Armit: Italy still full of ‘untapped resources’

After recently marking its 30th anniversary with a large tasting of its extensive Italian portfolio, Armit Wines’ head of buying thinks Italy is still full of “untapped resources”.

Speaking to the drinks business, James Snoxell said that while Italy had “always been” an important category for the merchant (which is the UK agent for several prominent Italian estates including Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Tua Rita) it has only really taken off in the past few years.

With Bordeaux having seen its share of the market decrease in recent years Burgundy and Italy are two areas that have swiftly moved in and begun to expand their market share, Snoxell saying that the “elegant, refined and complex character” of Italian fine wines has captured the “imagination and mood” of UK drinkers in particular.

And as the UK and its collectors are still relatively new to the Italian wine scene – the Bolgheri Super Tuscans were “virtually unknown here 25 years ago,” says Snoxell, for merchants the country represents a wealth of “untapped resources”.

Not only is Italy enchanting customers it is exciting the merchants too he continued, picking out perennial favourites Barolo and Barbaresco and their terroir mosaic as, “exactly what a fine wine merchant loves.”

With blue chip Bordeaux proving increasingly expensive and top Burgundy proving not only very expensive but increasingly hard to find, top Italian labels with their accessible price points (a dozen bottles of the 2015 Sassicaia cost less than a case of Latour’s recently released 2012 Les Forts de Latour – its second wine), Italian wines are sure to find an ever greater following in both the UK and collecting world at large.

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