NATIV is the brainchild of Mario Ercolino, who is the owner and wine maker of this innovative winery. He created NATIV after a long experience at Feudi di San Gregorio of which he was one of the founders.

The winery’s guiding principle is contained in its name, “Nativ” that literally means “that which comes from”. Its entire production of wine is from grapes native to the region. The Company currently owns 15 hectares of vineyards in the province of Avellino and the annual production consists of 150,000 bottles.

Nativ Falanghina del Beneventano

This wine is produced from 100% Falanghina grapes. Its bright straw-yellow-greenish hue, is immediately supported by what could be described as a great “luminosity” on the nose, with ripe fruity nuances of citrus, pineapple and white flowers and intriguing hints of sage and rosemary.

Tasting Nativ Falanghina del Beneventano

On the palate, very fresh and persistent with a pleasant and fruity final impression.

Excellent as an aperitif and great with any seafood dishes. Serve at about 10°C

Score: 16 points

Stefano Gabba

Wines Tasted

  • Il Follo – Prosecco “Rustot” Original Method on the Yeast NV
  • Comelli – Sauvignon Bianco Collio 2012
  • Cascina Garitina – Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Caranti” 2011
  • Zanoni – Valpolicella DOC 2011
  • Falezze Valpolicella Superiore 2010

These wines were tasted in a very simple way and no formal notes were taken. The only wine that did not show well was the Prosecco bottled on its yeast; although interesting (it was the original way of producing Prosecco), it does not comply with the current parameters of Prosecco production and it appeared too austere and acidic.

Comelli Azienda

Comelli Sauvignon Blanc 2012 from Comelli in the Colli Orientali of Friuli, displayed rich and well developed tropical aromas of passion fruit and mango, with hints of mint and tomato leaf. Very intense on the palate with a rich mouthfeel and a long refreshing finish.

Comelli Sauvignon Blanc

It can match a great variety of dishes but should certainly be tasted on its own to appreciate its striking characteristics.

Score: 17.5 points

Cascina Garitina

Cascina Garitina – Barbera d’Asti Superiore “Caranti“ 2011 – intense black and sour cherry flavours and beautifully balanced acidity. Excellent texture on the palate and good, long finish.

Cascina Garitina Barbera Caranti

Recommended to accompany top quality Italian cold cuts and braised beef.

Score: 17.5 points

Azienda Agricola Pietro Zanoni

Zanoni – Valpolicella DOC 2011 – small property situated over 6.5 hectares of vineyards in the Valpolicella and spreading over the areas of Avesa, Parana and Quinzano.

Zanoni Valpolicella

Ruby red, bright colour. Rich, variegated aroma, grapey and fruity. Fresh, well-structured mouthfeel, sustained by a balanced acidity and all-rounded tannins.

Tasting Zanoni Valpolicella

Good nose-palate finish. What really impresses about this wine is the purity and precision of its fruit.

Recommended for main courses with meat sauces and vegetable dishes of Mediterranean tradition and fish in tomato sauce.

Score: 18 points

Falezze Valpolicella Superiore 2010 – Falezze”>Falezze is a small wine company in the Valdonega district (ancient name of Falezze) of Valpolicella. Falezze means “valley of the feudal lord”. The property has belonged to the Anselmi family for 3 generations and produces a limited annual amount of bottles (around 10,000) of high quality Amarone della Valpolicella, Ripasso and Valpolicella Superiore.

Falezze Azienda

Medium-deep ruby red colour. On the nose, complex and intense scents, with hints of blackberries, blueberries, liquorice and black pepper. Very intense and persistent flavours, with hints of red and black fruit (plums, blackberries, blueberries, red and black currants), liquorice, mint, orange, chocolate and nutmeg. Texturally, this wine is dry but warm, with persistent flavours, good minerality and ripe tannins, which contribute to creating a solid and appealing structure.

Falezze Valpolicella Superiore

It will match to perfection red meat (such as steak and venison), poultry, lamb, pork and pork sausage, medium-aged cheeses, cold cuts such as ham, salami and mortadella.

Score: 18 points

Stefano Gabba

Following our participation to the recent International Wine Traders Workshop at Peschiera del Garda (21-22 October 2013) in Italy, we have asked some of the participants to forward samples of the wines that most impressed us for a follow-up evaluation.

We shall review such wines as we receive and taste them. In 2014 we shall then decide – based on commercial and quality considerations – on possible extensions to the ranges that we carry.

BENNATI “SOIRAGHE” – The Bennati winery is located in Cazzano di Tramigna, that is, at the boundary between the wonderful Soave hills and the renown Valpolicella region.

Bennati Winery

The winery was founded in 1920 and it has a long tradition of winemaking: as a matter of fact, four generations have contributed to the qualitative improvement of the wines. Today, the highest expression of this path of growth is the Soraighe line. The name Soraighe is taken from a hilly area not far from the winery, and the objective was to create an assortment of wines with a strong identity, linked to their land (Valtramigna, in the Eastern part of Verona) and to the family style.

Soiraghe “Lugana”

Soraighe Lugana

Lugana is produced from 100% Trebbiano di Lugana grapes. The name “Trebbiano” is misleading. In fact, this grape bears no relationship to the bland cultivar utilized extensively in many otherwise unremarkable wines from Central Italy. It is in fact a local synonym for Verdicchio, a grape known to produced attractively scented and complex wines in the region of Marche.

