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In this collection of Earthy and Savoury red wines, we celebrate some of the most intriguing, complex and food-worthy bottles around. Savouriness in a wine can be a difficult term to explain. By using the term savoury, we allude to the presence of non-fruit aromas and flavours that contribute, with some significance, to the personality of a wine. Take the Nebbiolo grape for example and the Barolo wines it makes. At its best Barolo emits jaw-dropping fruity notes of wild strawberries, blood orange and rose petals. But, alongside this, there are savoury notes of graphite, tar, and truffles which play firmly into the character of the wine. We would consider Barolo savoury because these non-fruit aromas are of at least equal importance to the fruit expression when we consider the overall personality of the wine.

Earthiness then, is something slightly different and can, in fact, play into savouriness. We use the term earthy to refer to the fruit characteristics that develop on a wine with a bit of age. Take the 2016 Adanti Montefalco Rosso, here the Sangiovese grapes that, in a young wine, we would associate with bright, red cherry fruit flavours, have started developing into darker, stewed cherry flavours, alongside some intriguing fungal notes. These are the kinds of flavours you’ll find in many of the wines here. Other terms to look out for denoting earthiness are forest floor, wet leaves, and vegetal. If you’re feeling perplexed, try comparing the Montefalco Rosso with the 2019 Brio Toscana Rosso from Castello Romitorio (also Sangiovese) and you’ll see what we mean!

Some of the finest reds in the world fall into the Earthy and Savoury category, it’s not something to be put off by! Think Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, Rioja, Barbaresco and Bordeaux. Whilst drawing parallels between them can be difficult, complexity, food-friendliness and savouriness are certainly three we can be sure of. So, if contemplative wines are your thing, or you have a big, flavoursome meal on the horizon, or if you want to delight over a cracking bottle of wine with some great friends, then this collection could be your bet.

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