2018 Querciabella Mongrana Maremma Toscana

2018 Querciabella Mongrana Maremma Toscana

QUERCIABELLA

2018 MONGRANA
MAREMMA TOSCANA

2018 Querciabella Mongrana Maremma Toscana
Querciabella represents the most significant extension of certified organic vineyards in Italy, emphasizing respect for the vine’s natural cycles through plant-based compost and cover crops that protect the soil by naturally replenishing vital nutrients. After reaching the height of success in Chianti, Querciabella looked to the Tuscan coast in Maremma for its future endeavors, planting 33 hectares of biodynamically farmed vines in 2000, producing outstanding fruit. 
 
Featured on the Wine Spectator’s “Top 100 List” in 2013 and their “Top 100 Value Wines” in 2019 and 2020, Querciabella’s Mongrana is an exceptional value and a joy to drink. Following gentle fermentation, the wine is aged 12 months in stainless steel and cement vats, allowing the vivid, fresh fruit and rustic mineral notes to shine in this brilliantly ruby red Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. 
 
QUERCIABELLA
2018 MONGRANA
MAREMMA TOSCANA
 
Your Price: $25
 
 
“Plenty of fresh blackberry, blackcurrant leaf, pepper and licorice on the nose. It’s full-bodied with delicious, wild brambleberry and herb notes, framed by firm, elegant tannins. Long, fresh finish. From organically grown grapes. Drink from 2021.”
94 Points
 
“Ripe and polished, this red offers plum, black cherry, licorice and spice flavors. Vibrant and harmonious, with slightly chewy tannins gracing the lingering aftertaste. Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Drink now through 2024.”
92 Points
2017 San Vicenti Chianti Classico Podere Di Stignano

2017 San Vicenti Chianti Classico Podere Di Stignano

SAN VICENTI

2017 CHIANTI CLASSICO
PODERE DI STIGNANO

2017 San Vicenti Chianti Classico Podere Di Stignano
As Chianti wines increased in popularity throughout the centuries, Chianti’s borders expanded, including land that didn’t have the same terroir as historical Chianti, therefore Chianti Classico DOCG was created to protect the original wine’s identity. San Vincenti is in the region’s heart, overlooking villas and farmhouses among vines planted on gently rolling hills protected by the Patron Saint of Wine, St. Vincent, whom the winery was named after.
 
San Vincenti Chianti Classico Podere di Stignano is an authentic example from this ancient wine-producing district, encompassing the region’s cultural commitment to crafting world-class wines. By law, Chianti Classico must be at least 80% Sangiovese. San Vincenti’s Chianti Classico is 100% single varietal and displays the pure integrity of Sangiovese in a crowd-pleasing and memorable style that exceeds expectations at this price level.
 
SAN VICENTI
2017 CHIANTI CLASSICO
PODERE DI STIGNANO
 
Your Price: $29.99
 
 
“The San Vicente Podere di Stignano Chianti Classico 2017 begins with an alluring nose of tart cherries, licorice, Christmas cake, and geraniums. The palate mirrors the nose and includes focused red currants, red plums, dried sage, cocoa powder, and spice. The finish is bright and fresh, with a satisfying, lingering finish.”
92 Points
2017 Gaja Magari Ca'Marcanda

2017 Gaja Magari Ca’Marcanda

GAJA

2017 MAGARI
CA’ MARCANDA

2017 Gaja Magari Ca'Marcanda
Gaja is one of the world’s great wine producers, known for their risk-taking and having outstanding consistency of superior quality since 1859. Ca’Marcanda, or “house of endless negotiations,” is the name of the second property purchased by the Gaja family in 1996, after 18 trips to complete the negotiations for buying the Estate.
 
Ca’Marcanda, located in the Bolgheri region of Tuscany, is planted with Bordeaux varieties allowing Gaja to produce Magari, a sultry Tuscan blend of 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Petit Verdot. The vineyard blocks for this blend on the fertile hillsides of Terre Brune, or loamy, clay-rich soils known to provide depth, richness, and minerality to wines, and with Gaja’s top wines selling for more than $500, the Magari is an absolute steal.
 
