In search of Tuscany’s top reds

Will blending with varieties other than Sangiovese compromise the authenticity of the top Tuscan wines?

Known historically for its red Chianti, Tuscany boasts countless other hidden gems. One of them is its famous Brunello di Montalcino which hit the headlines not so long ago. Nobile de Montepulciano wines are also highly acclaimed and are produced just a few kilometres away. These fine wines are more supple and lighter than the often more powerful and concentrated Brunello di Montalcino produced in the northern part of the appellation. Nor must we forget to mention one of Italy’s smallest appellations (if not the oldest) which groups together just 14 producers, Carmignano DOC. Established in 1716 by decree by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Cosimo III de Medici, it was for many years subsumed into the generic appellation Chianti Montalbano. Sangiovese, Cabernet-Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot are all grape varieties that have been grown for centuries in the heart of Tuscany’s wine region. Since 1985, when the first Sassicaia produced by Tenuta San Guido in Bolgheri was released, the region has featured on the wine lists of the world’s most prestigious industry players and in the cellars of its greatest collectors.