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Home Winners > Winners 2017 > ITALY: Tuscany, including Montalcino & Montepulciano DOCG

Winner Details

Italy: Tuscany, including Montalcino & Montepulciano DOCG

2017 Gold: 7 Silver: 11 Bronze: 3 Commended: 15
2016 Gold: 6 Silver: 8 Bronze: 4 Commended: 8

Where you stand on these wines probably depends on a) how deep your wallets are, and b) your tolerance for tannin. Both pricing and structure were on the high side – and where some saw elegance, power and ageability, others saw over-pricing and lack of balance. Within the same teams we had tasters extolling the wines as ‘expensive but worth it’ and others complaining about lack of balance.

This, we can conclude, is the way of Cabernet Sauvignon. In good years, it can be superlative, in bad years its edgier aromatics tip over into a green note – and not everyone is a fan.

As for pricing, not a single medal under £10, very few under £15 and two Golds over £50 tells you most of what you need to know. A few more Rossos wouldn’t go amiss next year, methinks.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘The Brunellos were very traditional, and, without exceptions, they all had a similar style: good tannic structure and freshness That’s a good point about Italian wine – you can be sure of what you’re getting.’ Marek Rakowski, Harbour Heights Hotel

‘I was hoping to find savoury, meaty, juicy, Sangiovese – but this flight was more about the Super Tuscans. You can sell wines like Sassicaia and Ornellaia – but you need the brand name.’ Christopher Delalonde MS, Bleeding Heart Group

‘A lot of the Tuscan winemakers are using Cabernet, which dilutes the sense of place. For me this is a very modern style – too reliant on oak.’ Angela Reddin, team leader 

‘I thought this was a really good flight – Tuscan wines are not cheap but they deliver, and my customers do go for big Italian reds – it’s a good category for my list.’ Marcin Oziebly, The Wild Rabbit

‘With Super Tuscans my customers do have the knowledge of Ornellaia and Sassicaia and they will pay for those. But I don’t think that Tuscany is a brand, the way that Bordeaux is.’ Hamish Anderson, Tate Catering

Award winners

Found 36 wines

Italy: Tuscany, including Montalcino

La Sala, Campo All'Albero 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

Marcin Oziebly of The Wild Rabbit found this substantial Gold winner to be a ‘big, bold wine with character, lovely grip from the tannins with ripe black fruit and a touch of sweet cinnamon from the oak, good earthy notes on the palate, too’, while team leader Angela Reddin noted ‘violet and peony floral touches, massive intensity in the mouth with sweet oak, smooth tannins on a velvety palate’. Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu London appreciated ‘spicy cedarwood and vanilla notes, leading to a full-bodied and well-extracted palate, with ripe fruit and some cocoa and coffee’.

£20.98 La Sala

La Togata dei Togati, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Lovely elegance and quality on the nose, with plushness and depth of lovely, pure red fruit on the palate, all perfectly balanced,’ said an enthused Charlie Young of Vinoteca as this was led to the Gold podium. Arnaud Fiol of The Don Restaurant commented: ‘The nose is complex, palate very well balanced with dark cherry character and precision of fruit.’ ‘Concentration of purple fruit that carries all the way through, with good acid-tannin balance,’ added team leader Jade Koch. ‘Well-rounded and fruity, with elegant maturity and cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and a smokiness, too, leading to an earthy finish,’ concluded Sumilier’s Sumi Sarma.

£35.00 TryWines Expertise Limited - edoardo amadi

Petrolo, Galatrona, Merlot, Val d'Arno di Sopra 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘A different level,’ began team leader Laurent Richet MS as this Tuscan easily took Gold. ‘Savoury notes of date and olive tapenade, cedar and cinnamon spices and macchiato coffee bean notes on the finish,’ he continued. ‘Attractive nose with dark plum and blueberry, rich in style on the palate but well done, and there is some tannin and acid structure to support the lush fruit,’ agreed Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson. ‘Powerful and meaty, with great poise and grippy tannins. A match for wild-boar,’ concluded team leader Andrea Briccarello.

£67.20 Liberty Wines

Col d'Orcia, Poggio Al Vento, Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2010, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

This Gold Lister was ‘older and prettier, and more delicate for it’, began team leader Jade Koch, who enjoyed its ‘lovely violet, floral fruits and hints of vanilla contrasted by a drying, long finish’, while Harbour Heights Hotel’s Marek Rakowski found it ‘powerful and full of dark fruits and spiciness with tannic structure and acidity, giving this wine long potential’. Arnaud Fiol of The Don Restaurant noted ‘a spicy nose and smooth palate, busting with cacao notes and dark fruit’. A perfect match for game, thought team leader Martin Lam.

