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 Villa Pillo Borgoforte Toscana IGT, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

This Super Tuscan blend has Sangiovese, Cabernet, Cabernet Franc and Merlot.  It retails for $15 which is a fair price.  The nose is dusty with cherries.  This is a relatively simple wine but good and easy drinking.  There is a bit of an under ripe vegetal note but not bad.  Good acidity.  This would work nicely with pizza or pasta or at a local Italian place.  

2013 Cantine Bonacchi Brunello di Montalcino Molino del Piano, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

2013 was a more traditional year in Brunello lending itself to more elegance and less full bodied wines.  Whether that is good or bad is in the eye of the beholder or drinker.  Ruby in color.  The nose has cherries, dried cherries with an underlying sandalwood.  On the palate, this is soft but complex.  Nice cherry and dried cherry fruit.  A bit of tea leaves.  Of course, great with Italian foods but will work nicely with beef dishes too.  This is a very pretty and elegant wine.  Just lovely but don't expect a big wine.  

2015 Fontella Chianti, Italy, Tuscany, Wine Review

Looking for a great value?  Be sure to check out the 2015 Chianti's.  This one retails for $10 and is very good.  A bit modern in style and easy to drink.  Ruby in color.  The nose has black cherries and slight dry forest floor notes.  A bit of baking spices.  On the palate, there is a nice acidity here.  Cherry and black cherry fruit.  Round corners make it easy to drink on its own but of course, great for pizza and pasta.  This probably is better drunk in the next few years.  

2014 Gabriele Scaglione Langhe Nebbiolo Passeggiando in Vigna. Italy, Piedmont, Wine Review

Deep ruby in color with brown tinges to it.  On the nose, this has nice cherries with a bit of tar/anise.  It has strong tannins on the palate.  Cherry fruit but a pretty strong green streak.  There is plenty of depth.  Good acidity.  This begs for food, both to calm the tannins and the green streak.  It is very good though and at $18, this is fairly priced.  It will be interesting to try the 2015 to compare.

2017 Cascina Praié Rossese Riviera Ligure di Ponente Stundaio, Italy, Liguria, Wine Review

Made from the Rossese grap in Liguria Italy near the town of Cervo.  Light ruby in color.  The nose has dusty cherries.  On the palate, good acidity.  Fresh cherry fruit.  Slight salinity.  Long finish.  This will work with a wide variety of foods and is probably better at the table than as a cocktail.  It retails for $24.  An unusual wine that is a bit different and worth trying.