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Tuscany

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Tuscany



With its silver green olive trees, rolling carpeted hills and rows of pencil thin cypresses, the Tuscan landscape is truly beautiful. 

It's a province that's held a steady stream of tourists smitten since the Middle Ages.  And with a legacy of influence, power, ambition and art, both Florence and Sienna, still draw them in by the thousands to this day. 

Red or white?
The warm scrubby Mediterranean landscape favours reds, with savoury Sangiovese playing the starring role. 

White wine production is minimal due to the heat. There's the local Vernaccia di San Gimignano, as well as some Trebbiano and Vermentino.

Styles
The best Sangiovese strikes a very agreeable sleek, sappy, and savoury balance of bright red cherry and pomegranate fruit. Flavours go deeper and darker depending on where it's grown and what other varieties it's blended with. 

International varieties like Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon and Merlot make some exceptional, powerful wines on the gravelly Tuscan coastal plains of Maremma. 

Key areas to look for are Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Bolgheri. 

Grapes
Sangiovese, Merlot, Cabernet
Vernaccia, Vermentino, Trebbiano, Chardonnay

Favourite Producers
Isole e Olena, Querciabella, Montevertine, Monteraponi, San Giusto a Rentennano, Biondi Santi, Poggerino (Chianti)
Il Marroneto, San Filippo, Valdicava, Siro Pacenti, Pian dell'Orino, Stella di Campalto, Scopetone (Brunello)

 


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  1. Monteguelfo Chianti DOCG 2020
    Monteguelfo Chianti DOCG 2020
    Wow! This was such a wonderful surprise and terrific value Chianti from the estates of Andrea Cecchi. Made from 90% Sangiovese and 10% Colorino, the wine does not see any oak and has a tradiotional leaning and plenty of character, particularly for a wine at this price. The Cecchi family has 125 years of winemaking history and have some excellent vineyards at their disposal.

    It's a wonderfully vibrant & fresh expression of sangiovese that retains its fleshy and soft fruits throughout with a pillowy texture. Hints of black cherry and wild forest fruits with a touch of leather and some savoury dried herbs.
    2019
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
    Special Price $18.00 Regular Price $20.00 As low as $17.00
  2. Fontaleoni Rosato Condorino IGT Toscana 2020
    Fontaleoni Rosato Condorino IGT Toscana 2020

    Fontaleoni is a family estate run by brother and sister team, Matteo and Simona Troiani, with a little help from consultant Paolo Caciorgna. They've succeeded in producing a range that is emblematic of the best of what the region has to offer with particular emphasis on Vernaccia.

    Like all their wines they get the primo treatment in the winery. A blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Merlot this presents with a top note of rose-petal, plum, and wild cranberry. Its bright and crunchy mouthfeel gives way to soft red fruits and that sangiovese sour cherry we all know and love. I don't know why we don't see more sangiovese base rose as they seem to get that balance of savoury and sweet so well, especially when they are pink.

    2020
    Merlot, sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  3. Fontaleoni Chianti DOCG 2019
    Fontaleoni Chianti DOCG 2019
    The 2019 Chianti Colli Senesi is a fresh, fruity red to drink now and over the next few years. Sweet red cherry fruit and floral notes are nicely lifted in this mid-weight, perfumed Chianti Colli Senesi. Best of all, the 2019 is a terrific value. ANTONIO GALLONI

    Red fruited, spicy and attractively perfumed. As with the previous vintage this is a Chianti that is all about uncomplicated pleasure and it is built for enjoyment and to be consumed with food. Cherry and aniseed notes, somewhat gritty tannins and a faintly bitter twist of cherry pith on the finish all adding a little more interest and making me really want some salumi and to be sitting in the sunshine somewhere in Tuscany. Not sure what to say here, this wine seems to always deliver on quality verse hip pocket damage in a serious way. Outstanding value. ROSCOE
    2019
    Cannaiolo, sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  4. Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019
    Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano 2019
    The 2019 Vernaccia di S. Gimignano is an absolutely delicious, every day white. Apricot, tangerine oil, mint, chamomile and yellow flowers all grace this tasty, supple Vernaccia from Fontaleoni. ANTONIO GALLONI

    Bright and somewhat crunchy with a direct line of fresh apple like acidity. Plenty to enjoy here with all the usual elements you would want from Vernaccia of this quality, apple fruit, lemon oil and white flowers along with just enough texture to provide a little tactile interest. Clean and clear cut and something I will be drinking a lot of as the weather starts to warm up again. ROSCOE
    2019
    Vernaccia
    Italy
    495
  5. Fiorini Chianti Superiore 2019
    Fiorini Chianti Superiore 2019
    Neil and Maria Empson, together with friend and star oenologist Franco Bernabei, work closely with a number of growers to style a compact range of wines representing the best of their terroir and price range. Their combined experience and expertise gives them access to a cross-section of Tuscany's finest vineyards and the merits of chosen locations, combined with strict quality parameters, ensure consistent excellence with each vintage. The result is a range combining fruit, finesse and value that makes these wines particularly food-friendly and versatile.

