Italian Red Wines

I love Italian red wines, Amarone is a particular favourite of mine, especially the Amarones from Zenato. Both the standard Amarone and the Sergio Zenato Riserva are consistently superb year on year. If you can't stretch to this price point Zenato Ripassa is known as "baby Amarone". It is Valpolicella wine that has gone through the "Ripasso" treatment of a secondary fermentation on the Amarone pommace which gives it more depth, flavour and alcohol. Indeed Zenato's Ripassa is better than many cheap Amarones.

There is much more to Italian red wines than just Amarone though. Many of Italy's best red wines are world famous in their own right such as Brunello di Montalcino, the pinnacle of Sangiovese. Barolo is known as "the king of wines" although personally despite having tasted many of the highly rated ones, it's just not my personal cup of tea, but everybody has their own preferred taste. There is great Sangiovese in the form of good Chianti Classico Riservas. Superb Bordeaux blends such as DOC Bolgheri, and we have an organic beauty from it''s neighbour Maremma from Cantina La Selva. The "Super Tuscans" sprang up when the authorities over regulated production and great winemakers chose to avoid the classification system altogether and label their top wines as "Vino da Tavola" - costing upwards of £100 per bottle for the great ones!

There are a great many natural producers in Italy too such as Sequerciani farming traditional grapes such as Pugnitello and Foglia Tonda. And good value hot weather wines coming from Puglia such as Negroamaro and Primitivo. Without a doubt Italy has a red wine to suit every taste and budget.

Italian Wine Regions

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  1. Brunello Casanova di Neri

    International Wine Report - 94 points

    Luca Gardini - 95 Points

    Wine Advocate - 92 Points

    Brunello di Montalcino Casanova di Neri 2014

    James Suckling - 93 points

    Brunello di Montalcino from Casanova di Neri, one of the finest wineries in all Italy. Brunello is world famous as one of Italy's best red wines. Brunello is produced from the Sangiovese grape, and only from designated vineyards around the area of the town of Montalcino in southern Tuscany. To qualify for DOCg Brunello di Montalcino status the wine is aged for a considerable time (three years or more) in oak casks prior to bottling. The Brunello is then further bottle aged before it is allowed to be released for sale.

    Virtually all Brunello producers are small family farms and the name Brunello on the label is a guarantee the wine in the bottle was made properly with care and attention. There is no such thing as a cheap Brunello and to my knowledge no such thing as a bad Brunello. But there are good Brunellos and great Brunellos, and Jacomo di Neri is regarded as one of the finest producers of all.

    His wines including his single vineyard Tenuta Nuova Brunello have been awarded the maximum 100 points by James Suckling on several occassions.

    Sulphite level: Medium Low

    John's Rating:

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