Top Ten Italian Red Wines - 2016

I tend to taste and drink a lot of wine over the course of a year. I am in a few tasting groups, sometimes the wines are consumed at various local wine store tastings and a number drunk with friends and family.

2014 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi Chianti Rùfina Nipozzano Riserva, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2014
Score: 
86
Grade: 
B
Current Price: 
$20.00USD

2014 was a very difficult vintage in Tuscany.  Still, this is a nice wine if not at the level of better vintages.  Ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, slight dry tea and slight mushrooms.  On the palate, the cherries come thru if a bit diluted.  So do the mushrooms.  Not as much acidity as other vintage.  Still, it will work well with pizza or Italian dishes.  Not a bad choice off the menu at a local Italian eatery.  

2004 Il Poggione (Proprietá Franceschi) Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna Paganelli, Italy, Tuscany, Wine review

Vintage: 
2004
Score: 
94
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$100.00USD

Pop and pour, this took a few minutes to open and then drank well.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, wet green tea, spice and slight char.  Full bodied.  A nice back bone of acidity.  Lots of cherry fruit layered with forest floor notes and a bit of anise.  Long finish.  This worked great with a pasta dish.  It also drank well on its own.  It won't get better but should be great drinking for the next ten to twelve years.  

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

Vintage: 
2016
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$25.00USD

Some of the best values in the wine world are from Chianti.  Figure out the best wineries, and buy the second or third best wines.  Of course, the top wines are great too, but they can be pricey.  This wine can be found for under $30 and it is excellent.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose is nice with cherries, black cherries, tea leaves/tobacco and slight cedar.  On the palate, this has a lovely texture.  Nice acidity.  Black cherry fruit of char and forest floor.  Nice finish.  This is drinking well with light tannins.  It will continue for ten years, so no hurry.  A great match

2008 Igino Accordini Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Le Bessole, Italy, Veneto, Valpolicella,Wine Review

Vintage: 
2008
Score: 
91
Grade: 
A-

Purple in color, ruby at  the rim.  The nose has cherries and spice.  With air some chocolate and slight craisin notes.  On the palate, this is ripe but not sweet.  Cherries and slight coffee notes.  Wide but not deep.  It is drinking well now but will certainly go for a while longer.  Seemed to be quite popular with those trying it.  It will work better with food but is nice on its own too.  Perhaps braised lamb?  

2012 Peter Zemmer Lagrein Raut, Italy, Alto Adige - Südtirol, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2012
Score: 
89
Grade: 
B+
Current Price: 
$16.00USD

This is a relatively inexpensive red from northeast Italy.  That said, it is not  simple wine and needs to be cellared.  Purple in color, ruby at the rim.  The nose has black cherries with some smoke.  On the palate, this has a soft texture.  Black cherry fruit that turn slightly sour.  Firm tannins.  Nice finish.  This will need to be laid down for five to seven years if it is to reach its peak.  It can be drunk now but have some nice fatty foods to cut through the tannins.  If serving today, an eight hour decant is not too much.  Certainly, the score should improve with cellaring.  

2006 Paolo Bea Sagrantino di Montefalco Secco Pagliaro, Italy, Umbria, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2006
Score: 
95
Grade: 
A
Current Price: 
$145.00USD

This is one of the great wines of Italy even if relatively obscure to the general wine drinking public.  it is made from the Sagrantino grape which is tannic and needs time to develop.  This is 13 years old and still needs more time until peak.  Purple in color.  The nose has black cherries, plums, slight coffee and anise.  On the palate, a wall of black cherry fruit with firm tannins.  It is thick and delicious.  With air, some additional notes of anise and spice come out on the palate.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  

2005 Poliziano Vino Nobile di Montepulciano Vigna Asinone, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Vintage: 
2005
Score: 
93
Grade: 
A

This is, perhaps, the top producer of Vino Nobile.  It is made in the Area of Montepulciano in Tuscany from the Sangiovese grape and not be be confused with Montepulciano d'Abruzzo which is made from the Montepulciano grape.  This is mature and at peak.  Deep ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, wet lea leaves, slight sandalwood and dust.  On the palate, this has fresh cherries, slightly sour cherries, and a slightly oxidized note.  Nice level of complexity.  Good acidity.  Long finish.  This is drinking at its best and should be consumed in the next three or so years but it certainly wil

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