Tuscany. One of the truly great wine producing regions of the world. The place where ancient tradition and modernity come together.Where history is intertwined with wine and where incredible, life-changing bottles are created.
Written below is a buyers guide for reds from this glorious region and how to ensure you get the right wine for you.
If you're after something that's a solid everyday red from Tuscany, look no further than Chianti DOCG. Although the entire region is now under Italy's top wine classification, the reality is that many Chianti's can be thin and sour. The best way to avoid this is by simply paying a little more and letting price be your guide. There's a good reason why one costs a few dollars more....and those extra coins are well worth it.
Chianti should taste of vibrant cherries, with a slight dried herb character in the background. If you'd like something a little further up the ladder look for the words 'Classico' or 'Riserva'.
In general those the wines tend to have a nice bright acidity that helps them pair with fatty or tomato based dishes. For example Pizza!
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCGis almost always a good safe bet. Like most Tuscan reds it's made from Sangiovese (not the lesser known Montepulciano....that would be too easy..) and provides sometimes a little fuller and more concentrated than your standard Chianti. They often see some oak ageing that softens out the tannin and adds a touch of toast. Tasty wines, without breaking the bank. They're also rather unknown, so they make an interesting talking point or unique bottle on a wine list.
There are plenty of options in Tucany for ultra-premium reds. A worthy mention is the new 'super? chianti' classification 'Gran-Seleizone' indicating the best the region has to offer. However, the crown of the region Oust about) still goes to Brunello di Montalcino. Think Chianti's big brother in terms of style. Broader, denser, more concentrated, deeper, fuller and more powerful than it's famous neighbour. Brunello has everything you'd expect from a Cabernet or Merlot, but with an added distinct ve earthiness and perfume aroma. Rich, yet fresh, grippy, yet soft.A wine certainly worth trying at least once. They also age in bottle for years and years, so look out for wines that are at least 5-10 years old.....if not more.
If the word 'Super-Tuscan' means anything to you, then you simply must check out Bolgheri. On the coastal plain, rather than the inland hills, this region was home to a modern movement of producers using Cab, Merlot and Syrah from France blended wh the native Sangiovese. This new world approach created something rather special.
The wine gained a more supple texture and modern feel from the foreign varieties, yet kept all the charm of Sangiovese. They were immediately popular and demanded super premium prices yet humbly labelled as 'Toscana' or Table wine'. Hence the name. Today after winning global acclaim, these producers have their own DOC of Bolgheri. A name worth looking and paying for.
These are just but a few regions from Thscanty and there are plenty more to discover, both red and white (and even sweet). For any advice on your Tuscan explpration, just contact WineSchool3 by email or phone.