown paper bottle label. But this esoteric choice of design cleverly hides the most important fact about this wine: it is worth paying £8.50 a bottle (Morrisons) and even more so at its offer price of £6.50 (Sainsbury’s until May 4th 2021).

Aromas of cherry, chocolate covered raisins and a hint of espresso meld nicely into a blend of coffee and tobacco flavours with a sweet edge of dried cherries – which is very reminiscent of Graham’s 2015 Late Bottled Vintage Port (£13.99 Waitrose).

Paying half that for a Vino Rosso that tastes like port, and has all the complex flavours of port, is reminiscent of a no brainer. Reviews

Piccini Memoro Vino Rosso d’Italia
£6.50 Sainsbury’s, £8.50 Morrisons

This blended table red tastes of coffee and tobacco flavours with a sweet edge of dried cherries – very port like. Match to hearty tomato dishes or meaty stews, or even the famous cherry and choc dessert, Black Forest gateau.

Piccini Memoro Bianco
The white version made from four grape varieties sourced across Italy – Chardonnay from Trentino, Viognier from Sicily, Vermentino from Maremma in coastal Tuscany and Pecorino from Marche. The result is floral, fruity and crisp with some creamy backbone from malolactic fermentation of the Viognier in oak barrels.

Piccini Orange Label Chianti
Wine from a specific Italian region this time, Tuscany. Aromas of plum, marzipan and Marmite give way to flavours of blackcurrant, unripe raspberry and soy sauce. Fruity, rich and rather nice. Match it to Chinese takeaway, lasagne or anything really.

The wine rating system uses a maximum of 5 stars:

5* outstanding – the top rating given by
4* very good wine
3* good wine but over priced
2* a disappointing wine
1* little to offer
0* avoid – pour down the drain

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© Paula Goddard 2021