Trying to discuss in a blog all the wines I tasted in Tuscany is a bit like showing slides of your trip to Europe in 5 minutes – your guests might be relieved, but what did they really see? So for the sake of your sanity, dear reader, I will mention just a few wines and then focus on some you can purchase without selling your children.
Tuscan wines have made a dramatic mark in the international distribution of wine in the last thirty years or so. Sure the Chianti Classicos and the Super Tuscans have changed the game substantially, but there are also affordable wines that leaving lasting impressions, particularly with American consumers.
While in Tuscany, I tasted several wines that were delicious and as expected, higher priced including Chianti Classico Reservas, Super Tuscans, and well aged Brunellos. These wines reflected the terroir beautifully which was evident when inhaling or sipping them. It was easy to detect olive, laurel, rosemary, cypress, various flowers, fruit and mineralty.
If you get the opportunity to taste these wines, you will discover what all the fuss is about. In the meantime, I would like to share with you some of the delicious Tuscan wines we have in our store. I’d like to focus on two wineries. The first is Altesino which is in the southern section of Tuscany near Torrenieri. The other is from the last winery I visited which was Falesco. Technically Falesco is in Umbria, but it is very close to Tuscany. (Think northern Erie county and southern Niagara county.)
Altesino makes several terrific wines and currently, we carry the Altesino Brunello 1999 vintage is a powerhouse for $69.99. A rich, oxblood colored wine with dark berry, olive, and earthy –sage notes. Save this for a special occasion. Try the Rosso Di Altesino 2012 which is a reasonably priced wine that I recommend for those looking to sample a classic style Tuscan red. This wine is considered the younger brother of Brunello and with its blackberry, earthy and olive flavors, it lives up to the reputation.
Aside from being a high quality operation with breathtaking views, Falesco produces some of the finest tasting wines I was privileged to sample while in Italy. They range from tasty whites made from Verdichio, Vermentino, Trebbiano, Malvasia and Roscetto; to classic reds featuring Sangiovese, Cabernet, Merlot, and Aleatico. Try the Vitiano wines which comes in red, rose, and white. These wines are inexpensive and are excellent for a variety of foods.
Wine with food is a must in Tuscany. Next week, I’ll discuss some of my favorite pairings from the wines and cuisine I sampled in Tuscany.