Tag Archives: 2010 vintage

Vinitaly Day 2: lot’s of great wines and people…

If I take one thing away from Vinitaly 2015 it is that vintage 2010 Brunello is a once in a generation vintage. The wines across the board we of such a high standard that I think the quality level overall may even be higher than 2010 Barolo. Yesterday we tried the wines of Fuligni, Cupano, Costanti, Siro Pacenti, La Fortunata and Gorelli.


The 2010 Brunello from these producers were off the charts. What was also pleasing to see was that the 2009 Brunello have come along better than I thought and are actually drinking really well today.

Another highlight was sitting down with the legendary Emidio Pepe and his granddaughter Chiara who has the same spark as her grandfather.

The legendary Emidio Pepe.
The legendary Emidio Pepe.

The previous day we tried a vertical of Trebbiano spanning twenty years which was good but the fact the sommelier’s did not check the bottles when poured meant that there were some wines which should have been in the tasting.


Today we looked at Montepulciano spanning four decades. These wines were off the charts in quality and complexity and illustrated to me why Emidio Pepe is considered as one of the best wineries in Italy.

Today we drive to Alba and concentrate on Barolo and Barbaresco for the next three days which will be great.

2010 Il Palazzone has arrived in Oz but….

After arriving in our warehouse yesterday from Italy, the 2010 @ilpalazzone stocks are already 2/3 gone and we have already polished off two bottles amongst ourselves! What a wine. Described by Antonio Galloni as a ‘very beautiful wine.’ I doubt the first shipment of this wine will last more than a week.

Luckily we have secured a second allocation which should arrive mid year. What a wine and illustrates why I have been talking up 2010 Brunello for the last few years.


2010 Barolo…. wow…..

Wow they are good,

Massolino Banner

During my trip to Italy in April I tried a swag of fantastic 2010 Barolo. These wines will live forever and are already supremely balanced.  They drink well from today and for another thirty years.

As these wines have landed in Australia, I have been opening these wines and see how they compared to when I looked at them in April. Sometimes, the distance in travel can shock the wines and it can take months for them to come back to the level there were before the voyage across the world.

Well, not the 2010 wines.  They have hit the ground running and even with some of the wines that have arrived and I have tasted within a day or so of there voyage, they have looked stunning. The  more I try these wines in Oz (and I reckon I have tried close to a dozen Baroli) the more I think that this vintage is going to be one for the ages, and talked about in the same light of the very best post war vintages.

Lot’s of people ask me how they should by so they cover enough of the 2010 Barolo without having to take out a second mortgage. For me, I think 3’s and 6’s are a great way to buy. If you can afford it, lash out with 6 bottles, you will never be disappointed. Otherwise 3 bottles will you allow to look at these wines at multiple stages of their life.


It must all begin somewhere: 2010 Gran Sasso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo continues an amazing journey…

Do you consider Abruzzo a Southern Italian region? Well technically yes, but I consider it more central rather than Southern.

When I first started importing Italian wines to Australia, I knew I had to focus on not just the top end dollar wise of importing, but also look at importing wines that offered value for money but still with a sense of regionality. I was not interested in importing cheap Italian Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz or Chardonnay. What is the point, you might as well buy them from Australia.I was more looking for native varieties from each region that I could buy and sell to retail in Australia for under $20 a bottle.

Fast forward five years and we have been able to do this and build a strong reputation for Mondo Imports in Australia for offering Southern Italian wines from native varieties grown in the region they originate.

So for Abruzzo, it is Montepulciano and Trebbiano. For these grape varieties we chose to work with the guys from Gran Sasso and now looking back at it, it was one of the best decisions we have ever made. They are forward thinking, promote indigenous varieties and are willing to plant and promote these wines around the world.

The 2010 vintage of the Gran Sasso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo has just been released and already wine journalists like Gary Walsh and Jane Faulkner have been blown away by the quality of this wine for $10 a bottle.

Below is Gary Walsh from The Wine Front take on this wine:
Yes, that’s right, it’s now sealed with a screwcap. Importer: Mondo Imports

I put this under the nose of my wife, who, it has to be said, is one of the fussiest wine drinkers around, and she liked it immediately. That’s an achievement in itself, and then I told her the price. Amazement. Anyway, I gave it a quick run before dinner formally and with dinner informally (I took off my tasting bow tie) and it impressed me twice.

Blood plum, nuts, licorice and some chocolate on a middle weight palate that delivers plenty of flavour along with attractive chewiness and freshness. The length is particularly impressive and closes with a desirable Italianate bitterness, like chicory or similar. Is it the best release of Gran Sasso to date? I suspect so. I defy you to find a more interesting, savoury wine with modest alcohol and food friendliness at the price. If you do, please let me know. It’s ever so slightly better than a 90 point wine, so I’m rounding up. Drink : 2012 – 2016 $10.99 91 points Gary Walsh, The Wine Front

On radio 3AW last week, Jane Faulkner challenged the audience to find a better $10 red in the Australian market. A big call but one that has merit.

Last year in Abruzzo we tried this wine in tank and it looked good. Once stocks arrived in December and I tried the finished product in bottle it was obvious that this wine was something else and each bottle I have had either with family or friends has put a smile on my face.

Whilst I have around 10,000 bottles of this wine in our warehouse, I have already emailed Italy for another 12,000 bottles to be prepared for shipment in a couple of weeks. I will most likely need to do the same in a months time.

The last time this happened for our company was for the first vintage of Gran Sasso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo which was 2008. In the end, we sold around 150,000 bottles of this vintage and once more samples go out to more journalists in Australia I can see the domino effect happening.

Below is a bit of information and history about Gran Sasso.


The Gran Sasso vineyards are situated among the hills in the provinces of Chieti and Teramo in the region of Abruzzo while the beautiful modern winery is located in the town of Ortona. Abruzzo is located in the central eastern part of Italy on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The unique position of the vineyards allows them to benefit from the sea and mountain breezes, producing wines that are full in body and truly represent the characteristics of the region.


Valentino Sciotti is involved with a number of wineries in Puglia, Campania (he is the man behind Vesevo) and his native Abruzzi. The Gran Sasso wines are made by young winemaker Marco Flacco and display a freshness and directness of fruit that is seldom found in this region. Most Montepulciano at this price comes either from negociants buying bulk wines or from co-ops, neither of whom work as well or as closely with their growers as Valentino and his team. The grapes for this wine are grown in 15-20 year old vineyards in the production zones of Ortona, San Salvo and Pollutri. This wine is deep ruby red in colour with garnet reflections. It is clean, fresh and plummy on the nose, rich, supple and accessible on the palate. It is balanced and full-bodied with good tannins. The fresh, primary fruit characters are maximised by the fact that it does not age in oak, making it approachable and ready to drink.