2013 Villa Le Prata Brunello Di Montalcino, Italy

2013 Villa Le Prata Brunello Di Montalcino, Italy

VILLA LE PRATA

2013 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
MONTALCINO, ITALY 

2013 Villa Le Prata Brunello Di Montalcino, Italy
Villa Le Prata Brunello has a distinct personality, shaped by the vintage, elevation, and Galestro clay soils. An alliance of power and elegance marks this wine embellished by their female team, led by internationally renowned winemaker Doctor Graziana Grassini. Time in the bottle has erected a magnificent bouquet, awakened harmonious energy, and enhanced the fruit’s divine purity. Ready to drink now, it’s, as Vinous writes, a “Lovely Brunello.” 
 
Montalcino’s 2013 vintage produced “balanced Brunellos with vibrant structures,” as noted by the Wine Spectator. Villa Le Prata’s 2013 marries three single-hectare sites, ranging in elevation, exposure, climate, and soils, resulting in a well-rounded, balanced wine.
 
The winemaking team is meticulous in their fruit selection, and they ferment in stainless steel for 20 days, preserving the most natural essence of the fruit. This wine poised and ready to drink after gaining its elegance from 42 months in French oak, followed by 24 months in Slovenian oak, and two more years in the bottle. 
 
VILLA LE PRATA
2013 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
MONTALCINO, ITALY
Retails at: $65
 
Your Price: $49.99
 
 
“The raspberry and cherry aromas are very intense and pretty. Full body, silky and fine tannins. Juicy fruit. I love the finish. Delicious now but better in 2019.”
93 Points
 
“Bright red. Perfumed aromas of red currant, sweet spices and blood orange, taking on an increasing floral personality with aeration. Supple and sweet, but displaying very good lift and noteworthy finesse to the fruit-driven flavors of spicy red currant and raspberry. Offers lovely purity and intense aromatics, not to mention a light touch, on the long, juicy finish. Lovely Brunello.”
92 Points
2018 Tinazzi Collezione Di Famiglia Verona Corvina Verona, Italy

2018 Tinazzi Collezione Di Famiglia Verona Corvina Verona, Italy

TINAZZI

COLLEZIONE DI FAMIGLIA
2018 VERONA CORVINA
VERONA, ITALY

2018 Tinazzi Collezione Di Famiglia Verona Corvina Verona, Italy
Corvina is an Italian grape variety with an integral role, mandated by law in all Valpolicella wines, including Amarone, which must include a minimum of 45% in their blends. This late-ripening variety is low in tannin and high in acidy. Tinazzi’s version is varietally characteristic, manifested with bright cherry, transitioning to juicy dark cherry, spice, and classic hints of almond, a signature of the variety. Fans of juicy Rhone blends, Zinfandel, and of course Valpolicella wines would love this, and especially at $25 and with a 96 point score. 
 
Located near Verona in Northern Italy, Tinazzi sits in the heart of where the Corvina grape reigns supreme. Proprietor Gian Andrea Tinazzi is passionate about accurately expressing territorial character in his wines, and his Corvina from Verona is a classic example. 
 
Gian Andrea sourced this Corvina from hillside vineyards in Valpolicella with excellent sun exposure, resulting in deep, fully-developed flavors. Once harvested, the fruit is destemmed and gently crushed before aging in barrels for 12 months, preserving its natural acidity.
 
TINAZZI
COLLEZIONE DI FAMIGLIA
2018 VERONA CORVINA
VERONA, ITALY
 
Your Price: $25
 
 
“Deep bright red; Ample and harmonious, ranging from red fruits to spices; Velvety, persistent and full, with great harmony.”
96 Points, Luca Maroni
2016 Simon Di Brazzan Cabernet Franc Friuli, Italy

2016 Simon Di Brazzan Cabernet Franc Friuli, Italy

SIMON DI BRAZZAN

2016 CABERNET FRANC
FRIULI, ITALY

2016 Simon Di Brazzan Cabernet Franc Friuli, Italy
Winemaker Daniele Drius of Simon de Brazzan crafts his Cabernet Franc in a captivating style that beckons thoughts of neighborhood bistros, porch swings, and conversation. The wine captures classic varietal traits, like herb-laced red fruits, subtle peppery characteristics, delivering them in a refreshingly easy-to-drink manner that’s reminiscent of Pinot Noir. 
 