The Soiraghe Lugana has an appealing light golden hue and delicate, elegant tropical-fruity overtones on the nose. On the palate it is most satisfying, revealing substantial texture and intense ripe, white peach flavours. What is most interesting is its aftertaste which reveals the wine’s minerality and intensifies and completes the fruity perceptions previously acquired on the palate. This Lugana is a breath of fresh air for palates jaded by too many trite Sauvignon Blancs.

It is definitely ready to drink and should not be kept over two years.

Score: 17 points

Soiraghe Soave Classico “Libet”

Soraighe Soave Classico Libet

This Soave Classico is from 100% Garganega grapes.

Straw-yellow with golden hues. Delicate, very clean nose with overtones of fresh tropical fruit and hints of field flowers. On the palate it display a good structure and excellent balance with ripe fruity flavours, mainly of peach and grapefruit on the close.

Tasting Bennati Libet Soave

Although it may be enjoyed as an aperitif, this wine will definitely shine when matched with the right food, especially eggs and egg-based dishes, cheese soufflés and also fish and pasta dishes with a creamy sauce.

Score: 16 points

Cantina Colli Euganei “Bianco” 2013 DOC

Colli Euganei Bianco

Cantina Colli Euganei brings together about 680 producers, spread over the protected area of the Euganean Hills Nature Reserve. With 7,000 tons of grapes harvested, it produces 5 million litres of wine and distributes 2 million bottles.

Cantina Colli Euganei Cooperative

This modestly named wine has an unpretentious but captivating label and is the result of an eclectic blend of 4 grapes: Garganega, Tai (“Friulano”, formerly known as Tocai), Pinot Bianco and Moscato.

Tasting Colli Euganei Bianco

On the nose, it has medium developed soft, appealing whiffs of ripe, white-flesh plummy fruit. On the palate, the entry reveals round, ripe peaches and aromatic tropical fruit. What is most pleasant and unexpected is the crisp twist of flavoursome citrus and cape gooseberry at the end that lifts this wine to a new dimension and provides much drinking pleasure. A happy find, this wine certainly spars above its weight.

Excellent as an aperitif or with hot or cold appetizers, soups, fish and fresh cheeses.

Score: 16 points

Vigna dei Lupi – “Dodiciettari” 2012 Irpinia Rosato DOC

Dodicettari” is the brainchild of producer Vigna dei Lupi in honor of the 12 hectares of land owned by the company.

Dodiciettari Vineyards

Vigna dei Lupi (“Vineyard of the Wolves”) was created in 2007 and is located in the province of Avellino. Productions comprises all major varieties-denominations typical of the area: Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino, Falanghina, Aglianico and Taurasi.

It is expected that total production will reach 80/90000 bottles.

The wine is obtained from Aglianico grapes and is bright with clear copper-pink hues. On the nose, it is clean, fresh and with medium developed fruity connotations.

Tasting Vigna dei Lupi Irpinia Rosato

On the palate, there is a pleasant impression of red currant and citrus, rather straightforward and lacking much complexity.

It is ready to drink and should be consumed with sausages, salami, pizza and fresh cheeses.

Score: 14.5 points

Stefano Gabba

“A hero’s work is never done” – my parting thought after dropping off the last of the Italian craft beer samples at French Toast, in anticipation of our tasting presentation on Monday 20th August. In attendance was a great gathering of like-minded friends and associates…

Lorenzo Gabba & Colyn Truter

Lorenzo and Colyn (The Leg of Wine) seeing to the guests’ requirements.

Stefano Gabba, Anthony Cawood & Rob Cowles

Stefano compares tasting notes with Ant (Beer Guevara) and Rob (Rosetta).

Birre Del Ducato Bottles

Collection of Birre Del Ducato empties.

Lucy Corne, Anthony Cawood, Lorenzo Gabba, Rob Cowles & Troy May

Cosy introductions: Lucy (, Ant, Lorenzo, Rob and Troy (Home Brewer).

Beer Closeup

“Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.” – Kinky Friedman

Hylton Brown, Troy May, Lorenzo Gabba & Colyn Truter

Hylton (Home Brewer), Troy, Lorenzo and Colyn – all taking a moment to savour the flavour.

Beer Tasting Table

All-in-all a very happy gathering indeed.

The event was a swimming success with everyone wholly satisfied at the overall quality of the frosty Italian offering. Suffice to say that we will be looking closely at bringing in some starting stock soon; watch this space for details.

Despite various 3rd party trials and tribulations, we are very excited to announce that we have finally managed to launch Gabba International as a totally independent online wine shop.

In the coming days/weeks/months we will be running down previous private lines and reintroducing them as part of the Gabba International offering.

While you needn’t register to purchase, we would encourage you to do so, since apart from storing your personal preferences for future orders, it helps us manage your requests in the event of a problem. Registered members will also be able to add items to their very own wishlist, which they can share with family and friends.

These are early days, so kindly let us know if you run into any bugs on the site. We are here to provide the best possible service to customers and both your patience and feedback is most appreciated.