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Home Winners > Winners 2019 > ITALY: Tuscany (including Montalcino & Montepulciano DOCG)

Winner Details

Italy: Tuscany, including Montalcino & Montepulciano DOCG

2019 GOLD: 6      SILVER: 9      BRONZE: 7      COMMENDED: 19
2018 GOLD: 4      SILVER: 11    BRONZE: 8      COMMENDED: 8

We did it. We actually did it! This year saw our first sub-£10 medals in this section since 2016. Azienda Uggiano and Val delle Rose we salute you! Let there be a banging of gongs and clashing of cymbals…

That wines at this level are such a rarity tells you everything that you need to know about pricing in this part of Italy. Ambitious barely begins to cover it.

On the plus side, when they get it right, these wines are very, very good. Criticism (and there wasn’t much of it) seemed to centre on the most expensive wines, where the oak was often somewhat out of whack with the fruit. But around the £20 mark there were some fine Tuscans, with fruit, balance and typicity. They weren’t just big and blingy, they were elegant, complex and characterful.

Our teams could probably have awarded more Golds, so take a look at those Silvers.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘The Tuscan flight were not overworked, not overripe, but had a real stamp of Tuscan typicity: ripe enough fruit but also freshness and a lovely savoury core.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘Montalcino is down to the producer. Some make wines that are ready to drink immediately, and some try to produce wine with ageing potential. Today we saw both, so you needed to be aware of the style.’ Tomasz Kuszneruk, Pavilion Wine

‘Tuscany was true to style, good fruit, restrained use of oak in the sub-£25 bracket. Over £30 you start to see a bit of excessive use of oak, extracted fruit, trying to be showy, which becomes unattractive. But sub-£25 the Tuscan wines had freshness, elegance. Really good, delicious wines.’ Victoria Sharples, St John Wines

‘Very good to pair with pasta dishes, poultry, salami, prosciutto, sauces with steak or grilled meat.’ Ennio Pucciarelli, Kahani London
‘You can really justify those top-end [Montalcino] prices if you’re getting ready-to-drink wines that are aged already. It’s quite rare.’ Andre Luis Martins, Cavalry & Guards Club

‘Montepulciano is little-drunk and even less understood by the UK on trade. There’s a strong need for an on-trade ambassador to extol the virtues of this style.’ Claire Love, Loves Consultancy

 

Award winners

Found 41 wines

Italy: Tuscany, including Montalcino

Il Poggione, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘This is Tuscany,’ began impressed team leader Jade Koch on encountering this Gold winner, finding it ‘elegant, soft and perfumed’, while Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club appreciated its ‘red plum and gentle, smoked green herbs, leading to mature leather and cigar notes, chalky tannins and a long finish’. Describing it as ‘intense, with wild meats, smoke and truffle’, Quentin Loisel of Restaurant Sat Bains concluded it was ‘a great option for food pairing’.

£13.28 Enotria&Coe

Talenti, Pian di Conte Riserva, Brunello di Montalcino 2012, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Complex and elegant,’ began Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club as this was elevated to Gold, adding that it was ‘showing some development’. Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan, meanwhile, found it to be ‘very ripe, with richly spiced plum and cherry, and a savouriness, too, with round, ripe tannins’. Team leader Jade Koch agreed, calling it ‘chewy, juicy and full of grip’, and suggesting it would be ideal alongside ‘lamb chops or steak tartare’.

£53.00 Bibendum

Rocca di Frassinello, Baffonero 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Absolutely marvellous,’ began consultant Cinthia Lozano, as this unsurprisingly took Gold, while team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW praised its ‘gloriously aromatic profile, with violets, cherry and cedar, and with tannins that underline the palate, along with black fruit freshness’. Ennio Pucciarelli of Kahani London appreciated its ‘good complexity with red fruit, floral aromas, hints of graphite, clove and a touch of pepper’, while consultant Rebecca Coates found it ‘rich, powerful and full bodied’, adding that it ‘would pair perfectly with rare roast beef’.