Daniele protects the authenticity of his vines through organic farming practices. His thirteen hectares of vines project the sea influence, benefits of the Alps, and alluvial soils. The composition of the land and soils determine the division of each unique parcel. 
 
Tradition does not hinder innovation at Simon di Brazzan. Daniele harvests the fruit by hand and meticulously de-stems the berries before fermenting on the skins and lees for enriched depth and color. The resulting wine is a delicious drinker with a sense of place, balance, and suppleness that’s highly enjoyable.
 
SIMON DI BRAZZAN
2016 CABERNET FRANC
FRIULI, ITALY
 
Your Price: $26
 
 
“Intense ruby red color with purple shades; Distinctive herbaceous scent, elegant and spicy; Velvety flavor, soft, slightly bitter, young but full.”
2015 Caiarossa Toscana IGT Tuscany, Italy

2015 Caiarossa Toscana IGT Tuscany, Italy

CAIAROSSA

2015 TOSCANA IGT 
TUSCANY, ITALY

2015 Caiarossa Toscana IGT Tuscany, Italy
Caiarossa describes their flagship Super Tuscan as a liberation of the senses, achieved by artfully blending seven varieties, biodynamically farmed and woven into a luxurious tapestry that encapsulates the estate’s dynamic terroir. Tuscany’s 2015 vintage embellished the wines already alluring qualities, naturally producing wines, “Ripe and opulent, with plenty of fruit,” as noted by the Wine Spectator, who rated the overall year as the best since 1997. With 96 points and priced less than $60, I highly recommend adding this Italian legend to your cellar. 
 
Located in Val di Cecina on the Tuscan coast, The Estate was resurrected in 2004 by the late Eric Albada Jelgersma of Grand Cru Margaux houses Château Giscours, and Château du Tertre. The winery’s deep ties to Bordeaux are present in their wines, which tell an authentic tale of their origin. 
 
Planted to 11 grape varieties, each selected based upon the most suitable soil type, Caiarossa’s 16-hectare vineyard is a work of art. Their land’s nobility and the winery’s commitment to producing the best wine from it is unmistakable in their 2015 release, which also happens to be drinking ridiculously good right now.
 
CAIAROSSA
2015 TOSCANA IGT 
TUSCANY, ITALY
Retails at: $65
 
Your Price: $58
 
 
“The nose immediately shows a fabulous contrast between riper mulberries and blackberry crumble and freshly ground herbs, citrus and incense. The palate shows much the same polish, carrying bright blue-fruit flavors across a bedrock of muscular tannins and driven acidity. This finishes long and very grainy yet succulent. A blend of merlot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, syrah, sangiovese, petit verdot and alicante.”
96 points
2016 Badia Di Morrona I Sodi Del Parentaio Chianti Riserva

2016 Badia Di Morrona I Sodi Del Parentaio Chianti Riserva

BADIA DI MORRONA 

I SODI DEL PARETAIO
2016 CHIANTI RISERVA

2016 Badia Di Morrona I Sodi Del Parentaio Chianti Riserva
Badia di Morrono is an historic Estate in Tuscany dedicated to farming their land and balancing technology with traditional techniques. Their land near the village of Morrona was once undersea, and is now rich in marine nutrients. The vines are grown in well-drained clay, minerally and sandy soils that make their wines recognizable with a clear sense of place. Their 2016 Chianti Riserva is classically styled, harmoniously balanced, and at $26, it’s a stunning value. 
 
This 2016 enters from one of Tuscany’s greatest vintages in the last two decades, and one the Wine Spectator rates 97 points and describes as producing, “Vibrant, elegant wines; grapes harvested under ideal conditions”
 
The winemaking team fermented the Riserva for ten months in concrete and stainless steel tank, preserving the natural flavors of the fruit. The blend is predominantly Sangiovese, balanced with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah, and was aged for 18 months in oak.
 
