Tuscany is the only region in the world where consumers, journalists and the wine trade can all experience the new vintage releases from four appellations (denominazione) in one very exciting week! Called Anteprime di Toscano, this series of preview events is held annually in February to introduce and review the Sangiovese wines of Brunello di Montalcino, Chianti Classico, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, as well as the white wines of Vernaccia di San Gimignano.
Because each style of wine has different aging requirements, the most recent vintage years vary by appellation. In Montalcino, where aging requirements of at least four years (minimum of 2 in oak, about 2 in bottle) are among the longest in the world, the current release is 2015. In San Gimignano, a young and fresh style of unoaked white wine was harvested in 2019. These were both very good vintage years. Bridging the middle, both Chianti Classico and Vino Nobile struggled to present top quality wines due to a very hot vintage in 2017 where vineyards sustained significant damage, followed by a recovery vintage in 2018.
Brunello di Montalcino
2015 is one of the top vintages ever made in Montalcino. A fantastic 5-star vintage with extraordinary finesse and sweet tannins, ideal for long aging…a classic vintage like 1997, 2006, 2007 and 2010.Marco and Paolo Molesini of Cortona, recipients (2016) of the prestigious Leccio d’Oro award from the Consorzio del Vino Brunello di Montalcino.
Brunello di Montalcino is leading the world in adjusting to consumer demand for top quality “drink now” wine — lower in alcohol with approachable tannins — that also has the structure for cellar aging for many years. A fantastic case of Brunellos selected from the 143 wineries that participated in Benvenuto Brunello:
- Altesino Montosoli
- Ciacci Piccolomini
- Cortonesi Poggiarelli
- Donatella Cinelli Colombini
- Poggio Antico Altero
- Siro Pacenti Pelagrilli
In 2010, the Consorzio approved a new quality level of Chianti Classico called “Gran Selezione” with an aging requirement of 30 months. The first wines in this category were introduced in 2014. The new release (2016) is fantastic. For Chianti Classico lovers, this is the style and vintage year to buy. A fantastic case of Chianti Classicos selected from the 198 wineries that participated in the preview event (in addition to big names such as Antinori and Frescobaldi):
- Antica Fattoria Machiavelli
- Castel di Volpaia
- Isole e Olena
- Rocca delle Macìe
- San Felice
- Tenuta di Nozzole
- Val delle Corti
Vernaccia di San Gimignano
Over the years, styles of Vernaccia have expanded to include experimentation with oak aging. The classic style is young, fresh, and drink now. The 2018 vintage is already in the market; 2019 will arrive soon. If you love this wine — and I do — be aware that an older vintage on the retail shelf with either be oaked or past its prime.
Top wineries among the 38 that participated in the preview event include Colombio Santachiara, Montenidoli, Panizzi, and Tenuzzi.
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Noting again the challenging growing conditions in 2017 and 2018, these five wineries (of 44 previewed) in Montepulciano consistently produce quality wines even in tough years: Boscarelli, Contucci, Il Macchione, Montemurcurio, and Valdipiatta.
Worldwide shipping of these wines (and more, including other regions of Italy) is available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org to request a price list. For more information about Enoteca Molesini, click here.
3 thoughts on “Tuscan wines: the best of the best!”
Great article, Kathy! I hope to end up at one of these events with you someday!
Terrific article, Kathy! You nailed the richness and diversity among each of the anteprimas!!
Thanks Steve!! Maybe 2021?