    90% Sangiovese with the balance a mix of Cabernet, Ciliegiolo and Canaiolo, this embraces a more somewhat more traditional blend of Tuscan varieties. A floral hint over dark berry and  typical red cherry fruit trails into a slightly more broody edge as the wine opens up. The fruit is rich and ripe with dark cherry and plum and notes of violet, spice and liquorice. There is a touch of rustic charm here with some firm tannins that melt softly into the fruit. Great stuff.
    2019
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  6. Babo Chianti 2020
    Babo Chianti 2020
    Bottled under screwcap and offered in a Burgundy-shaped bottle! Quality fruit, sourced from a southwest-facing vineyard in Vinci (near Empoli) with a little  whole-bunch fermentation and roughly 50% carbonic maceration, raised in concrete vats for six months. A second ferment was de-stemmed and matured in concrete for eight months. The blend captures plenty of Chianti's trademark sour cherry tang, here combined with lifted florals and orange rind notes, juicy freshness and a hint of aniseed and dried-herb-savouriness
    2020
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  7. Scala Bianco (Greco) 2020
    Scala Bianco (Greco) 2020
    Calabria's best known wine region is Cirò, extending from the Ionian coast to the eastern foothills of La Sila with the classico zone centred around Cirò and Cirò Marina in the province of Crotone.
    This is 100% Greco from the family's lowest vineyards, between 100 to 150 meters above sea level. The Greco type found in Calabria is distinct from the one of the same name in Campania.

    Fermented and aged in stainless steel to retain the its crisp and crunchy edge. Hints of white flowers and lemon with a touch of citrus peel peak eagerly through the crunchy apple and tree fruits. There is a wonderful coastal vibe to the palate with more citrus and lemon a hint of underbrush that echoes the land its grown on. On the lighter side of medium this is the perfect wine for grilled or baked fish. Something grilled over hot coals you say!? Even better!
    2019
    Vermentino, White Blend
    Italy
    495
  8. Balio di Zola Balitore Sangiovese di Romagna 2018
    Balio di Zola Balitore Sangiovese di Romagna 2018
    Red berries, cherries and exotic spice on the nose. Nuanced, scented nose combines raspberry, redcurrant, tobacco, leather and a mineral component. Suave, juicy and complex, with harmonious acidity giving shape and freshness to the wine's concentrated red plum, tobacco and herbal flavors. This subtly intense midweight is still tightly coiled today. Finishes savory and minerally, with substantial but polished tannins and lingering perfume. Very impressive Sangiovese di Romagna. www.vinous.com
    2018
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  9. Le Cinciole Cinciorosso 2019
    Le Cinciole Cinciorosso 2019

    60% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, 20% Syrah. Notionally the entry level wine and historically the vehicle for the younger vine material although Orsini concedes that now the vines are actually not young anymore! Slightly higher yield. Fermented and elevaged in concrete and amphora. 

    Dark core of cherry (pip and fruit), nicely wafting florals and tobacco chiming in to add a savoury note here. The palate is nicely middle weight with the same brooding dark cherry fruit being complexed-up by some hung meat syrah elements. Finely etched tannins vibrancy, and a suave mouthfeel as well as some saline minerality and sanguine character (what I come to see as a feature of the site) Lovely near-term drinking and way too good for the pricing.  MICHAEL MCNAMARA

    2017
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  10. Querciabella Chianti Classico 2018 375ml
    Querciabella Chianti Classico 2018 375ml
    The 2018 Chianti Classico is classy, polished and exceptionally beautiful. Like so many wines in 2018, the Chianti Classico is aromatic and gracious in feel, more finesse than power. Silky tannins wrap around a core of bright Sangiovese fruit. From start to finish, the 2018 is all class. ANTONIO GALLONI

    This remarkable estate is the life-long passion of Sebastiano Cossia Costiglioni and before him his father, Guiseppe, who planted the first vines at the estate as a hobby in the early 1970's. Giacomo Tacchis and Guido di Santi were bought on in the formative years as winemaking consultants and directed the estate to biodynamics.

    Today the estate's technical direction is overseen by another of Italy's greatest winemaking talents in Luca Currado of famed Piemontese producer, Vietti, while day-to-day running of the estate's vineyards and winemaking is handled by a passionate team led by Dales D'Allesandro and Manfred Ing. New investment in the cellars over the past years will also continue to push the quality of the wines to new levels and maintain Querciabella at the top of the Chianti tree. PWS
    2018
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  11. Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano Casanova Cru 2019
    Fontaleoni Vernaccia di San Gimignano Casanova Cru 2019
    The 2019 Vernaccia di San Gimignano Casanuova is laced with apricot, honey, dried herbs and roasted almonds, all of which lend quite a bit of flavor complexity. Drink it over the next year or two. ANTONIO GALLONI, Vinous.