BADIA DI MORRONA 
I SODI DEL PARETAIO
2016 CHIANTI RISERVA 
 
Your Price: $26
 
 
“Quite reductive at first, but this later opens up with notes of brambleberries, red cherries, oranges and herbs. Medium body, firm tannins and a nutmeg-flavored finish. Drink now.”
91 Points
 
“Ruby red with garnet colored undertones when aged. Bouquet: scent of balm and with more finesse as it ages; Harmonious, savory, slightly tannic; soft and velvety. Pleasing and versatile to the palate with a well-balanced acidity and soft, mature tannins.”
2017 Luce Della Vite Luce Toscana

2017 Luce Della Vite Luce Toscana

LUCE

DELLA VITE LUCE 
2017 TOSCANA

2017 Luce Della Vite Luce Toscana
Vittorio Frescobaldi and Robert Mondavi took a risk creating the first Super Tuscan-style blend of Sangiovese and Merlot from Montalcino’s time-tested terroir. They merged traditional Tuscan winemaking with Montalcino’s majestic earth, balancing Sangiovese’s penetrating fruit with Merlot’s supple richness. Twenty-five vintages later, their flagship Luce Della Vite Toscana continues to turn heads with massive scores, sleek packaging, and powerfully enchanting flavors. 
 
The biodiversity of Luce’s Vineyards is vital in the character and complexity of their wines. Located Southwest of Montalcino Village, their vines are influenced by the sea, earth, and the climate conditions created by the rolling hills.
 
Luce’s team sorts each berry carefully before transferring them into Cement fermentation vessels, where they spend four weeks on the skins, extracting depth and rich color. The wine is barrel-aged for a full 24 months, polishing the powerfully captivating flavors and aromas. 
 
LUCE
DELLA VITE LUCE 
2017 TOSCANA
Retails at: $110
 
Your Price: $99.99
 
 
“Dark-berry, walnut, cedar and violet aromas with just a hint of chocolate. Full-bodied, layered and rich with ripe tannins and a vivid finish. Shows energy and a velvety texture. Deep and long. Give it two or three years to soften. Try after 2022.”
97 Points
 
“… the 25th anniversary of Luce… the 2017 vintage celebrates this birthday properly. Luce is one of the few Super Tuscans of Montalcino. Compared to Brunello it is blended with Merlot adding suppleness and focused on new oak ageing. Deep crimson in colour, full of clove, vanilla and buttery aromas, than brights for black cherry and plummy notes, graphite and cherry flavour, with an earthy mineral finish. Grainy velvety tannins and firm acidity are well supported by incredibly rich fruit concentration and suppleness. A wine drinkable now with potential for ageing. Drinking Window 2020 – 2040”
95 Points
2015 Poggio Nardone Brunello Di Montalcino Italy

2015 Poggio Nardone Brunello Di Montalcino Italy

POGGIO NARDONE

2015 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
MONTALCINO, ITALY 

2015 Poggio Nardone Brunello Di Montalcino Italy
There are great wines made through the winemaker’s decisions, and then there are those that result from the vintage, which was a fantastic one in Montalcino for their 2015’s. The year produced wines with remarkable power, dynamic complexity, and a purity of fruit that’s spectacular. Finding a high-quality Brunello from 2015 is easy, but finding one at $40 is nearly impossible. Of the 118 2015 vintage Brunellos rated by the Wine Spectator, only 1 had a release price of $40. Here’s the needle in the haystack. 
 
Poggio Nardone’s 2015 Brunello is a classic blend of 100% Sangiovese Grosso aged four years in barrel. The vines were grown at an altitude of 350-450 meters in soils rich in marl and limestone and produced fruit with precision detail. 
 
The estate is less than 10 hectares, but it’s also the exact location where ideal soils and high altitude vineyards intersect and produce powerful, dense, and long-lived Brunellos that make a lasting impression.
 
