Tuscany

Florence’s region has shifted its stance in the last couple of decades from a complacent supplier of flask Chianti to the nation’s most creative producer of premium wines. Tuscany’s revolution began in Chianti and the central hills around Siena but quickly spread to take in the coastal zones that were not previously noted for vineyards.

Much of the progress has come with classical reds, as illustrated by the fact that four of Italy’s nine DOCGs are here – Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Chianti and Carmignano. But growing success with other reds (including the stylish table wines sometimes called “Super Tuscans”) and a new breed of whites has enhanced the region’s reputation.

Chianti, still the dominant force in Tuscan viniculture, has ranked as the most Italian of wines for decades. This is partly because it is the most voluminous and widely sold classified wine, but also because it has a personality that cannot be pinned do cover a vast territory of central Tuscany. In these often rugged hills variations in soil and climate contribute as much to the individuality of each authentic estate wine as do producers’ quests for a personal style. These variations may be confusing, but for consumers who persist Chianti offers some of the best quality for value in wine today.

Since Chianti was elevated to DOCG in 1984,its production has sharply diminished and its quality has markedly improved. Chianti may be identified by its subdistricts, though only producers of Classico – whose consortium is symbolized by a black rooster – have made much of a geographical point so far. Many estates emphasize the name of a certain vineyard or area as a mark of distinction.

What Chianti has in common with all the classified red wines of Tuscany is its major grape variety Sangiovese. In the past varieties were often blended, but today the emphasis is strongly on Sangiovese. When the habitat is right, its superior clones – Montalcino’s Brunello, Chianti’s Sangioveto and Montepulciano’s Prugnolo Gentile – must be ranked with Italy’s, and the world’s noblest vines.

Chianti

Year
Producer
Rating
Price
Special
2014ANTONIO SANGUINETI11.99
2014DA VINCI DOCG11.99
2013FRESCOBALDI CASTIGLONI11.99
2013GABBIANO DOCG9.99
2012RUFFINO DOCG8.99

Chianti Classico & Riserva
Year
Producer
Rating
Price
Special
2011ANTINORI CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVAWS-89, WA-8829.9923.99
2012BANFI 13.99
2012BANFI CLASSICO RISERVA18.99
2014CASTELLARE23.99
2013FELSINA BERARDENGAWS-9224.99
2011FRESCOBALDI NIPOZZANO RISERVAWE-9019.99
2011IL GRIGIO da SAN FELICE GRAN SELEZIONE DOCG#1 WE TOP 100 201549.99
2012ISOLE e OLENAWA-8924.99
2013MARCHESE ANTINORI CHIANTI CLASSICO RISERVA47.99
2013NOZZOLE RISERVA22.99
2013RUFFINO RISERVA TAN LABEL25.99
2011RUFFINO RISERVA GOLD LABEL39.99
2013SAN FELICE17.99
2013VOLPAIA WS-9019.99

Super Tuscan
Year
Producer
Rating
Price
Special
2012BANFI ROSSO DI MONTALCINOWA-9022.99
2014IL POGGIONE ROSSO DI MONTALCINO19.99
2009 ISOLE E OLENA CEPPARELLOWA-9569.99
2008LUCEWA-90, WS-8989.99
2013LUCENTE31.99
2006ORNELLAIAWA-97199.99
2011TOLAINI AL PASSOWA-9122.99
2011TOLAINI VALDISANTIWS-9129.99
2010TENUTA SAN GUIDO GUIDALBERTOWA-90, WS-9059.99

Brunello Di Montalcino
Year
Producer
Rating
Price
Special
2009ARGIANOWA-92, WS-9069.99
2011MASTROJANNIWA-93 , WS-9067.99
2011CARPARZOWS-8944.99
2010COLOMBINI DONATELLA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO RISERVAWA-95 , WS-97129.99VERY LIMITED!
2011COLOMBINI DONATELLA BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINOWA-9367.99
2008COLOMBINI PRIMA DONNAWS-9173.99
2010IL MARRONETOWA-95, WE-9769.99
2011SAN FELICE CAMPOGIOVANNIWS-9059.99
2011SAN POLOWS-91, WA-9359.99
2010SAN POLOWS 94+69.99

Other Tuscan Reds
Year
Producer
Rating
Price
Special
2014ALTESINO ROSSO WS-8819.99
2014ANTINORI SANTA CRISTINA SANGIOVESE9.99
2013ANTINORI VILLA REDWS-8919.99
2012AVIGNONESI VINO NOBILE DI MONTEPULCIANO32.99
2013BOLLA VERONESE ROSSO7.99
2012BOLLA TORR ALTA VERONESE ROSSO19.99
2012BOCELLI SANGIOVESE IGT15.99
2013COLOMBERA & GARELLA COSTE DELLA SESIA, ROSSO24.99
2014DONNA LAURA SANGIOVESE10.99
2013FELESCO SANGOIVESE IGT11.997.99
2014LA MOZZA MORELLINO DI SCANSANO17.99
2014LA GERLA POGGIO GLI ANGELI SANGIOVESE16.99
2010MAZZONI ROSSO12.99
2011MONTE ANTICO11.99
2012RUFFINO IL DUCALE IGT17.99
2011RUFFINO MODUS24.99