2016 Tenuta San Guido Le Difese Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

 This is the entry level wine from this producer of Sassicaia.  It is 70 % Cabernet Sauvignon and 30 % Sangiovese.  And, from a great vintage, this wine showed very well.  Ruby in color, clear and bright.  The nose has black cherries, cherries, sandalwood and light strawberries.  Medium bodied.  On the palate, the cherries and strawberries are there.  No tannins.  Bright acidity.  A delicious wine but probably needs to be consumed in the  first few years.  It drinks great on its own but will work with lighter foods or pizza and pasta.  

2015 Antinori Villa Antinori Toscana IGT. Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$15.00USD

A perennial favorite in my household going back to the days when this was labeled as Chianti.  A very nice value and a wine that will age for a few years anyway.  Purple in color, slightly opaque and bright.  The nose is dusty, slightly smoky, with nice cherry fruit.  On the palate, this has nice layering.  Not too deep or complex but what is there is developed.  It certainly seems as though there are some Bordeaux varietals in this wine, but I am unsure of the blend.  It drinks more like a Bordeaux of similar price.  The fruit is riper though.  This may still have some upside but should be

2016 Donatella Cinelli Colombini Rosso di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$24.00USD

A lot of wine sales people say to buy Rosso's in lesser vintages because they contain declassified Brunello.  I have never found that to be a successful strategy.  Buy Rosso's in good vintages and both wines are better.  2016 is a very good vintage.  This is one more example.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose is warm with dusty cherries, plums, soy and tea.  On the palate, medium tannins and a nice back bone of acidity.  Ripe cherry fruit with some depth and an underlying tea/tobacco note.  Good finish.  This wine might get better but in any event, it is drinking well now and should continue

2013 Agricola San Felice Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Il Grigio, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2013
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$40.00USD

Another very nice Chianti carrying the Gran Selezione designation which came about in 2015 and is the highest designation of quality in Chianti.  Of course, not all wines carrying this designation are created equally.  This is purple in color with some ruby swirls.  The nose is interesting with red apples and sour cherries also some balsamic vinegar and slight tea leaves.  On the palate, this still has medium tannins.  Cherry and sour cherry fruit with a bit of damp forest floor.  Slight port like notes of sweet alcohol on the finish but not enough to be an issue.  Overall, a very tasty Chi

2016 Fattoria di Fèlsina Berardenga Chianti Classico, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$18.00USD

Along with Fontodi, my two favorite producers in Chianti.  For under $20, this is a great value.  Deep garnet in color.  The nose is dusty with high toned cherries.  Perhaps a slight touch of volatile acidity but for me, it lifted the aromatics and was not a problem.  On the palate, cherries, sour cherries and light tannins wrapped around forest floor notes.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This will probably not improve but it is drinking quite well and should hold at this point for at least a decade.  It will go great with Tuscan foods so think pastas but also pizza.  

2015 Fontodi Chianti Classico, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$35.00USD

From one of the best producers of Chianti and in Tuscany, this wine was showing great.  It kept improving all night long.  Ruby/purple in color.  The nose has dusty cherries with some tea leaves and a bit of spice.  On the palate, slight tannins.  Lots of concentrated cherry fruit.  Medium bodied.  Very nice acidity.  Almost a smoked cherry flavor on the palate which is very interesting along with fresh cherries and a bit of tea.  Good acidity.  This wine should continue to improve for a few years and be good for another ten to twenty after that depending on your tastes.  It is very food fr

2014 Tenuta San Guido Guido Alberto Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
87
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$45.00USD

This is the second label of Sassicaia.  It is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Merlot.  Tasted at a tasting with more Sangiovese grapes did not help this wine.  Nor did the fact that this was from a not very good vintage in Tuscany and many of the others were from better vintages.  Still, this wine was a favorite of some.  Deep garnet in color.  The nose has tart cherries, some cassis, some tobacco and green bell pepper.  On the palate, the tannins are fully resolved.  Good acidity.  Slightly bitter cherries with some forest floor.  Short finish.  It is a good reason to drink wines

2016 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Rosso di Montalcino, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
90
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

This is a very nice Sangiovese from Tuscany and from a good vintage.  Garnet in color.  The nose is dusty with cherries and a bit of soy.  On the palate, this has medium tannins.  Nice sour cherry fruit over a bit of forest floor.  Slight complexity, this should continue to develop a bit more.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  It is ripe and has an almost sweet quality about it but not.  This will work with a wide variety of food.  Obviously pasta and pizza are go to dishes.  This might get a bit better but should last for another five to seven years if well stored.  

2015 Tenuta Mormoraia Vernaccia di San Gimignano, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2015
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$17.00USD

An interesting white wine for a reasonable price.  Gold/green in color.  The nose is nice with a sort of creamy lemon vanilla note along with a bit of honey and slight pears.  On the palate, this has a lemon candy quality.  Not sweet but heading in that direction.  Then the finish has a bit of almond turning bitter at the end.  There is some acidity but not as much as typical for VdSG.  This went well with food although heavier foods would over power it.  A nice value but probably should be consumed within five years of vintage.  

2016 Once & Future Wine Zinfandel Frank's Block Teldeschi Vineyard, USA, California, Sonoma, Dry Creek Valley, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A-
Current Price: 
$48.00USD

So, I am in Chicago on vacation and stop by a local wine store.  This is on sale and having never tried it, bought a bottle.  Good move as this is a really nice Zin.  While it seems like it will age and get more claret like, it was delicious and accessible now.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries, some bramble, a bit of dark chocolate and cherries.  On the palate, this has a nice texture.