(2021) So if you thought it remarkable that a 10-year-old wine was on offer, how about an 18-year-old super-Tuscan for less than £20? From a biodynamic estate owned and run by Château Giscours of Margaux, it's a blend of Sangiovese with Cabernet Franc and Merlot. Once again there's a mellow maturity to the colour, and the nose doesn't offer much other than a hint of truffle, olive and sweet damp earth, maybe a little cedar in there too. On the palate it is a different matter: I very much enjoyed its deep-set, rich fruitcake character, beautifully integrated oak and palate riven with a cherry-ripe acidity and taut tannin structure. It drinks really well, finishing on tobacco spice, coffee and black fruit, and is a bit of steal for a mature wine of such quality. Drink over the next couple of years.
(2020) This Tuscan red sees Sangiovese blended with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah, grown in the coastal Maremma, with only around 10% spending time in oak. It's something of a fruit-bomb this - not at all overblown, but filled with a buoyant, creamy blast of ripe, fleshy cherries and blackcurrant that soars from the glass, backed up with just a hint of pencil-shaving finesse. In the mouth that joyous explosion of ripe but nicely savoury fruit comes through, all supple and smooth black fruit flavours, but a chocolaty tannin and bright cherry skin acid axis offers a lovely counterpoint. Approachable, delicious, and it put a warm smile on my face.
(2019) From Lodovico Antinori’s estate in the Upper Maremma, only 40% of this blend of Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot spent a short time in French oak barrels. What a beautifully perfumed wine this is, crushed raspberry and incense floating from the glass, a touch of darker blackberry and a hint of spice. On the palate it combines plush, sweet and dense, ripe fruit with great agility, a breezy freshness to the acidity and the oak adding just a sheen of nutty breadth to the crisp, fruity finish. Delightful. Watch the video for more information and food matching ideas.
(2018) Mainly Sangiovese with small amounts of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, this is fermented with indigenous yeasts in concrete tanks, before spending around two years in a mix of old 500-litre barrels and concrete. What a lovely nose, bloody and gamy, and yet suffused with ripe summer berries, elegant tobacco spice adds another layer. In the mouth this is really juicy, the black and red fruits combining to give both some lusciousness and freshness, more of that gamy character and cherry-pit acidity into the spicy, long finish. Wine-searcher shows no UK stockists for this particular vintage at time of review, though 2013 is available.
(2018) Aged in large oak barrels for two years, this 100% Sangiovese Riserva is certainly a Chianti Classico on the opulent and lush side of the spectrum, the tobacco and cocoa rich notes overlaying juicy plum and cherry, with a fine graphite character adding sophistication. In the mouth it's a fleshy and generous style, like a big bowl of super-ripe black cherries that you just can't help dipping into time and again. There is a spicey framework of tannin, and of course good cherry acidity being Chianti, but this mouth-filling wine is mostly about unabashed hedonism. Drink over the next five years or so.
(2017) A Riserva that spent 15 months ageing in oak barriques, followed by the same period in bottle, this is all Sangiovese and seems immediately polished and classy with its taut graphite and black fruit nose, touches of aromatic tobacco and yet all very focused. In the mouth there's an almost surprising weight and density of fruit - so full and rich after the lean suggestion of the nose, expansive in fruit and tannins, a cherry pit dryiness to the acidity and then that wisp of smoke and tobacco curls into the finish which is long, the mineral and graphite polish asserting. What a terrific Chianti for drinking now, or cellaring.
(2017) A new operation in Bolgheri on the Tuscan coast from Fuedi San Gregorio of Campania, this is a Bordeaux blend (typical of the region) with the addition of a little Syrah. It spent 10 months in a mix of new and old French oak barrels and larger vats. The nose has an inky dark hue, firm black fruit and a touch of coal dust, gently cedary in the background. The palate to is firm and quite tannic, a big drying tannin presence on the cheeks, the taut, savoury black fruit and black olive coming through. Spicy notes and a little coffee emerge, but the tight, lean black fruit and a hint of minerality drive this. It should ease over three to five years. A promising first release I must say. No UK stockists at time of review, but given Fuedi San Gregorio's presence I imagine it will become available.
(2017) A beefy 14.5% abv for this Classico Riserva, so there is abundant ripeness though it refuses to cross over into excess. There's some bloodiness and tobacco to the deep-set fruit, enlived by a little cherry and nice sense of graphite, classy oak treatment too. In the mouth it certainly is sweet and mouth-filling, the rich, thick fruit always edged by that hint of gamy, cedary, iron oxide character and its excellent acid structure. Tannins are creamy and refined in a gorgeous, modern Chianti.
(2015) A serious young Chianti Classico, which after 15 months in French oak and 15 more in bottle is just beginning to hit its stride. There's a great solidity about the fruit, cedar and tobacco spice on the nose, but also something elegantly kirsch-like and floral, and a suave sense of depth. In the mouth it has real concentration - much more than in many Chianti wines - but not at the expense of elegance and vitality: the fruit is dense, the tannins firm and meaty, and the cherry freshness of the acidity beautifully balanced. This should cellar well for 5 to 10 years very easily.
(2013) There's a refined and very classical character to this Sangiovese (with 10% Canaiolo) its savoury, keen-edged raspberry and cherry aromas are edged with graphite and a light, ashy earthiness. There's a hint of tobacco and something vanilla-like, but the aromas are always elegant. On the palate it bursts with a surprising volume of fruit and flavour, the juicy black cherry ripeness and hint of chocolate fills the mouth, with a hint of alcoholic heat (this says 14% abv on the label) but massively juicy acidity and lithe tannins power through giving this a nimble quality as well as that all-encompassing fruit sweetness.