£59.18 Alivini

Campogiovanni, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

This bold, savoury Gold winner showed ‘intensity on the nose, and has a full, fairly powerful palate of ripe cherries, big yet accessible tannins, with some development and notes of sweetness on the finish,’ said Vinoteca’s Charlie Young, while Marek Rakowski of Harbour Heights Hotel highlighted ‘dark cherry with brown spices and almond notes on nose and palate’. ‘Gamey and savoury, with good concentration and herbal notes,’ said La Trompette’s Tanguy Martin, while Sumilier’s Sumi Sarma liked its ‘luscious character ending with leather and a smoky complexity – a robust and food-friendly wine’.

£25.61 Boutinot

Rocca di Frassinello, Maremma Toscana 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘A warm and attractive nose, with blackberry jam and plum fruit,’ began Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson in his praise of this Gold winner, continuing: ‘There is warmth here but it’s in balance. Rich and fleshy stuff, showing figs and plum with Asian spice notes on the palate, the tannin and acid balance keeping it all in check.’ ‘Long and powerful, showing some evolution, sitting well together now but still needs more time,’ added team leader Laurent Richet MS, while fellow team leader Andrea Briccarello appreciated this ‘elegant, well-poised wine, with some balsamic and cigar-box notes, as well as lots of spice’.

£23.92 Bibendum

Cecchi, Val delle Rose, Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

This Tuscan Gold had ‘rich, ripe, dark stone fruits with a sprinkle of spice on the nose’, said team leader Angela Reddin, adding: ‘It really delivers in the mouth, showing structured elegance in a super-fashionable, modern style.’ Ian Howard of The White Hart Inn at Lydgate praised its ‘black-pepper spice and a good body, with nice structure, good acidity and tannins, with black fruit’. A perfect accompaniment for ‘beef-cheek stew with morels and shallots’, thought Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu London, describing ‘a mineral quality leading to a full-bodied palate’.

£14.08 Enotria&Coe

Vini Italiani da Sogno, Carillon, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Team leader Jade Koch found ‘lots of fruit and blackcurrant character’ and enjoyed its ‘elegant, refined style that leaves you with a lovely sense of balance and harmony’, while Vinoteca’s Charlie Young noted ‘dark and spicy aromas, a dry palate with plenty of flowing acidity, comes across as a little on the leaner side’.

£21.00 TryWines Expertise Limited - edoardo amadi

Vini Italiani da Sogno, Seconda Stella a Destra, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘The nose is ethereal, with lots of dried fruits, cherry and cranberry, and a complete palate with great fruit and tannin balance with subtle spices,’ said a satisfied Arnaud Fiol of The Don Restaurant. ‘Massive and delicious, with great fruit concentration,’ said team leader Jade Koch, while Marek Rakowski of Harbour Heights Hotel felt it ‘needs a few more years, and it will grow into an exceptional wine’.

£112.08 VINI ITALIANI DA SOGNO sas

Uggiano, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely purity and composure, great palate,’ said Vinoteca’s Charlie Young, who found it ‘a traditional style, not too heavy but with great drinkability’, while Marek Rakowski of Harbour Heights Hotel felt that its ‘dark cherry fruit, fresh and intense flavours give this wine a few years to develop’.

£19.29 Boutinot

Castello Banfi, Poggio Alle Mura, Brunello di Montalcino 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Marek Rakowski of Harbour Heights Hotel enjoyed its ‘ripe strawberry with tobacco notes and hints of tarragon herbs on the nose, superb freshness on the palate with great tannic structure’. ‘Roasted aromas on the nose, medium bodied with tannins present but well integrated, and it needs meat,’ suggested Arnaud Fiol of The Don Restaurant.

£30.65 Bibendum

Poggio Al Tesora, Mediterra 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Pleasant nose of sour cherry, strawberry and blueberry, with touches of liquorice and chalk with a fine finish,’ began Agustin Trapero of Avenue, while Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering ‘loved it, gorgeous intensity and a huge wine, fresh and clean on the nose but big, juicy, intense and warm on the palate’.

