So, Tarquin headed to Italy earlier in the year with a rough plan that included finding a new Barbera/Langhe Nebbiolo producer along with something modern and exciting from Tuscany. We liked the idea of some Sangiovese based wines, Tuscan blends or a Rosso di Montalcino.  It gives me great pleasure to therefore introduce to you Marchesi Fumanelli, our brand new Valpolicella producer from Veneto! Wait, what?

I’d love to tell you that our buying policy here at de Burgh Wines was a carefully curated plan incorporating a robust strategic approach with a long term vision along with an organised program which identified gaps in the market, future trends and capitalised on current trends. Truth is, it’s a lot more random and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Some of our most loved wines were found when we weren’t looking. I’m a great believer that you focus on what’s in front of you, otherwise something brilliant will pass you by.

The Valpolicella region is located in western Veneto, north of Verona and east of Lake Garda. Production is centred on red indigenous grape varieties of which Corvina is the most-well respected. The wines are usually made with a high proportion of Corvina but blended with a mixture of Rondinella, Corvinone and Molinara amongst other less important ones. Valpolicella, like so many Italian wine regions, has been guilty in the past of overproduction and the pursuit of volume over quality which makes the area synonymous with bland, light, inoffensive wines and undermines the efforts of producers who are making better quality wines of which Fumanelli has always been one.

The Fumanelli estate is old, dating back to 1470 and has been owned by 28 generations of the same family. They are one of the biggest family owned estates in Veneto with 78 acres under vine. They possess that magical combination of history and tradition along with a modern outlook.

What stuck us the most about Fumanelli was just how good the basic Valpolicella Classico Superiore is. The Classico zone is the original permitted zone from before the expansion of the area in 1968. They are widely regarded as the better vineyard sites on the less fertile hillsides. The Superiore wines are aged for one year and must have a minimum alcohol strength of 12% abv. It has great finesse, depth of flavour and freshness along with being packed with wild fruit and herb notes. It’s one of the great examples of Valpolicella Classico Superiore.

The Ripasso style is probably the most interesting wine due to it’s production method and offers superb value for lovers of the Amarone style. The process for making Ripasso simply involves re-fermenting and macerating Amarone pomace (The solid remains of the grapes after pressing) with fresh Valpolicella. In essence, the wine maker is reusing (Ripasso meaning repassed) the leftovers to add colour, flavour, structure and alcohol to the Valpolicella. The result is a wine with all the freshness and joy of Valpolicella but with an added Amarone style punch. It has lovely softness and offers superb value with dark cherry fruit and lovely spice notes from the 12 months in French oak.

The Amarone della Valpolicella Classico is an immense wine with a very distinctive and powerful fruit profile, made from a blend of 40% Corvina, 40% Corvinone and 20% Rondinella. The grapes are hand-picked and left to dry for 120 days which concentrates the flavours within the grapes. A maceration of 25 days, 30 months aging in French oak followed by a further 8 months aging in bottle results in an intense and perfumed wine with ripe red berry fruit, sweet vanilla notes, nutmeg, spice & chocolate. It’s a heady experience to say the least!

The grapes for Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva ‘Octavius’ come from Fumanelli’s older vines which are aged, on average 40 years old. It is a blend of 40% Corvina Veronese, 40% Corvinone & 20% Rondinella. Careful grape selection is the name of the game here before the grapes are left to dry for 120 days to concentrate the flavours. The wine is aged in 500 litre French oak tommeaux for 48 months followed by a further 12 months in bottle before release. The wine has started to take on a slightly brick red colour and is powerful yet elegant with wild cherry, sweet vanilla, nutmeg, mocha and an amazingly warm texture on the pallet.       

The 4 wines are a fantastic addition to our range and I’m sure will feature for years to come. The hunt for Barbera and Tuscan reds continues………

To buy from our shop, please head on over to or alternatively, give our office a call – 01875 595 100