    This is a top-level version of their vernaccia and sees an addition of about 5% chardonnay as well as some time in large format French oak. All together there is an extra layer of fruit and depth from the fruit selection while the barrel-work adds some lovely vanillin notes and roasted complexity.
    2019
    Vernaccia
    Italy
    495
  12. Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico 2014
    Rocca di Montegrossi Chianti Classico 2014
    Rocca di Montegrossi is located in the heart of Chianti Classico, about seven kilometres from Gaiole. The name comes from the historic fortress (la Rocca) that was built during the Longobard period (600-800 AD) by Geremia, ancestor of the Ricasoli–Firidolfi family, and destroyed in 1530. Marco is part of the Ricasoli family that wrote the story of Chianti Classico, creating the formula for the wine we know today at the site of what is now his San Marcellino vineyard.  The estate covers 60 hectares, of which 18 are under vine and 20 with olives trees.

    The 2014 Chianti Classico is a surprisingly powerful, potent wine. Black cherry, smoke, licorice and dark spices fill out the wine's ample frame effortlessly. The sheer depth and intensity are impressive and show why this is such a great site. Sweet rose petal, spice and mint are some of the many nuances that blossom as the wine sits in the glass. Put simply, this is one of the wines of the vintage. ANTONIO GALLONI 
    2013
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
    Special Price $42.00 Regular Price $46.00
  13. Vecchie Terre di Montefili Chianti Classico 2018
    Vecchie Terre di Montefili Chianti Classico 2018
    The 2018 Chianti Classico is fabulous. Rich, deep and wonderfully expansive, the 2018 is captivating from the very first taste. A rush of blue/blackish fruit, spice, new leather, licorice and dark spice saturates the palate. In 2018, the Chianti Classico is deep and especially concentrated, but it all works so well. Readers will find a wine of uncommon power, intensity and richness. The 2018 is a big wine, there is no question about it. ANTONIO GALLONI
    2018
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  14. Monsanto Chianti Classico 2018
    Monsanto Chianti Classico 2018

    The 2018 Chianti Classico is a beautiful and highly affordable wine with which to explore the vintage. Sweet, perfumed aromatics, silky fruit and mid-weight structure give the 2018 so much immediacy. The dark cherry, plum, menthol, licorice and spice flavors pulse with energy. Lavender, sage, orange peel, mint and dried spice add a very pretty aromatic upper register. ANTONIO GALLONI

    Cherry, dried herbs and some meaty char, liquorice, and a bit of perfume too. It's medium-bodied, but quite dense, with compact tannin, a distinct 'mineral' feel about it, dry but with good-flavour, and a firm finish of solid length. Needs to unfurl a little, but I like what I taste. GARY WALSH, The Wine Front

    Red-berry, blue-flower and tilled earth aromas waft out of the glass. On the juicy palate, bright acidity and polished tannins accompany Marasca cherry, orange zest and a hint of aniseed. KERIN O'KEEFE, The Wine Enthusiast

    2018
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  15. Talenti Rosso di Montalcino 2019
    Talenti Rosso di Montalcino 2019
    The 2019 Rossos give an exciting preview of how the upcoming Brunellos may fare. Some examples like this have nothing to complain about in terms of quality and complexity. It's super-pale in the glass - suggestive of the relatively high position of the estate in Sant'Angelo in Colle - with bright red currant aromas and pomegranate flavour, both completed by black pepper complexity and a smoky finish. The palate is almost full, while chewy and sweet, grainy tannins lend perfect balance with refreshing acidity and a broad, cherry kernel finish typical of Sangiovese. Great definition. ALDO FIORDELLI, www.decanter.com
    2019
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  16. Isole E Olena Chianti Classico 2019
    Isole E Olena Chianti Classico 2019
    Made with 83% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 2% Syrah, this lovely, delicious red races out of the gate with enticing scents of perfumed berries, blue flowers, forest floor and baking spice. Smooth and savory, the juicy palate features ripe Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, white pepper and star anise alongside polished tannins. It's already drinking beautifully but will also offer several years of sheer pleasure. (94) KERIN O'KEEFE

