When it comes to wine regions in Italy, Tuscany may be the most well known and celebrated. This may be due to the fact that viticulture has been present in the area since the 8th century BC, or that it’s the fifth largest region in all of Italy. Or maybe because there are just some really, really good wines in Tuscany.
There are 11 different controlled and guaranteed destination of origin (DOCG) wines in Tuscany alone. Many of these feature the Sangiovese grape which is one of the most planted grapes within Tuscany but also throughout Italy. Because of the varying terroirs around the country, this grape can come out differently, even throughout the wineries of Tuscany itself.
You may have heard of Chianti, which is one of Tuscany’s biggest stars. While it’s true that we often envision Chianti as the wine in a stereotypical white tablecloth Italian restaurant, this really is a magical wine. Made of at least 70% Sangiovese, it’s a beautiful red with just enough tannins to clear your palate and a floral aroma that will brighten your day.
Carmignano slightly overlaps with Chianti as far as land, however, the wine is completely different. This red beauty must contain at least 10 to 20% Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc, as well as 50% Sangiovese. The blending of these luscious red grapes creates a totally different taste and feel to something that is primarily Sangiovese like the Chianti.
If you want something fancy and noble, then look for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. As stated by the name, this royal red wine was once reserved for nobles and elites but due to modernization of techniques and production, it’s expanded to the regular folk. This is also created from a strong base of Sangiovese with certain limitations like a maximum of 20% being made of white wine, so it will always be a lovely ruby color.
And along those lines is the Brunello di Montalcino, which is one of Italy’s most revered DOCG wines. The name means “the little dark one,” which truly reflects the deep red, full-bodied wine that it is. All wines from Brunello di Montalcino must be 100% Sangiovese and aged for a minimum of four years, of which two must be in oak. This is not a wine to take lightly but it will reward you every time!
What’s better than great wine and artisanal pizza?
The New York Times described Ridge Monte Bello as “America’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignon.”
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