There are numerous varieties of red wines produced in Tuscany; we’ll go through a few of the very best of the best. Tuscany produces some excellent world-famous wines through to exceptional quality fine wines, from Chianti to Bolgheri and everything in-between. Exploring Tuscan reds is to explore Tuscany itself, and that is what we will do.
The Sangiovese grape, well established in the wines of Tuscany, is unique due to the variations in flavors and aromas that can be vastly different when alternate methods of wine-making are used, qualities that may not exist otherwise in other grapes and wine production. The variation in the grape’s flavors can range from tart/cherry like combinations through to vegetable tasting notes such as red peppers and tomatoes. The grape has a superior versatility, due to its high tannin and acidity, great for local winemakers.
For a clear understanding of the sheer magnitude of dominance, the Sangiovese grape accounts for 80% of all wines produced in Tuscany in red grape production with almost all using Sangiovese. White wine is produced using the Vernaccia grape, though these are so incredibly local (known as hyper-local styles) that they are rarely the topic of discussion outside of Italy.
The wine produced here in the Chianti area is the very best Italy has to offer, often described as ‘the most Italian wine’ which really goes to show the true nature of the world-renowned wine. Also known to be expectational as a food wine, the pole position in food accompaniment is seen alongside traditional Tuscan delicacies such as cold meats and pecorino cheese. The well aging Sangiovese, Tuscany’s signature grape is what makes this wine so unique and the key ingredient in a course, tannin, and tart wine. Full bodied and refined you can step it up and have a taste of the prestigious DOCG classification wine of which you certainly won’t regret.
Various flavors can be taken from the wines produced in Chianti, from fruity to earthy, a genuinely complex combination is offered for a balanced wine. Flavors include red fruits, herbs, and tobacco with a ruby red color and flowery aroma. Prices can also vary as much as the flavor from low to high.
Brunello di Montalcino
As the name suggests, this wine is solely produced in the area of Montalcino (Siena) and is another of Tuscany’s offerings considered one of Italy’s top red wines. Brunello di Montalcino is made using 100% Sangiovese, having an incredibly long lifespan the wine is only slightly tannic though full-bodied robust. Flavor profiles include: sour cherry, red pepper, vanilla, flake and oregano with another ruby red appearance smells of spices and tobacco. This combination leads to a juicy and spicy complexation that only improves with age. This style of flavoring and aroma pairs beautifully with rich foods such as red meat and aged cheese for a delightful companion to an Italian meal. However, it is also a brilliant meditative wine that can be drunk without food for company.
In comparison to Chianti, you may want to drink this wine a little more sparingly as the prices range from high to very high, you will be repaid with an excellent quality of wine and an experience to remember, but it goes without saying that this is a special occasion wine.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Another wine with the apt name describing its only area of production (the town of Montepulciano) with the difference that this wine only requires a minimum of 70% Sangiovese grapes used. This is a wine with a long and beautiful history enjoyed throughout the centuries by popes and nobles alongside ordinary people. With an elegant and medium bodied complexation, this wine is genuinely worthy of aging and has a two-year minimum aging requirement in the winery.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has a more modest flavor profile than other wines in this area, but non the less still has plenty to offer. Flavors usually experienced are strawberry, cherry, tannic and tea leaf with deep dark red coloring and aromas of dark cherry and plum. The pricing also typically ranges in the modest (modestly high) range, not usually as expensive as Brunello di Montalcino though.
Through the ages
Wine production in Tuscany is ancient and can more than reply on historical traditions to uphold quality winemaking processes. Few can compare to the magnificence of one of the most loved parts of Italy by wine lovers across the world. Grapes have been harvested in abundance for nearly three thousand years in Tuscany and have since been the most trusted crop for continued cash flow in the area.
However, wines from Tuscany has never been as popular and mutually loved across the globe as it is today. Production may be less than it was just 50 years ago, but due to recent advances in technology and understanding of winemaking, the quality produced here has never been so great and will no doubt be the reasoning behind its ever-increasing popularity.
The last word in Italian Red
The 2010 Nottola Anterivo, one of Tuscany’s most sophisticated yet sturdy wines will find itself close to the hearts of those partial to tannins; an enriching wine offering wrapped up in a great deal. Falling right in the between the lines of not too sweet nor dry and full of smell structured vanilla notes to the point of almost complete change as the wine has chance to aerate, but always interesting however it lands.
This is another wine that lands well with rich red meats cooked with fresh tomato sauce. Aged cheeses also pair well for a light-hearted meal full of intrigue and incredible aroma. Tuscany is the pride and joy of Italy, the last word in Italian Red and those who have not yet fallen under its spell, once discovered will find themselves taken aback with the region’s delightful takes on the Sangiovese grape.