POGGIO NARDONE
2015 BRUNELLO DI MONTALCINO
MONTALCINO, ITALY
Retails at: $55
 
Your Price: $39.99
 
 
“A ripe but composed Brunello di Montalcino with tar, leather, dried brambleberries, dried tea leaves and ash. Chewy and foursquare on the full-bodied palate; the rustic tannins give this a silty, grainy quality. Decadent and powerful…”
94 Points
 
“This is a lovely expression of Sangiovese with a full and generous disposition… offers bright cherry, cassis, raspberry and other red berry fruits. Those fruity high notes are followed by savory tones of forest floor, candied orange peel, autumnal leaf and baking spice. The wine offers a smooth and silky mouthfeel with well-integrated tannins and a long, polished finish. This is a clean and compact interpretation of Brunello with the amped up and generous characteristics of this sunny vintage… Drink 2021-2035”
93 Points
2018 Rocca Di Montegrossi Chianti Classico Tuscany Italy

2018 Rocca Di Montegrossi Chianti Classico Tuscany Italy

ROCCA DI MONTEGROSSI

2018 CHIANTI CLASSICO
TUSCANY, ITALY 

2018 Rocca Di Montegrossi Chianti Classico Tuscany Italy
Each decision that Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi of Rocca di Montegrossi makes in his vineyard has the laser-focused goal of balancing growth and production, with his wine’s quality paramount. Together with consultant agronomist Dr. Stefano Dini, he cares for 20 hectares of vines grown in one of the finest sections of Chianti. His flagship 2018 Chianti Classico has explosive aromas of rich dark fruits, wet slate, and wildflowers. It’s, as Vinous writes, “a fabulous wine for the money,” so don’t miss it.
 
The richness of this wine is matched equally by the Estate’s history, which dates back to the 7th century AD. In 1141, the property was passed to the Ricasoli family. To this day, Marco Ricasoli-Firidolfi is dedicated to crafting the best wine from the Estate, and International fame has followed. 
 
The Estate is planted primarily to Sangiovese (13 hectares), followed by Merlot, while the remaining 4.5 hectares includes Canaiolo, Colorino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pugnitello, and Malvasia Bianca del Chianti. Marco blends 8% Canaiolo and 2% Colorino with 90% Sangiovese to make a more complex and serious wine. If you’re looking for a killer bottle of Italian wine for under $30, this is it. 
 
ROCCA DI MONTEGROSSI
2018 CHIANTI CLASSICO
TUSCANY, ITALY
 
Your Price: $28
 
 
“The 2018 Chianti Classico opens with a burst of sweet red berry fruit, spice and wild flowers. Exuberant and racy, the 2018 is endowed with tremendous energy and tons of personality. Time in the glass brings out the wine’s inner sweetness and radiance, with a closing flourish of red flowers. This is a fabulous wine for the money. Don’t miss it. Drink 2022-2038.”
93 Points
 
“A red with blackberries, black cherries and hints of sliced dark mushrooms that follow through to a medium body, chewy tannins and a flavorful finish. Some bark, too. Always a serious Chianti Classico. Drink now.”
92 Points
 
“It is very youthful with great energy and freshness on the palate but still fairly tightly wound. I’d give it a few more months in bottle before approaching. Drinking Window 2021 – 2027.”
91 Points
 
“Rocca di Montegrossi’s Chianti Classico is the estate’s flagship wine; it is a blend of about 90% Sangiovese, with Canaiolo and Colorino, and is produced every year. It ages mainly in large casks and barrels made with oak from Allier, for 12-14 months. It is unfiltered, and after bottling it ages another 6 months prior to release. In the glass it is lively ruby, with bright violet reflections, and on the nose displays the rich fruity aromas typical of the varietals, particularly forest berry fruit and sour cherries.”
2016 Bibbiano Gran Selezione Chianti Classico Vigna Del Capannino

