This food-friendly, Chianti stand-in has enough oomph to impress even the most stalwart Chianti-haters. Basically, because it’s not a Chianti, but comes from that same region. The IGT and Toscana label indicates the winery went outside the old-school blending rules set by the Italian government and added in grapes that are decidedly French and not Italian in origin: Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah. If you’ve heard of a Super Tuscan, you’ve found one here. It’s a 55% Sangiovese (the grape in Chianti), 25% Cabernet, 15% Merlot and 5% Syrah blend from one of the most recognizable Tuscan producers in the world, Villa Antinori. (More about Chianti and wines from Tuscany)
Plenty of fruit can be found in this wine but it exhibits that European shyness. Let it lounge in your glass for a bit and watch it transform from a wallflower into a juicy harlot. Black cherry, ripe plum, vanilla-tinged oakiness and an earthy dustiness I often find in Chiantis define the flavor. Would pair great with anything high in fat like salmon, pot roast or duck. Sw=1. $22-$26. 4.5 stars.