Tuscany


Showing 61–72 of 81 results

  • Tenuta di Trinoro Bianco Trinoro 2019

    £58.75

    “Only in its third year, this Semillon-based white is a relatively new experiment for a vintner who has made important strides in modern Italian red wine. The Tenuta di Trinoro 2019 Bianco di Trinoro is beautifully smooth and silky rich in texture. The intensity of the mouthfeel gives momentum and a lasting flavor profile. Orchard fruit, pear, apricot and fleshy apple segue to a mild point of mineral or crushed stone. The fruit is harvested from one of the estate’s highest plots (at 630 meters in altitude) with sandy soils. Production is only 2,446 bottles. Drinking window: 2021-2030. 93 points

    “Tenuta di Trinoro is a vast mosaic of soil types,” says proprietor Andrea Franchetti, who lives in a rustic farmhouse overlooking the vines. The high-density vines are over 20 years old and their root systems are fully developed. The estate counts 23 hectares of vines between 400 and 620 meters in altitude. Cabernet Franc and Merlot are the heart of the estate, and there are smaller plots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot as well. High-density planting, fruit selection in the vineyard, low yields, full phenolic ripeness and concentration give these wines a unique and unmistakable personality, Franchetti explains: “The wines are extreme in their perfumes, color and taste. They can be enjoyed in the near term but are also built for long aging.””

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (10/21)

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  • Tenuta di Trinoro Campo di Magnacosta 2014

    £63.75

    “You could characterize this as the lightest of the three single vineyard Cabernet Francs now being introduced by Tenuta di Trinoro. Of course, the word “light” is relative considering the healthy robustness of this profoundly dense pedigree grape. The 2014 Campo di Magnacosta comes from a vineyard plot with alluvial soils and round river stones. The wine opens to deep concentration, but its dark hue is slightly less saturated compared to the other two Cabernet Franc-based wines in production. The difficult 2014 vintage has taken its toll with lower temperatures and an abundance of rain. Franchetti says he was forced to do frenetic work in this vineyard. The bouquet offers pretty tones of pressed rose petal and dried lavender bud. Spice, leather and tar appear on the close. Drink: 2017-2027. 91 points”

    Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (222)

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  • Tenuta di Trinoro Le Cupole 2020

    £37.95

    “The 2020 Le Cupole is a rich, flavorful wine. Super-ripe dark cherry, plum, espresso, incense and chocolate are front and center. There’s not much subtlety here, but then again I am not sure that is the goal, either. This flamboyant red will be a joy to drink right out of the gate. Drinking window: 2022-2030. 92 points

    Andrea Franchetti is no longer with us, but his spirit is very much alive in these new releases from Tenuta di Trinoro. I usually don’t have a chance to taste two vintages side by side, but doing so was really quite instructive. In general, the 2020s are quite rich and potent, while the 2019s offer greater aromatic intensity and more finessed tannins. The three Cabernet Franc selections are so individual and expressive, while the flagship Palazzi and Tenuta bottlings are blends that are in a sense more complete. Speaking of the Tenuta, the estate has decided to push back the release of that wine until next year, which is why a review does not appear here. Last, but certainly not least, the Le Cupole captures all the personality of the top wines but at a more modest price. More than anything else, though, what I love about these wines is how distinctive they are. Andrea Franchetti crafted wines of uncompromising character throughout his remarkable career. These new releases perfectly embody that vision.

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (07/22)

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  • Vallone di Cecione Chianti Classico 2017

    £25.99

    “The 2017 Chianti Classico is a jewel of a wine. Fresh, forward and easy to like, the 2017 has so much to offer. Sweet red cherry, plum, mint, spice and wild flowers are pushed forward, but more than that, it is the wine’s freshness and structure that stand out most. This is such a gorgeous wine, and a real sleeper in 2017. Drinking window: 2020-2037. 93 points”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (08/19)

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  • Antinori Tignanello 2019