2016 Bibbiano Gran Selezione Chianti Classico Vigna Del Capannino

BIBBIANO 

GRAN SELEZIONE
2016 CHIANTI CLASSICO
VIGNA DEL CAPANNINO 

2016 Bibbiano Gran Selezione Chianti Classico Vigna Del Capannino
Bibbiano cemented its spot on my top 5 list with its explosive richness, deep-seated power, and captivating elegance. It’s a Chianti on steroids, and each time I taste it, the wine not only stands up to Italian, French and American producers, but it dominates just about everything in its path. I wasn’t the least bit surprised to find out it had already earned a 95 Point score from Decanter. After all, Gran Selezione, which means Great Selection, is the pinnacle of quality for Chianti Classico. 
 
Making a dramatic entrance from one of Tuscany’s best vintages in nearly two decades, this stunning wine was created from 100% Sangiovese Grosso (Brunello) and aged for 30 months before bottling. On the palate, the wine is remarkably powerful and with a satin texture and long resonant finish.  
 
Production requirements for Gran Selezione wines insist on sourcing the grapes from 100% Estate grown fruit or selecting the Estate’s best parcels. It also has higher extract restrictions and extended oak aging requirements. If you want to taste an exceptionally high-quality Chianti at a great price, this is it.  
 
BIBBIANO 
GRAN SELEZIONE
2016 CHIANTI CLASSICO
VIGNA DEL CAPANNINO
 
Your Price: $39.99
 
“Restrained, fresh pomegranate fruit with slightly nutty character, earthy-strawberry depth and minerality. Bright acidity and savoury character, firm and chalky, with natural and integrated freshness. Andrew Jefford: A gorgeously teased, poised aromatic ripeness here: subtle incense spice just hidden behind the refined, perfumed plums; a hint of orange peel. Shapely, fresh, vivid and vigorous: super purity, admirable finesse. Monty Waldin: Nose-tingling peppery notes; the fruit on the palate is slightly faded already, although the wine is by no means drying out. Drinking Window 2020 – 2028″ 
95 Points
2016 Tenuta Argentiera Villa Donoratico Bolgheri

2016 Tenuta Argentiera Villa Donoratico Bolgheri

TENUTA ARGENTIERA

VILLA DONORATICO
2016 BOLGHERI

2016 Tenuta Argentiera Villa Donoratico Bolgheri
Bolgheri is to Tuscany, what the Oakville appellation is to Napa Valley. The area has a dense concentration of 100 point producers, including Italian legends Ornellaia, Sassicaia, and Tignanello. It’s the region’s complex soils and micro-climate, that when combined with producers willing to push boundaries, has made the area what it is today. Tenuta Argentiera’s Villa Donoratico 95 Point Super Tuscan is a splendid example of how great these wines can be, and at less than $40, it’s also a remarkable value.
 
Tenuta Argentiera is the closest winery to the Tyrrhenian coast, and their vineyards are grown at the highest altitude in the entire Bolgheri territory. This wine also makes its entrance from another Blockbuster year in Tuscany, which the Wine Spectator gave an overall vintage rating of 96 points. 
 
In 2016 the blend settled at 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, balanced with Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Petite Verdot. They harvested the grapes under ideal conditions before transferring them by gravity to the estate’s subterranean facility for production. 
 
TENUTA ARGENTIERA
VILLA DONORATICO
2016 BOLGHERI
 
Your Price: $37.99
 
“The nose provides a beautiful balance betweenfreshness with crushed violets and lavender and deeper elements of blackcurrants, licorice and elderberries. Tea leaves and charcoal, too. Full body, really refined and structured tannins and a long finish. Drink in 2021.”
95 Points
 
“…the 2016 Bolgheri Rosso Villa Donoratico isa sophisticated wine that is full-bodied, with dark concentration and thickness. It has a nice fullness to it, with big, dark fruit. The Villa Donoratico plays its best cards in the mouth, as its texture is very rich and seductive. There is a touch of richness on the tannins, which still need to relax. You also get snap or crunchiness on close. Drink 2019 – 2026”
92 Points