La Torre 2012

"If you love elegant, age-worthy Sangiovese, then stock your wine cellar with 2012 Brunello di Montalcino." - Kerin O'Keefe We've had a few Brunellos from the classic 2012 vintage and by now you've hopefully had a chance to try a bottle. If so, you see why we (and Kerin O'Keefe and other Brunello experts) are so excited about the vintage. It's not a massive vintage like glories past—2010 or 2001. It's not a ripe vintage like 2007 or 1997. Instead, it is utterly classic in just the way that Sangiovese wants to be, interweaving Brunello's generous fruit with nervosity, ethereality, and savory notes. It's surprisingly approachable (the acidity really helps), but also with the structure ... Read More »

The Reasonable Cellar: Fontodi Chianti Classico

Fontodi's Chianti Classico is a remarkably fine and elegant expression of Sangiovese for a very reasonable price that will drink well for years to come. It's the kind of wine you should have in any reasonable cellar, and when we visited Fontodi in the fall we tasted examples that went back decades and were still delicious and full of life. 2013 is already considered to be a spectacular and classic vintage by both Tuscan wine-makers and the critics; and we agree that this is a wine and vintage you don't want to miss! Fontodi is not a "new" name to fans of great Tuscan wine. In fact they have been known and celebrated for decades. But there was some concern among Chianti purists that the wines ... Read More »

How a Tuscan Princess Showed Me the Beauty of Sangiovese

Many years ago — around a decade now — I did not understand Sangiovese.  It seemed unkind to me.  Like it just did not want to give me pleasure. To be fair, this was a rough era for Tuscany — the height of Brunello-gate (when Cabernet was illegally added to Brunello di Montalcino) and the use of French barriques with Sangiovese was ubiquitous.  So a lot of what I tasted was genuinely, really bad. But I just could not ignore that Tuscany is one of the great classic wine regions of the world.  I needed to become friends with it but just did not know how. So I set about drinking lots of Sangiovese. With time, my palate learned to pick out the good flavors of the grape: the ... Read More »