    £129.95

    “The 2019 Tignanello is one of the most reserved, understated young wines I can remember tasting here. In so many vintages Tignanello is quite showy, but in 2019 the nervous energy and brightness of Sangiovese takes center stage. That’s intriguing, because the 2019 blend has a bit more Cabernet Sauvignon than normal, a decision made to compensate for some of the lighter qualities in the Sangiovese. With air the 2019 shows gorgeous depth and captivating inner perfume, even it it is clearly still coming together. The 2019 spent about 14 months in oak, with 50% new wood. Things are always in constant evolution at Antinori. This is the first vintage to incorporate some larger 500L barrels, an approach I think will work brilliantly. Drinking window: 2027-2041. 95 points

    “Two thousand-nineteen was a light Sangiovese year,” Antinori CEO Renzo Cotarella explained. “In Chianti Classico, it was mostly a cool year with some rain at the tail end of the season. As a result, we used more Cabernet Sauvignon than normal for Tignanello and bumped up the Franc in Solaia.” Antinori is another winery that has moved away from the high-octane approach of years past. Today’s wines offer plenty of depth, but greater vibrancy as well, something that works so well here, at the Antinori family’s Tignanello estate, home to both Tignanello and Solaia.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (03/22)

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  • Biondi-Santi Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2012

    £449.95

    “Luminous garnet red. Perfumed nose of orange peel, cinnamon, sour red cherries, strawberries, talcum powder, and old fine leather, plus sneaky hints of slightly air-dried berries (not surprising, given how hot 2012 was, even taking into consideration that Biondi-Santi is one of the first estates to pick each year). Then juicy and dense with a silky mouthfeel to the flavors of red berries, blood orange and spices. Finishes long and silky now, but this specific Brunello Riserva was especially austere in its youth and so the estate decided to release it one year later than usual for sale. The wine carries an extra label “Dedicato a Franco Biondi Santi” (dedicated to Franco Biondi Santi) who passed away in 2013; CEO Giampiero Bertolino explained to me that everyone at the estate believed this wine was a real snapshot of Franco and the Brunellos he most enjoyed drinking, and so it was decided to dedicate it to him. Actually, there’s an air-dried quality to this wine that is absolutely enchanting, if in my opinion not altogether typical of Franco’s work. No matter, it’s one of the top three Brunello Riservas of the 2012 vintage. Drinking window: 2024-2036. 96 points

    There is a great deal of news coming out of Montalcino’s oldest, most storied estate. In fact, ever since the sale of Biondi-Santi to the EPI group in 2016, the estate has been slowly undergoing changes, with an important focus on the study of their individual vineyard plots. World famous terroir expert Pedro Parra has been brought on as a consultant and among other things, he has proceeded to burrow 33 holes on the estate property to help analyze the characteristics of the property’s various soil types. Based on the results and his indications, twelve specific plots will now be followed closely over the course of the next few years with microvinifications carried out from each one. Clearly, the goal is to gain in precision thanks to the information gathered on each plot and potential wine. The estate has also added small oak 10 and 15Hl barrels (from Garbellotto, the historic Italian barrel supplier) and cement tanks to their vinification and aging arsenal. Also, the estate is planning to uproot part of the older vines that are virus-affected and are no longer producing the quality or volume of grapes they would like (however, they have kept all the extremely old vines planted in the 1930s near the estate). Biondi-Santi has also bought 6.6 hectares of Sangiovese vines designated for Brunello production, an amphitheater in the southeastern sector of Montalcino not far removed from the estate (the vines grow at the same height as at Il Greppo and are south east facing). CEO Giampiero Bertolini told me that in order to decide where to buy, they evaluated sites at 23 different estates (twelve of which he went to see personally). And so Biondi-Santi owns 33 hectares of vineyards today (only of which a little less than 2 hectares are of Rosso di Montalcino-only designated vines). In this light, it is not without interest that Biondi-Santi is thinking of making a little more Rosso every year, given that there is apparently a huge request for the wine and they don’t really make that much currently (only 20,000 bottles/year of Rosso versus 60,000 of the classic Brunello and 15,000 of the Brunello Riserva). And in keeping pace with modern times, the estate has also been working on distribution and labeling; for example the word “Riserva” now appears on the front label, beginning with the 2012 Riserva just released this year (the word “Riserva” was previously only found on the neck label). Last but not least, the estate has also begun bottling magnums (believe it or not, Biondi-Santi had never done so before; in the 2012 vintage, 500 were made as an initial celebratory launch, but in the future, more will be produced). Now that may seem like a lot of changes all at once, but Bertolini underscores everything is being done slowly and carefully, or in his words “… evolution without revolution”.”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (04/20)

