sangiovese grapes on the vine in montalcino
Handpicked by IWSC
Sangiovese grapes on the vine in Montalcino, home to five award-winning wines in this year's IWSC
Wine Handpicked by IWSC 25 August 2021

14 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
Introduction and recommendations by
IWSC Judges

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 Sauvigon, 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 Chiantis and Brunellos at every budget

This year’s IWSC selection of award-winning Tuscan reds includes four Brunellos, one of which – La Togata Dei Togati 2016 – was the joint-top-scoring wine in this category, achieving 96/100pts. The judges loved its aromas of ceylon tea, red cherry, cedar and cranberry, as well as its powerful tannins and excellent length. Brunellos from Piccini and Banfi were not far behind, both scoring 95/100pts.

Among the quartet of Chianti Gold medals were Castello Vicchiomaggio La Prima 2017, another 96pt Tuscan red that displays a ‘brooding nose of dark cassis, black cherry and rich mocha’. Or for a more elegant example, Rocca delle Macie Famiglia Zingarelli 2018 offered notes of spice and cedar wood with ripe tannins and excellent balance and length.

Each Tuscan red wine in this year’s IWSC was tasted blind by some of the finest palates in the business. The panel was chaired by Alistair Cooper MW, with top-notch assistance from fellow Master of Wine David Round, Master Sommeliers Svetoslav Manolev and Eric Zwiebel, Majestic Wine buyer Nadia Williamson and Waitrose buyer Victoria Mason.

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, and we’re proud to present our selection of the best Tuscan reds.

14 Top Tuscan red wines 2021

  1. La Togata, Dei Togati 2016. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG; 96/100
  2. Castello Vicchiomaggio, La Prima Gran Selezione 2017. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
  3. Capannelle, Capannelle Riserva 2016. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
  4. Rocca delle Macie, Famiglia Zingarelli Riserva 2018. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
  5. Quercia Al Poggio 2018. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
  6. Piccini 2016. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG; 95/100
  7. Banfi 2016. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG; 95/100
  8. Villa al Cortile 2016. Brunello di Montalcino DOCG; 93/100
  9. Basilica Cafaggio, Solatìo Gran Selezione 2016. Chianti Classico DOCG; 96/100
  10. Querciabella, Turpino 2017. Toscana IGT; 93/100
  11. Castello di Cacchiano, Castello di Cacchiano Riserva 2015. Chianti Classico DOCG; 93/100
  12. Geografico, Contessa di Radda Riserva 2016. Chianti Classico DOCG; 93/100
  13. Lunadoro, Gran Pagliareto 2017. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG; 92/100
  14. Famiglia Nunzi Conti, Vigna Elisa Gran Selezione 2016. Chianti Classico DOCG; 92/100

View tasting notes and stockists

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.

More from Club Oenologique

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