92 Points, James Suckling
Col D’Orcia makes a beautiful Sangiovese heavy red blend in the 2018 vintage that wows as soon as you pop the cork. Crafted from next to the Orcia River along the Southwest part of Brunello di Montalcino. Wine laws from centuries back prohibit this from being a true Brunello di Montalcino, but we’re not complaining. We have a feeling that under-$15 price tag would be a lot different if that were the case. This is a beautiful, smooth Italian blend at a silly price. A pizza wine has never looked so good.
On Lake Garda, in the Veneto region of Italy, Gianni Piccoli and his three sons make exceptional wine in the charming village of Bardolino. The Piccoli’s natural farming and low yields render highly aromatic and generously fruity wines. The local white wine, Bianco di Custoza, is particularly food-friendly. A pale straw color with a fragrant dry bouquet and a juicy, zesty wine with sweet notes of caramelized Granny Smith apples. It’s an absolute gem and you’re go-to “new discovery”.
Poggio Al Sole’s wines never cease to amaze. Their high elevation vineyards bring out the Burgundy-side of Chianti Classico, producing lush wines with just a touch of earthy rusticity and great length. The 2017 is dark and juicy showing off aromas and flavors of violets, black cherry, and sweet tobacco. It’s fresh and long on the palate, a dynamite bottle of wine that will drink fast!