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Wine Types Red White Rose Sparkling
Wine Names Amarone Brunello Barolo Chianti

Liquori e Birra

Our Brief Italian Wine Guide

Map of Italy | Our wines from this region

TOSCANA is most famous for Chianti & Brunello di Montalcino. There are now new emerging areas that also produce excellent wines (see below) and of course the 'Super-Tuscans'- are well known - mainly single variety wines or blends of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese or Merlot.

Chianti can only be called Chianti if it is grown within the seven zones of Chianti. Chianti Classico is grown within the smaller 'classico' zone where there are more hills, more sun and usually better quality wines with fuller taste and alcohol. All Chianti must be predominantly Sangiovese grape with a small amount of other grapes allowed. Sangiovese is a difficult grape and light in colour. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Colorino and Canaiola are often added for more body & colour. (Super Tuscans break the rules and this is why they are often classed as table wines (vdt) e.g. Solaia).

Nobile di Montepulciano is Sangiovese from the commune of Montepulciano.

Brunello di Montalcino is only 100% Sangiovese Grosso (a different strain) and MUST be grown, vinified & bottled within the commune of Montalcino. Rosso di Montalcino is one of the best value quality wines and often overlooked.

Look out for wines from Maremma & Scansano - these are 2 areas (Scansano is a town within the Maremma region) outside the Chianti zones that are producing excellent and good value wines.

The Sangiovese can be softer here. See our guide on years.

 

BOLGHERI is the new favourite following the lead from Sassicaia. Modern wines blended with predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux style varieties and vinified in the Bordeaux style are providing some exciting wines with finesse and breeding. See below for some 'Super Tuscans' from  Castello Monsanto, La Regola, Castello di Bolgheri & Michele Satta.

   


 

 CHIANTI & CHIANTI CLASSICO. 


 

 Monsanto logo

Monsanto estate

 

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With 230 hectares and a production of 450,000 bottles Castello Monsanto is a serious wine estate by any measurement. Laura Bianchi continues her fathers dream (Fabrizio Bianchi) in this beautiful property in the Northern part of the Chianti zone near Florence. The focus has been to develop high quality wines, including single vineyard wines Fabrizio Bianchi and of course Il Poggio.

Il Poggio vineyard is only 5.5 hectares and the wine is aged 18 months in barriques. It is the ONLY single vineyard Chianti Classico!!. Il Poggio is available to order going back to 1964!

Excellent years still drinking very well are -1968 - 1977 - 1982 - 1995 -1997 - 2001- 2004 - 2006 - 2007 - 2008 and younger vintages of the most famous Chianti Classico Riserva in the world.

The Chianti classico is typical and has good Sangiovese tannins.

The single vineyard Chardonnay is high quality (unusual in Tuscany) and has unusual spicy overtones and a rich but subtle complexity.

The 300 metre wine cellar - a tunnel dug by hand ! is astonishing and unique. Visits by appointment welcome.

website - www.castellodimonsanto.it

 


Castell’in Villa - is a medieval hamlet dating back to the 1200’s when it was a small community within the Sienese district.

The medieval stone tower is the home of Princess Coralia Pignatelli della Leonessa.

A delightful chapel situated close to the tower allows one to observe features of medieval structure and works of art.

One of these works of art is an impressive bronze crucifix dating back to the first half of the 12th century and now kept temporarily at Castelnuovo Berardenga.

The Farm

As well as being a country house, winemaking has long been the central focus of Castell’in Villa. The exceptional Castell’in Villa Chianti Classico and Riserva, the "Supertuscan" Santacroce and the typical Tuscan Vin Santo are all produced at Castell’in Villa and our Extra Virgin Olive Oil is also produced here. The estate covers and area of 298 hectares of which 54 hectares are vineyards and 32 hectares are olive groves. There are also crops and woodland, which is a hunting ground for hare, pheasants and wild boar.

Website: http://www.castellinvilla.com


RENZO MARINAI - is in Panzano, one of the villages producing quite a few excellent Chiantis.

The Marinai philosophy is a little different as Cabernet Sauvignon is usually used as the blend with Sangiovese to make their Chianti Classicos.

Cabernet is more expensive to produce, but the wines still achieve a following for their concentration and complexity.

 


 BOLGHERI.


 

 Michele Satta Logo

Satta cellar

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Among the top Bolgheri producers with a strong and consistently well awarded portfolio of both typical Bolgheri wines, and also some rather special and rare varieties.

Michele Satta - one of the best kept secrets outside of Italy.

Arriving in Bolgheri before fame hit the region in 1974 and producing his own wine since 1983, Michele is recognised as the Bolgheri expert among his peers in Bolgheri.

 

The small but beautiful cellar is set into the rocky hillside, which provides a constant cool temperature for maturing, and also tasting, the wine. 

 

 


 

The estate bears the name “Donna Olimpia 1898”. In 1898, Gherardo della Gherardesca (the real founder of the Bolgheri region ),gave the name of his wife, Olimpia Alliata, Lady of Biserno, to the estate to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary.

The estate covers an area of about 60 hectares and is located in the DOC Bolgheri. The wine estates focus is on quality production using the typical Bolgherian wine varieties (Vermentino, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot) and others, to produce Bolgheri DOC wines at reasonable prices. 

The top wine Millepassi has laready wone a three red glasses award from Gambero Rosso, demonstrating that the philosophy is working.

 

 


MONTALCINO.


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Mauro & Anna and son Luca are the family who own and operate this small and particular Montalcino property- LA MARTOCCIA. With only 5 hectares of coveted SE facing Montalcino property their wines are limited quantity and high quality. Luca prefers very low yields & the position of the vineyard gives all day sun to the vine.The result is the wines are sort after and in short supply. La Martoccia was rated a top vineyard in the 17th century!! Only 25,000 bottles produced. This is a very good Brunello at an amazing price. 

Do NOT over look Rosso di Montalcono which is one of the best.

website - www.tenutabrunelli.it

 

 


 

The Col di Lamo farm extends on Montalcino's land for about eighty hectares.
The owner, Giovanna Neri, graduated in Law, has inherited the great passion for wine from her father and, now, she is a successful and refined wine producer.

The Neri family are of course famous and well established in Montalcino (Casanova di Neri). The wines are good examples of pure Montalcino's with modern rather than traditional labels.

 

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