Tuscany: Where Sangiovese Shines
To simplify things, I’ll begin with what is considered to be the best of Tuscany, the town and area that is Montalcino, located in southern Tuscany. While there are great wines to be found in nearly every corner of this vast region, I personally appreciate the character of Sangiovese Grosso, the specific clone grown in Montalcino. Both the world renowned DOCG Brunello di Montalcino and the young Rosso di Montalcino use this clone to create incredibly enjoyable and often age-worthy wines you will remember. A few great Brunello producers to consider are, Sesta di Sopra, Podere Le Ripi, and Col d’Orcia.
In Northeastern Tuscany just south of Florence, Chianti and it’s ever expanding zone can sometimes be hit or miss. That said, there are still some great Sangiovese wines to be had at affordable prices. The sub-zone of Chianti Classico, or the original historic center of the zone, used to be your best bet in terms of quality, but now there are many great producers making declassified wines without either designation. Here are a few recommended producers in or around Chianti. Pācina, a historic organic wine producer and agriturismo, Podere Le Boncie, a small and phenomenal natural producer, and Fèlsina, who make a range of lovely whites, reds and olive oil.