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  • Caparsa Caparsino Chianti Classico Riserva 2014

    £25.99

    Review to follow

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  • Fontodi Chianti Classico 2019

    £26.49

    “The 2019 Chianti Classico is fresh, vibrant and so expressive. Aromatic and expansive, with terrific nuance, the 2019 is one of the most elegant Chianti Classicos l have tasted at Fontodi. Crushed flowers, red/purplish fruit, spice, lavender and pipe tobacco build into the delineated, vibrant finish. Drinking window: 2022-2034. 93+ points

    Proprietor Giovanni Manetti continues to push his estate into new directions. Readers will note the addition of a new wine, the 2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Terrazze San Leolino, which emerges from vineyards in Panzano near the San Leolino church. It will be followed next year by the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Pastrolo, Manetti’s first estate wine from terraced vineyard in Lamole at 640 meters in elevation. Naturally, those wines are works in progress, so it will be a few years before they reach the level of the other wines in the range. The dual flagships Vigna del Sorbo and Flaccianello are quite good in 2019, although they don’t reach the level of the finest years. The Chianti Classico, always a super-Chianti Classico here, is a standout. A reduction of time in small oak, along with a final phase of aging in cask and a greater emphasis in freshness overall are the key drives to the Fontodi style these days.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (07/22)

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  • Fontodi Filetta di Lamole Chianti Classico 2019

    £25.95

    “The 2019 Chianti Classico Filetta di Lamole is fruity, open-knit and delicious, all of which make it a fine choice for drinking now and over the next handful of years. The mix of forward fruit and freshness from this high altitude site works so well. Bright red/purplish fruit, rose petal, mint and spice linger. This is such a classy wine. Drinking window: 2022-2034. 91 points

    Proprietor Giovanni Manetti continues to push his estate into new directions. Readers will note the addition of a new wine, the 2019 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Terrazze San Leolino, which emerges from vineyards in Panzano near the San Leolino church. It will be followed next year by the Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Pastrolo, Manetti’s first estate wine from terraced vineyard in Lamole at 640 meters in elevation. Naturally, those wines are works in progress, so it will be a few years before they reach the level of the other wines in the range. The dual flagships Vigna del Sorbo and Flaccianello are quite good in 2019, although they don’t reach the level of the finest years. The Chianti Classico, always a super-Chianti Classico here, is a standout. A reduction of time in small oak, along with a final phase of aging in cask and a greater emphasis in freshness overall are the key drives to the Fontodi style these days.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (07/22)

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  • Fontodi Vigna del Sorbo Chianti Classico Gran Selezione 2017

    £56.99

    “The 2017 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Vigna del Sorbo is a dense, packed wine. It is also surprisingly, almost shockingly backward. That is probably a good thing for its long-term aging prospects. Readers hoping to get an early glimpse into the 2017 before it shuts down may have a hard time doing that, as today acids and tannin dominate. I expect the 2017 will be stellar in another 4-5 years and drink well to age 25-30 if not longer. Proprietor Giovanni Manetti gave the 2017 18 months in barrique followed by 6 months in cask. Drinking window: 2027-2042. 96+ points

    I tasted a wide range of wines this year from Fontodi and proprietor Giovanni Manetti. The Filetta di Lamole Chianti Classico is a good example of a wine that is often a bit linear, but fills out a bit because of the heat of the growing season. Fontodi’s Chianti Classico is a sort of super-wine in its peer group, as it really has very few peers. It is also quite expressive today. I can’t say the same for the dual flagships Vigna del Sorbo and Flacciannello. Both wines are usually quite showy, but the 2017s are going to demand quite a bit of patience. I also had a chance to revisit the 2016s, which are every bit as magical as they were last year.”

    Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/20)

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  • Il Paradiso di Manfredi Rosso di Montalcino 2020

    £45.95

    Review to follow

    The history of Il Paradiso di Manfredi starts back in 1914 with the birth of Manfredi Martini in Montalcino. Fast-forward to the 1950s and he was working for the only producer in Montalcino in those days, the iconic Biondi-Santi. He and his wife, Fortunata, then purchased an estate in 1958. Apparently, the name Il Paradiso stemmed from a priest who lived with the Martinis in the early 1900s deeming the area paradise. Thus, the estate of Il Paradiso di Manfredi was born. However, the sobriquet wasn’t totally appropriate as there was a catastrophic winter in the sixties which was so bad that it destroyed the estate’s olive trees! Luckily for wine lovers, this led directly to Manfredi replacing these trees with vines instead. In 1967, he was amongst a group who founded the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino association and, at that point, there were only twelve producers – today there are around 200! Following his death in 1982, Florio Guerrini, his son-in-law, took over with the help of his wife, Rosella.

    The compact estate of three hectares is nestled on the side of the hill on which the town of Montalcino is perched. Of these, two and a half hectares are planted to vine – two of which produce Brunello di Montalcino from Sangiovese Grosso (called Brunello here). Sangiovese is also the grape of Chianti and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano amongst others. From these two and a half hectares, they produce between 6,000 and 8,000 bottles of Brunello plus between 1,800 and 3,000 bottles of Rosso di Montalcino per year. In addition, 1,200 bottles of Riserva are made in years deemed special by the family. The artisanal nature of production here can be compared to that of Banfi who produce more than 50,000 cases of Brunello per year!

    The vineyards are placed on terraces, parallel along the hill of Montalcino, with varying altitudes (approximately 300 metres above sea level) and are exposed on the north side. This is a land rich in fossils and shells and they provide excellent nourishment to the vines’ roots. These north-facing vineyards produce lithe, refined wines with redcurrant and sour red-cherry aromas and flavours compared to those from the southern sectors which tend towards riper, red-cherry and even dark plum aromas and flavours along with a much richer mouthfeel. These stark differences can sometimes lead to the two types feeling like different wines altogether as Sangiovese is so good at transmitting its terroir. There are seven different vineyard parcels and a mixture of all these aids the wine’s complexity.

    Following such a long history as regards Brunello, it will come as no surprise that the estate has made wine using traditional methods since its inception. Manfredi never used herbicides and fertilisers and this approach has been followed by the present incumbents. Thus, this estate long preceded the trend of biodynamic viticulture but they are now classified as such!

    As previously mentioned, things stay along traditional lines in the winery (a 19th century construction). The grapes are fermented in cement-lined tanks with wild yeasts. The wine is then transferred by gravity into large Slavonian oak barrels. The Brunellos remain in these barrels for at least three years and sometimes longer – 36 to 40 months for the Brunello and 48 to 54 months for the Riserva. However, the Rosso only sees the barrels for approximately 14 months. The wine is bottled without ever having suffered the stress of being pumped. There is no fining, no filtration and no acidification. All of this allows the wine to speak clearly of its terroir.

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  • Le Chiuse Brunello di Montalcino 2014

    £59.99

    “Moderately saturated red. Scents of red cherry, plum and fresh apple are complicated by spice and underbrush. The firm palate is animated by a squeeze of fresh citrus that lift the red fruit and underbrush flavors. A hint of salinity offers a juicy note to the repeating, nicely persistent tobacco and red cherry flavors on the long suave finish. Another outstanding Brunello from this estate that has been on a real roll of late. Well done. Drink: 2020-2030. 92 points”

    Ian D’Agata, Vinous (03/19)

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