£13.44 Liberty Wines

Poggio Al Tesora, Sondraia, Bolgheri Superiore 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Red pepper, cherry and plum on an elegant but powerful nose,’ said Tony Denis of Mosimann’s, who liked its ‘clean palate, harmonious with a touch of peppery spice’. Team leader Angela Reddin noted: ‘Bramble fruit and tobacco leaf greenness, herby notes integrating on the balanced palate with finely tuned tannins.’

£24.59 Liberty Wines

Valdipiatta, Vigna d'Alfiero, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Integrated and evolved on the nose, this is dark and perfumed, with some tannin present but nicely balanced overall,’ said team leader Martin Lam, advising: ‘Young still and needs time, but demands food for drinking now!’ ‘Luscious ripe fruit, soft, well made and enjoyable,’ agreed consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates.

£30.59 Liberty Wines

Valdipiatta, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Giancarlo Cuccuru of The Ned Hotel enjoyed its ‘suggestions of flowers on the nose, then juicy, well-defined red fruit flavours on the palate with some notes of soft spice, this is drinking really nicely and has good length’, while consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates found it ‘very gluggable, meaty and spicy on the nose, fresh and light-bodied on the palate’.

£16.62 Liberty Wines

Frescobaldi, Mormoreto 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

One to keep, suggested Marcin Oziebly of The Wild Rabbit: ‘Pure class, in a modern style, with lots of new oak this has just started to develop, but the complexity it is beginning to show is stunning.’ ‘Intense, concentrated, compact palate, beautiful ripeness and balance with great structure,’ added team leader Angela Reddin.

£42.43 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Il Poggione, Rosso di Montalcino 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Very easily identifiable style, happy, pretty, cherry fruit, very Italian so needs a ragu,’ began team leader Jade Koch, with Vinoteca’s Charlie Young finding ‘fresh, pure, mineral aromas, nice ripeness with dark berry fruit, good acidity and decent tannins’.

£14.55 Enotria&Coe

Cecchi, Coevo 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘Smoky, balsamic notes to start, with some sweet cherry, tobacco leaves and vanilla pods too,’ described team leader Andrea Briccarello, while Ian Howard of The White Hart Inn at Lydgate appreciated ‘red plum and good integration of oak and acidity, with good length, and some spice and leather notes – a great steak wine’.

£43.36 Enotria&Coe

Petrolo, Torrione, Pietraviva, Val d’Arno di Sopra 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Lovely oak spices and toast flavours, high tannin with ripe fruit, vibrant black cherries on the palate with a floral edge,’ said team leader Laurent Richet MS. ‘Classical, with a great nose, fresh and refined with red fruit and subtle spices,’ added Tate Catering’s Hamish Anderson.

£22.60 Liberty Wines

Capezzana, Villa di Trefiano, Carmignano Riserva 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Agustin Trapero of Avenue found ‘blackcurrant and big sour cherry with a hint of red flowers, roses, peppery cured meats and black spice notes’, while team leader Laurent Richet MS highlighted ‘strawberry jam, cassis, cranberry, very strong tannin in good balance, and soft acidity’.

£28.89 Liberty Wines

Carpineto, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Dusty on the nose, which is highly perfumed,’ began consultant sommelier Rebecca Coates, who found its ‘sour cherry fruit and dusty tannins soft and charming’, while team leader Martin Lam felt its ‘big gobs of oak and fruit in a blockbuster style’ was drinking well.

£17.45 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Montauto, Pinot Nero, Maremma 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

La Togata, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Mantellassi, Punton del Sorbo, Cabernet Sauvignon, Maremma Toscana 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Mantellassi, Le Sentinelle, Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Mantellassi, Mentore, Morellino di Scansano 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£10.58 VinumTerra

Petrolo, Bòggina, Val d'Arno di Sopra 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£33.79 Liberty Wines

Petrolo, Inarno, Val d’Arno di Sopra 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.30 Liberty Wines

Castello Vicchiomaggio, Ripa delle More 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

Castello Banfi, Brunello di Montalcino 2011, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£22.71 Bibendum

Castellare di Castellina, I Sodi di San Niccolo 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£35.01 Bibendum

Rocco di Frassinello, Sughere di Frassinello, Maremma Toscana 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.76 Bibendum

Villa Sant'Anna, Rosso di Montepulciano 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.40 Bibendum

Villa Sant'Anna, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.06 Bibendum

Capezzana, Villa di Capezzana, Carmignano 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£18.04 Liberty Wines

Valdipiatta, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.62 Liberty Wines

 

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