£130.98 Bibendum

Carpineto, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

This ‘complex and elegant’ Gold winner, according to team leader Laura Rhys MS, was characterised by its ‘dark fruit and herbaceousness, with a smoky element, too’, while fellow team leader Nigel Lister appreciated its ‘ripe cherry and bramble, with wild woody herbs and roast meat aromas, leading to dense blackcurrant and cassis on the palate’. Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House, meanwhile, added praise for its ‘lovely open fruit and serious grip’.

£18.34 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Badia di Morrona, Taneto, Toscana Rosso 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

‘Dark, plush and juicy,’ began Victoria Sharples of St John Wines, as this was elevated to Gold, describing it as ‘quite elegant, with good persistence and some attractive mineral undertones’, while consultant Emanuel Pesqueira found it to be ‘earthy and smoky, with strawberry notes and some soft tannins’. Team leader Martin Lam, meanwhile, appreciated its ‘sweet, dark fruit and spice, with some juicy plum and a savoury edge’.

£10.55 Eurowines

Rocca di Frassinello, Le Sughere di Frassinello 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Gold medal winner

With its ‘raisin aromas and bright sweet and sour cherries’, this Gold-worthy Tuscan was ‘chalky, earthy, well balanced and very food-friendly’, according to team leader Martin Lam, while an impressed Victoria Sharples of St John Wines found it to be ‘textural and smooth, with good power and hints of tar and spice’, also describing it as ‘moreish, with lovely length and finesse’. For Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants, this all added up to a great match for ‘spicy meats and wild mushrooms’.

£17.51 Bibendum

Castello Vicchiomaggio, Ripa delle More 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘There’s notes of menthol and eucalyptus alongside the dense blackcurrant fruit,’ noted team leader Jade Koch, ‘and there’s a lick of oak with tobacco and sweet cherry.’ ‘It’s a premium listing,’ thought Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants, adding: ‘It’s flash and vivacious but its elegance is key.’

£21.86 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Uggiano, Il Sanzio, Sangiovese/Syrah 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House found notes of ‘nutmeg and dried red fruit, with lots of cherry fruit and spice and beautiful tannins in abundance’. ‘Simple, yet with good length and acidity,’ added Ieva Markaityte of Portuguese Concepts.

£6.25 Boutinot

Ruffino, Greppone Mazzi, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘An attractive, yeasty nose with dried red fruits on the palate and a long and refreshing finish,’ said Chiara Sieni of Bottles Group, with team leader Nigel Lister adding: ‘A lovely, barnyard nose, this feels rich and dense with a fruitcake palate.’

£36.28 Matthew Clark

Brancaia, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A concentrated, black fruit nose,’ said ETM Group’s Guillaume Mahaut, adding: ‘The palate is complex with elegant ripe, plummy fruits that have a lovely sweetness. The structure is pleasantly delicate with good ripe tannins.’

£18.24 Enotria&Coe

Brancaia, Tre, Rosso di Toscana 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘This has red cherries and vanilla pods on the nose, while the palate has good length with well-balanced fruit and peppery acidity,’ said Ieva Markaityte of Portuguese Concepts.

£14.55 Enotria&Coe

Monte Solaio, Sassinoro 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Ieva Markaityte of Portuguese Concepts was impressed with this Silver medal wine, saying: ‘This has good dark blueberry fruit coming through on the nose with some nice aromas of coffee there too, and the palate is very ripe with lots of sweet spice present as well.’

£20.00 Bedmond Hill Estate

Val delle Rose, Morellino di Scansano 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants enjoyed this Silver medal winner for its ‘fresh, straightforward style… like a good house Chianti’, and thought it ‘would be great with the Sunday roast’.

£8.45 Vinexus Ltd

Villa Saletta, 980 AD, Chianti 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘This is super-juicy, with a pretty nose,’ said team leader Jade Koch, ‘like fresh figs from a tree; the palate has baked fruits and notes of chocolate and coffee.’ ‘Decant and drink with rare bistecca Fiorentina,’ suggested fellow team leader Nigel Lister.

