Thursday, May 21, 2015

Weekly Wine Review - Italian Red - 2009 Tolaini Valdisanti Tenuta S. Giovanni Toscana IGT

Wine labels from Europe can be a bit intimidating. Take this wine for instance...the wine's full name (spread across various parts of the label) is Tolaini Valdisanti Tenuta S. Giovanni Toscana IGT.  What the hell does all that mean??? Just a few tricks will help you find very interesting and very unique wines. Tuscany is the land of Chianti wines made from Sangiovese. There are strict rules about the amount of Sangiovese that must be in Chianti, what other grapes can be used, and even rules about how the wine is made. Versions of these rules exist in wine regions throughout Europe including wonderful wine making countries like Spain, Italy, Germany, and Portugal.  In Italy, there is another classification of wine referred to as IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica or typical wines of the area).  These IGT wines have more flexibility than wines like Chianti, and most likely use Sangiovese, but can create blends like today' s wine - mostly Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc.  Wine's like these from Tuscany (Toscana in Italian) are sometimes referred to as "Super Tuscans."  Some Super Tuscans are quite expensive, but check your wine shop for Italian wines labeled as "IGT" - you can find some very interesting and value priced wines from a great wine region - but just made a bit differently from the more classic wines of the region.

Wine: 2009 Tolaini Valdisanti Tenuta S. Giovanni Toscana IGT
Region: Tuscany, Italy

Grape Varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Cabernet Franc
Obtained from: Purchased at K&L Wines, Hollywood, CA
Price: $25

Wino4Life Category: Weekend Wine
Aeration before tasting: Just a swirl or two, no special aeration.

Cork Condition: Natural cork - no defects or issues.
Appearance: Clear, dark red with a slight bit of yellow on the rim showing some age.

Aroma: Mix of red and black fruits, baking spice, and a little of that Cabernet cigar box aroma.
Taste: A good amount of minerality and spice along with the fruit - more of an old world/Bordeaux style. Nice finish, well balanced with some tannins to be able to age for several more years.

The Grade: I give this one an A. A great quality wine at $25. Enough fruit to please new world wine fans, and classic enough for those Bordeaux lovers. Excellent value wine with the Sangiovese taming some of the "bigness" of the Cabernet, while adding a nice level of acidity which will make this wine great for pairing with many types of food.... GO won't be sorry!!!

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