(2019) A blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese, this is a perfumed and very pleasing red, a touch of herbs and graphite, the ripeness of black Cabernet fruit, and the tangy vibrancy of Sangiovese cherries all present and correct. In the mouth there is a sweet and creamy edge to this, substantial but with a creamy softness to the tannins and acidity that give it enough structure while leaving it pizza and spag-bol friendly.
(2018) Though labelled as an IGT Toscana, most of the grapes for this Sangiovese come from Romitorio's own vineyards in the Scansano region of the coastal Maremma. Its a big, warm-hearted Sangiovese that opens with lightly herbaceous notes of earth and twigs, that briary character joined by sweet plum and cherry fruit. In the mouth it is firm and dry, the tannins giving lots of grip, keen cherry-pit dry acidity too adding to the savoury, food-friendly appeal. If it sees oak it must only be in older, larger barrels, as this maintains an edge of sappy freshness and core of fruit through to a dry, nutty finish. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas, and note that Daily Drinker club members can buy this wine for £11.70
(2018) Less heralded than Chianti, Montepulciano is another fine Tuscan region making wines from the same grape, Sangiovese. Aged 24 months in Slavonian oak, this also has a small proportion of Canaiolo Nero and Mammolo in the blend. The oak is toasty and cappuccino-like, with red fruits and tobacco spice. In the mouth the tight framework of tannin and cherry-pit acidity really pulls this together, the more expansive dark fruit and barrel components sliced through with spicy structure to give this a lively feel in the mouth.
(2018) Piombaia's Rosso is 100% Sangiovese Grosso, and like all Rosso di Montalcino's thought of as the 'baby brother' of the Brunello, intended for earlier drinking. The ruby coloured wine offers aromas of strawberry, cherry and red plum, very much in that red fruit spectrum, a nice tobacco spice in the background, a touch of pencil-shaving cedar too. In the mouth this is fresh and very appealing: a brisk, alert character with that bitter twist of cherry pits and skins against the savoury fruit, and very delicious too.
(2018) One hundred percent Sangiovese Grosso from an historic estate, vines are up to 30 years old and the wine spends around 10 months in barrel. There's a nice translucent character in the glass and a lovely mineral-fine purity of cherry fruit on the nose, a little rounding creaminess, but very pure. In the mouth a touch of Sangiovese's herbal quality keeps it cool and fresh, along with the red fruit and firm, juicy tannins and acidity, this has energy and tang, but wrapped in a little plushness too and is very - very - drinkable.
(2017) Though Bindi Segrardi's Chianti Classico Riserva 2014 is a stunner, I really enjoyed the herbal, lighter character of this wine sourced from Bindi Segrardi's vineyards across the Chianti region. The nose has rhubarb, beetroot and basil, giving that vegetal, herby edge to the light tobacco and cherry fruit. On the palate it is medium bodied, with a nice silky texture, and plenty of sweet fruit is underpinned by a roughening edge of tannin, pert acidity and more of that herby character. A classic style, and please watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2017) Brunello di Montalcino may not be the most famous appellation of Tuscany - Chianti surely takes that crown - but for many Italiophiles it is home to the region's best reds, made from the Sangiovese Grosso variety. What's more, 2010 is generally held as one of the best ever vintages. No producer is stated for this, though a bit of detective work reveals its a respected large producer. There's a balsamic and meat-stocky character, some cedar, four years in barrel plus the bottle age showing as a light tawny on the rim. On the palate the sweet fruit of cherries and a gentle meaty smokiness, soft and giving tannins and good overall balance. It's not a Brunello for the long haul I feel, but delivers good, mature character right now.
(2014) A 50/50 blend approximately of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese which spends 14 months in French oak, one third new, and one third each one and two years old. Both the 2006 and 2007 vintages tasted here were warm years, '06 marginally warmer. This has ripe cassis, berries and blood, maybe a little cedar, with tobacco and earthiness. The palate is tannic, with a straightforward fruit at the core, earthy and spicy, but at this stage lacking a little generosity? Big tannins and good acidity, a little smoky and tight, but there is black fruit though outweighed at this stage. Denis is certain this is in a good stage of its evolution.
(2014) Creamier, mintier, and a fresher on the palate. There is a creaminess to this, with more lift and finesse, perhaps not the brooding power. The palate is much smoother and softer than the 2006, with still a tight and structured core of tannin and acidity, with a touch of greenness perhaps, but a more harmonious palate. A little sour lemon note adds a savoury element. Very different from the 2006, certainly does not have the structure and muscle, and whilst I'd prefer the softer appeal of this to drink now, it perhaps lacks a touch of mid-palate fruit weight and ripeness.
(2014) 100% Sangiovese, this is very shy on the nose, with a touch of smoke and lightly spiced berry fruit, but it does not give an awful lot. Dry on the palate, a touch leathery, a touch lean, with a certain elegance and some extract dryness but not the fruit plumpness that would really make it pleasurable. Given the hot vintage, might be in need of cellaring to tame the tannins as it is serious and savoury.
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