It’s easy to spend a lot of money on Tuscan reds. On the other hand, it’s equally easy to be disappointed by moderately priced blends. But there are a lot of solid bottles out there in the $15-$35 range. Many of them are ready to drink on release and tend to have a food friendly profile. Although, if you’re sensitive to new oak, shop carefully because many Tuscan reds can have a hefty dose of wood.
These wines were received as trade samples and tasted sighted.
2012 Aia Vecchia Lagone Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGTSRP: $15
Deep ruby colored. Tart red fruits on the nose, some green herbal kicks, earthy-charcoal notes. Moderately firm tannins, a bit harsh and astringent at first, medium acid. Tart, crunchy red berry fruit mixed with notes of dark roasted coffee, charcoal, mocha and baking spices. It could benefit from a decent decant or a few years sideways. 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. (85 points)
2011 Aia Vecchia Bolgheri Superiore Sor Ugo - Italy, Tuscany, Bolgheri, Bolgheri SuperioreSRP: $35
Deep ruby colored. Nose of violets, cedar, fallen leaves and lots of crushed red and black berries. Firm yet dusty tannins, solid structure, moderate acid. Full of cedar and smoke, the red and black currant fruit is firm and crunchy. The new oak bravado is tempered by layers of roses, anise, clove and pepper. Medium-long finish, this is a bold wine that needs time, but has a lot to show. 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot. Aged in all new French oak for 18 months. (88 points)
2013 Brancaia Tre Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGTSRP: $23
Medium ruby colored. Dusty and earthy notes on the nose add to the red currants and cherries, some notes of bell pepper and roasted coffee. Medium-light bodied with moderate acid and silky-smooth tannins. Tart currant and cherry fruit bounces off sweet cola, cedar and dark chocolate shavings. Hints of rosemary and sweet on a tangy, fresh finish. Fun, easy-drinking, food-friendly blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet and 10% Merlot. For early consumption, but a good value, as is usually the case with this wine. (87 points)
2013 Monteverro Verruzzo Toscana IGT - Italy, Tuscany, Toscana IGTSRP: $29
Medium ruby color. Nose of juicy black cherries, summer plums, hints of tobacco and basil mxi with coffee and cedar. A fleshy, medium-bodied wine with rounded tannins and moderate acid. The black cherry and currant fruit is chewy yet velvety, backed up by notes of charcoal, tobacco, cedar shavings and light roast coffee. Moderately long finish with notes of clove and green herbs. Approachable now or enjoy after a year or two. 40% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Sangiovese. (87 points)
|With an easily recognizable label, wide distribution &|
decent value, Ruffino's Modus is usually a solid bet.
Medium ruby color. Smells of tart red and black currants, summer plums with crunchy skins, some violets, cedar and sweet basil. Medium-bodied, framed with dusty tannins and a nice tang from the acid. Bold black cherry, blackberry and plum fruit but the fruit has a tangy edge. Lots of light roast coffee, cedar shavings but some nice spice and earth elements as well. Ready to drink or age over the next few years. 50% Sangiovese, 25% Merlot and 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. (87 points)
2012 Castello Banfi Rosso di Montalcino - Italy, Tuscany, Montalcino, Rosso di MontalcinoSRP: $19
Dull ruby color. On the nose, tangy cherries, red currants, mixed in with rose potpourri, rhubarb and cedar. Moderate tannic structure (they’re fined down around the edges), moderate-low acid, tangy fruit (red cherries, red currants), backed up by notes of anise, cedar and clove. A finish of loam and cedar. Not too complicated or thought-provoking, but it has a simple, easy-drinking appeal. (84 points)