GAJA
2017 MAGARI
CA’ MARCANDA
 
Your Price: $75
 
 
“The Gaja family at its Camarcanda estate is leading a silent revolution. Certified organic, although this is not mentioned, the winery has overturned Merlot for Cabernets and cordon training for guyot in the vineyards…. The 2017 vintage shines for its bright cassis fruit, melded with blackberry and cherry, then leafy and cedary notes to develop garrigue in depth. The creamy and dense palate has almost firm acidity and shows a bit of a dry finish, but otherwise this is hedonistically supple.” 
94 Points
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, encapsulating the Estate’s dynamic terroir. Tuscany’s 2015 vintage embellished the wine’s already alluring qualities, naturally producing wines, “Ripe and opulent, with plenty of fruit,” as noted by the Wine Spectator, and with 96 points and priced less than $60, I highly recommend adding this Italian legend to your cellar. 
 
The Estate’s 16-hectare vineyard on the Tuscan coast 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, telling an authentic tale of their origin. 
 
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
2017 Podere La Pace Pittoresco Maremma Toscana Rosso

2017 Podere La Pace Pittoresco Maremma Toscana Rosso

PODERE LA PACE

2017 PITTORESCO
MAREMMA TOSCANA ROSSO

2017 Podere La Pace Pittoresco Maremma Toscana Rosso
Maremma is Tuscany’s newest DOC; Located South of Bolgheri and extending to the Tuscan Coast, the region’s Mediterranean climate, significant diurnal temperature shifts, and well-drained sandy clay loam soils produce remarkable fruit. Paragons Brancaia and Fattoria Le Pupille have set a precedence of quality in Maremma, with high 90s scores and multiple features on Top 100 lists. Still, the cost of land and production is lower than neighboring Bolgheri and Montalcino, so there are some incredible values, case in point this stunning 91 point Super Tuscan at just $25. 
 
Podere La Pace’s seven hectares of organically vineyards are heavily influenced by the Gulf of Follonica and Calcareous and clayey soils. The small size of their Estate allows their team the opportunity to farm each vine individually, without compromise, and with the strictest quality standards. 
 
This wine is named Pittoresco for the temperament of the sculptor and painter Marianita Valdinoci. The 2017 vintage was sculpted with Merlot and Cabernet Franc and formed to beautifully express the fresh fruit, depth, and energy. 
 
PODERE LA PACE
2017 PITTORESCO
MAREMMA TOSCANA ROSSO
 
Your Price: $25
 
 
“A subtle, fruity red from this hot vintage that delivers berries, hazelnuts and hints of walnuts. Rather reserved and not overdone. Firm tannins. Drink or hold.”
91 Points
 
“A chromatic gleam immediately strikes the eye with a rich ruby red tinged with purplish hues. The fruity aroma adequately expresses the grapes’ perfect maturation through hints of ripe plum, blackberry and currant. The time spent aging in French durmast oak adds a complexity and structure that smoothly round off the aromatic bouquet”
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 wines-of-the-year list in 2020 with its explosive richness, deep-seated power, and captivating elegance. A month later, it earned a monstrous 95 point score in the Wine Spectator, which referenced the wine’s escalating power. 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. If you want to taste an exceptionally high-quality Chianti at a great price, this is it. 
 
Making a dramatic entrance from one of Tuscany’s best vintages in nearly two decades, this stunning wine was created from 100% Sangiovese Grosso and aged for 30 months before bottling. On the palate, the wine is intensely captivating 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. Gran Selezione, which means Great Selection, is the pinnacle of quality for Chianti Classico.
 
BIBBIANO
GRAN SELEZIONE
2016 CHIANTI CLASSICO
VIGNA DEL CAPANNINO
Retails at: $42
 
Your Price: $39.99
 
 
“This red starts out smooth, displaying ripe black cherry and plum flavors, along with earth, iron and woodsy elements. Gains power as this builds on the palate, ending in an extended aftertaste of loam, iron and wild herb accents… 250 cases imported.”
95 Points
 
“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.” 
95 Points
 
“…shows classic lines and balanced intensity with a nice spot of acidity and plenty of dark berry fruit to soften it out. The 2016 vintage is a classic one in Tuscany, and that’s why you get so much cooling cherry, forest berry and cassis on this versatile Gran Selezione wine. Drink 2021-2032”
94 Points
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
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.”