WineHandpicked by IWSC

12 award-winning Tuscan red wines

For many, Tuscany is unrivalled when it comes to red wine. Below, find recommendations for brilliant Brunellos and more, as the IWSC shares its selection of the best Tuscan red wines to suit every budget

Words by IWSC Judges

sangiovese grapes on the vine in montalcino
Handpicked by IWSC
Sangiovese grapes on the vine in Montalcino, home to two of the top award-winning wines in the IWSC 2023

Lovers of Barolo may disagree but to many, Tuscan reds are unrivalled when it comes to Italian wine. Tuscany not only has some of Italy’s most famous and prestigious appellations, such as Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, but it features an enviable line-up of estates, including Antinori, Fontodi and Castello di Ama, to name but three.

They’ve been making wine in Tuscany longer than most – remains of amphorae dating to the Etruscan era in the 7th century BC have been found – and when the Greeks arrived in 3BC and found the region was covered in vines, they named it ‘Enotris’ (‘land of wine’).

Tuscany is one of the most traditional wine regions you’ll find, with Sangiovese the star red grape. A few feathers were ruffled in the 1970s with the arrival of ‘super-Tuscans’ – Tuscan red wines that saw Sangiovese blended with the likes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah – but other than that, Tuscany simply rolls on, creating food-friendly reds to suit all budgets, from weekday quaffers all the way up to the very best Brunellos.

red wine
Sangiovese is Tuscany's signature grape, found in Chianti and Brunello at every budget

This year’s top-scoring Tuscan red from the IWSC was the Seconda Stella A Destra 2018, which scored 95/100 and impressed judges with blackberry and raspberry notes backed up by ‘leather, smoked meat and wet slate’. Judges deemed this bottle a ‘masterpiece’.

The other Tuscan reds in the top three were Lunadoro’s Gran Pagliareto 2018, a Vino Nobile di Montepulciano displaying a ‘savoury, marmite-like umami note’ with ‘complex aromas of cigar leaf and noble oak’, and the Belpoggio Brunello di Montalcino 2018, which offered ‘plum, citrus peel and tobacco leaf with some graphite sprinkled into the mix.’

Tuscan red wines have a style and character all of their own and stand tall with the world’s other great wine regions. The following wines have been judged as the best in their class, with each wine entered in the IWSC 2023 tasted blind by some of the finest palates in the business. We’re proud to present our selection of the best Tuscan reds.

pouring red wine

How do we judge these wines?

We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.

How do we score these wines?

Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.

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