£83.49 Fattoria Villa Saletta Società Agricola srl

Castellare, I Sodi di San Niccolò 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Silver medal winner

‘A complex earthy nose,’ thought ETM Group’s Guillaume Mahaut, while Ieva Markaityte of Portuguese Concepts found notes of ‘coffee, dark chocolate, black olives and good balsamic vinegar, with acidity lifting up the palate’.

£42.13 Bibendum

Poggio al Tesoro, Il Seggio, Bolgheri 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS noted: ‘Dark fruits with plums, jam and prune. The tannins are bold but ripe, rounded and silky.’

£18.37 Liberty Wines

Capezzana, Ghiaie della Furba 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest noted: ‘The warm, cedar oak nose leads to a palate of jammy, cherry, red currant fruit and chocolatey tannins.’

£25.37 Liberty Wines

Talenti, Brunello Di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘Inky with notes of menthol,’ described, team leader Jade Koch, ‘'with pretty, yet fairly lightweight fruit.’ For Tobias Gorn of Boisdale Restaurants it was ‘structured, refreshing and classic’.

£33.00 Bibendum

Capannelle, Solare 2007, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘This is showing signs of maturity, with a refined, restrained style; the red fruit is still there but showing some nice, tertiary development,’ said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW.

£31.14 Top Selection

Corte Alla Flora, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Riserva 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘There’s sour cherry with balsamic and toasty leathery notes,’ said The Glasshouse’s Adam Michocki, while Lucie Kalertova of Sexy Fish found ‘liquorice and gamey red cherry that would be great with a simple steak or roast chicken’.

£17.80 Eurowines

Corte Alla Flora, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

‘This has medium intensity with a nice black pepper, spicy nose,’ said Lucie Kalertova of Sexy Fish, ‘and there are notes of tomato leaf with the vibrant, black cherry fruit.’

£14.20 Eurowines

La Mozza, I Perazzi, Morellino di Scansano 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Bronze medal winner

With its ‘blackcurrant aromas and sweet tea-soaked brambly fruit’, team leader Jade Koch fancied pairing this with ‘lentils and herby sausage’.

£12.91 Bibendum

Tolaini, Al Passo, Rosso di Toscana 2015, Tuscany , Italy

Commended medal winner

£16.95 Eurowines

Poliziano, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£21.50 Enotria&Coe

Poliziano, Rosso di Montepulciano 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£11.99 Enotria&Coe

Terenzi, Madrechiesa, Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2014, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£26.75 Top Selection

Poliziano, Asinone, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£35.68 Enotria&Coe

Argentiera, Bolgheri Superiore 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£51.50 Eurowines

Il Poggione, Rosso di Montalcino 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.54 Enotria&Coe

Talenti, Rosso di Montalcino 2017, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£14.00 Bibendum

Piccini, Villa al Cortile, Rosso di Montalcino 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£13.77 Bibendum

Campaperi, Brunello Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£25.69 Top Selection

Campaperi, Rosso Montalcino 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£12.96 Top Selection

Ruffino, Modus Toscana 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£24.46 Matthew Clark

Fattoria Le Pupille, Morellino di Scansano Riserva 2015, Tuscany , Italy

Commended medal winner

£14.00 Armit

Le Macioche, Brunello di Montalcino 2013, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£40.23 Top Selection

Fèlsina, Fontalloro 2016, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£32.82 Liberty Wines

Petra, Toscana 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£36.67 Liberty Wines

Villa Saletta, Chiave di Saletta 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£15.70 Fattoria Villa Saletta Società Agricola srl

Villa Saletta, Saletta Giulia 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£30.03 Fattoria Villa Saletta Società Agricola srl

Villa Saletta, Saletta Riccardi 2015, Tuscany, Italy

Commended medal winner

£30.03 Fattoria Villa Saletta Società Agricola srl

 

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