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.
This year’s top-scoring Tuscan red from the IWSC was the Tenuta del Buonamico, Cercatoja 2017, which scored 96/100 and impressed judges with ‘chocolate, cherries and fig’ enveloping your senses, and ‘backed up with bags of freshness.’ Judges deemed this bottle ‘a fantastic example of a terroir-driven wine.’
Among a trio of Gold-medal winning Tuscan reds was Tenuta Casenuove, Chianti Classico 2018, a Chianti displaying a ‘woody and solid, earthy underbelly of well-integrated tannins.’ For a more restrained example of the famous Tuscan wine style, Castello di Albola, Chianti Classico Reserva 2018 offered a ‘vibrant fresh palate of red and black fruits, herbal leafy tones and light pointed acidity.’
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 Sommelier Nicolas Clerc and .
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.
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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