    I tasted the 2019 Chianti Classico from a pre-bottling core blend. Supple and racy, the 2019 hints at the greater textural richness and suave tannins found in the Cepparello. Spice, mint, dried cherry and herbs add pretty shades of nuance. ANTONIO GALLONI
    2019
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
    Special Price $50.00 Regular Price $56.00 As low as $45.00
  17. Le Cinciole Chianti Classico 2018
    Le Cinciole Chianti Classico 2018
    The 2018 Chianti Classico is a wine of magnificent purity and class. Lavender, sage, tobacco and cedar open first, leading to a core of dark red/purplish fruit. Savory and earthy, with terrific persistence, the 2018 has so much going on. Readers will find a deep, layered Chianti Classico full of character. The 2018 will benefit from a few years in bottle, as it is a bit tight at this stage. ANTONIO GALLONI
    2018
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  18. Campo al Noce Miterre Bolgheri Rosso 2019
    Campo al Noce Miterre Bolgheri Rosso 2019
    Ripe and dramatic, a brooding core of spiced plums and red berries is laced with graphite and violets, thanks to a refreshing dose of cabernet franc. Attention-grabbing structure comes from a plush and chewy flow of tannins that take on an amaro savoury twist, offsetting the velvety core. A medley of complexing flavours comes from marrying four grapes (cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot and syrah) together in spicy oak. Reminds me of a delicious luncheon claret with Italian accents and attitude. GABRIELLE POY, PWS
    2019
    Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, shiraz
    Italy
    495
  19. Felsina Chianti Classico 2019
    Felsina Chianti Classico 2019
    The 2019 Chianti Classico Berardenga is a classic wine for the year. Bright, perfumed and light on its feet, the 2019 Chianti Classico Berardenga is so wonderfully expressive. There is a feeling of vibrancy to the 2019 that is hugely appealing. A wine of energy more than power. Crushed red berry fruit, cinnamon linger in a gorgeous Chianti Classico that is more about transparency than power. ANTONIO GALLONI

    A beautiful, creamy red with cherry and chocolate character. Hints of dried earth. It's medium-to full-bodied with creamy tannins and a long, flavorful finish. shows firmness and tension. Very drinkable now, but will improve beautifully with age JAMES SUCKLING
    2019
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  20. Le Chiuse Rosso di Montalcino 2019
    Le Chiuse Rosso di Montalcino 2019

    Le Chiuse lies on the southeast hillside of appellation, just below the village of Montalcino, close to Biondi-Santi. Altitude and schist soils make the Rosso fresh and complex, not without potential to age. This 2019 shows a graceful structure, very well integrated crisp acidity, good fruit and light, ripe tannins. Vinous in the glass, it's full of intense strawberry and violet, with a super-fresh character on the palate of red currants and cedar, then slightly peppery. The estate selects bigger clusters for its Rosso in order to minimise its tannin extraction compared to Brunello... ALDO FIORDELLI, www.decanter.com

    2019
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  21. Tenuta di Trinoro Le Cupole 2013
    Tenuta di Trinoro Le Cupole 2013
    The 2013 Le Cupole di Trinoro hits the palate with racy dark cherries, mocha, plums, espresso and new leather. Radiant and deeply expressive, the 2013 is a great introduction to the Tenuta di Trinoro wines. Cherry compote and cinnamon are some of the notes that shape the super-ripe, opulent finish. Le Cupole is the second selection of fruit and barrels that don't make it into the top wines. It also happens to be a terrific value. ANTONIO GALLONI
    2013
    Italy
    495
  22. Siro Pacenti Rosso di Montalcino 2018
    Siro Pacenti Rosso di Montalcino 2018
    Pale red; this wine’s very pretty color strikes me as being one of the less dark Rossos made by Pacenti in years. Inviting floral notes (rose, violet) complement strawberry, red cherry and delicate flint and herb aromas. Then very fresh and juicy, with a steely quality to the red fruit and herb flavors that are really perked up by a strong peppery component on the long, lively youthfully chewy finish. Made from 15 years old Sangiovese vines, this is a really lovely fruit-forward and also surprisingly spicy Rosso di Montalcino. 25% new oak for 12 -3 months. IAN D'AGATA, Vinous.com
    2018
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
  23. Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino 2019
    Valdicava Rosso di Montalcino 2019
    Vincenzo Abbruzzese is one of the most outspoken, passionate growers in Montalcino. His beautifully tended vineyards yield some of the richest wines in the region; and that’s where most of the focus is – on the vineyards. The winery itself is unremarkable and is equipped with just the bare essentials. All of the wines are aged in large, neutral oak; what comes through is Abbruzzese’s commitment to low yields, sustainable farming and non-interventionalist winemaking. ANTONIO GALLONI

    A stellar effort in a warm year that has produced a plush and sweet style rosso that is all but Brunello in name. This is vibrant and rich at the same time with sweet spice peppered over the warm cherry and black raspberry fruits that spill out the glass. Plenty of depth but remains light on its feet. Great stuff! PWS
    2019
    sangiovese
    Italy
    495
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