You may remember Toscano Vineyards from the Brunello we covered as a Saturday Splurge a few weeks ago. Today we have four more of their red wines, all well under $20. These wines are available in the U.S. thanks to Chuck Hollis, who imports these wines made by Giuseppe Sala. Chuck didn't start out as an importer, in fact, he admittedly didn't know a ton about wine, but he knew enough that when he tasted these wines on vacation in Italy that they needed to brought over to this country. And so that's exactly what he did, and we, for one, are glad for it!
First up is the 2010 Toscano Vineyards Artigiani Chianti a blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Canaiolo. Sample submitted for review. It has an SRP of $15 and is available for $13. 50,000 cases produced, 12.4% alcohol.
The 2010 Toscano Vineyards Artigiani Chianti begins with a pleasant aroma of lots of red fruit. The wine tastes nice and savory with rich red berry fruit, some good spice and a touch of smoke. A bit oaky at first, but that dissipates with a little air. It ends nice and spicy with a medium-length finish.
See a listing of local retailers selling this wine here.
Next is the 2011 Toscano Vineyards Artigiani Montepulciano d'Abruzzo which is 100% Montepulciano. Sample submitted for review. It has an SRP of $14 and is available for $12. 50,000 cases produced, 13% alcohol.
The 2011 Toscano Vineyards Artigiani Montepulciano d'Abruzzobegins with a nice, strong aroma featuring lots of bright fruit and some earthy notes. Just like the Chianti this one needs a bit of air to show its best. Tasting the medium-bodied wine reveals lots of red cherry and other fresh red fruits, soft and dry tannins and earthy notes that carry through to the finish that also features some tart fruit.
The 2008 Toscano Vineyards Artigiani Nero d'Avola is 100% Nero d'Avola. Sample submitted for review. It has an SRP of $17 and is available for $15. 30,000 cases produced, 14% alcohol.
The 2008 Toscano Vineyards Artigiani Nero d'Avola begins with a very aromatic and very nice nose of lots of black raspberry, spice, and maybe even a little smoke. The wine tastes very smooth and is full of rich red fruit that turns tart on the finish and nicely integrated spice. This variety often makes a great pizza wine and this one is no exception. It ends with good length and lingering tart berry notes.
Lastly we have what on taste alone is my favorite of the bunch, the 2008 Toscano Vineyards Artigiani Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano. This wine is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Colorino and 10% Canaiolo. Sample submitted for review. It has an SRP of $18 and is available for $16. 30,000 cases produced, 13.5% alcohol.
The 2008 Toscano Vineyards Artigiani Vino Nobile Di Montepulciano begins with a pleasant aroma of blackberry, plum and spice. Like many of the others, the wine tastes a little oaky at first and needs some air. However, once it opens up this is a big, serious wine featuring wonderful dark fruit, a lush mouthfeel and dry, chalky tannins. It ends dry with good length and some lingering caramel notes. Excellent!