Tuscany tagged posts

A Fantastic Chianti under $4. Are you kidding me?

January 7, 2011 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  No comments

I usually avoid under $5 wine and here's why: it's almost impossible to grow, pick, ferment, age, bottle, cork, label, transport, market and sell wine for that price and still have a product that tastes good.  After tasting the Straccali 2009 Chianti, L.A. Wine Co. was ready to sell it for $7.99, and at that price I could call it a killer value with a clear conscience.  But an opportunity for a volume buy came along and now it's available for half that price.

This Chianti compares favorably to the 2006 Monte Antico Rosso, which received 90 points from Wine Spectator and was featured on their top 100 list in 2009.  That wine sold for a still exceptionally reasonable $7.99.  The Straccali is bright, balanced and has the good acidity you expect from a nice Chianti.  Most importantly,

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Aia Vecchia Toscana Lagone IGT 2007- 90 point Tuscan brilliance. $12.95

August 5, 2010 Daily Drinkers  No comments

What do you get when you combine Napa, Bordeaux and Tuscany?  Super Tuscan blends.  I  personally prefer these over Chianti which is made mostly of Sangiovese, especially at this price range.  Chianti has strict winemaking regulations, put in place by the Italian government, which Super Tuscans don't have to adhere to.  The result is a more modern, creative style of wine.   At $12.95, I would challenge our readers to find a better value in all of Tuscany.  If you're a fan of the 2006 Monte Antico Roso, this is of comparable quality but made in a much more ripe style. Right now I like this one better, but it could be because I've been through two or three cases of the Monte Antico!

As good as this wine is, I don't think it has matured yet.  A $13 wine maturing?  Yeah... it's that good. 

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Marchesi de Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni ’07- under $20 WS93 Super Tuscan

May 13, 2010 Cellar Worthy  No comments

Super Tuscan wines carry notoriously high prices, especially highly rated versions like the 2007 Marchesi de Frescobaldi Tenuta di Castiglioni.  So when a 93 pointer comes around for under $20 I have to try it!

I'm really glad I did because this is something special.  The first thing to understand about this wine is that it's built for aging.  It's very dense, especially for an Italian wine, and the color is a beautiful dark ruby/black.  I opened this mid week and although enjoyable, it was tight and somewhat closed.  So I pumped it out and let it sit for 3 days.  And what a change 3 days can make!  The wine had opened up with incredible aromas of coffee, cherry and oak.  In the mouth it's particularly chocolaty for a Super Tuscan- it could almost pass for a new world Bordeaux blend. 

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Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Toscana Rosso IGT 2007- Another wine under $10

April 26, 2010 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  One comment

Another day, another wine under $10!  I've really been into the Tuscan blends lately because they offer a nice contrast from the big Napa Cabernets.  This particular wine is medium bodied and has a nice raspberry nose that's not typical of Tuscan wine.

I'm a big fan of the 2006 Monte Antico Rosso, but this wine has something different.  Whereas the Monte Antico is very dry and slightly tart, this wine is soft, fruity and smooth.  Although there is a hint of oak, the focus for the Ciacci Piccolomini d'Aragona Toscana Rosso is really on the fruit.

The Italians are big on classifications and the IGT or Indicazione Geografica Tipica classification denotes wine from a specific location (in this case, Toscana or Tuscany), and is a step up from typical Italian table wine or Vino da

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5 Tips for Picking a Great Wine at a Great Price

April 21, 2010 How To  One comment

How many times has this happened to you: You're standing in a wine shop trying to decide what to pick up for the weekend and the sheer quantity of wine becomes overwhelming.  So you just grab something that's on sale and end up disappointed.  When I first got into wine, this happened to me all the time, so I put together these helpful tips for picking great wine at great prices.  I hope they come in handy.

1.  Go with what you know- Put me in front of a store full of California Cabernet and I will be able to find you the very best value every time.  Fill that same store with French Burgundy and, chances are, I will come out with a loser.  Likewise, if you've enjoyed the wine of a specific vintner in the past, gravitate toward their wines.  They

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2007 Castello Banfi Centine- Super Super Tuscan under $8

March 25, 2010 Daily DrinkersWines under $10  No comments

If you are looking for a “Super Tuscan” at a super price, try the 2007 Banfi Centine. It is widely available in the $9-11 range and right now, Argonaut Wines has it for $7.99.  At that price, it doesn't have to be great, but it is!  I have had this particular Banfi for several years but this was my first try of the 2007. My experience is that you have to spend thirty to fifty bucks for a good super Tuscan (with the exception of the 2006 Monte Antico Rosso reviewed a couple of weeks ago). There just aren’t many full bodied Super Tuscan offerings for $10-20. At that price they tend to be thin and weak.

The 2006 Monte Antico Super Tuscan made a big splash on the Wine Spectator top 100 list and can still be found for about the same price as the Banfi. The Banfi and the Monte Antico

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