Ep 175: Tuscany Overview with Filippo Bartolotta

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We welcome our new Italy co-host, Filippo Bartolotta, a native Florentine, wine expert, writer, and travel company owner. This fabulous normal wine guy tells us about himself, about Italian wine culture, and about how to get the best out of Tuscan wine!

The Show Notes:

1. Chianti is hard to recommend by appellation, the producer is more important ("heart and land").

Still, the best areas for Sangiovese are on the northern slopes. Areas between Florence and Siena like: Castelnuovo Berardenga, Castellina, Gaiole, Radda, Barberino Val d'Elsa, San Casciano are great. Colli Pisane, Colli Fiorentine, Colli Sienese have good wines as well.

2. Classico is a safe bet for an old school Chianti with:

  • A light color
  • licorice
  • orange peel
  • violet
  • cherry
  • terroir!

3. Chianti Classics a minimum of 80% Sangiovese but can be 100%. It includes native grapes like Colorino or Canaiolo, and Merlot, Cabernet, and Syrah in small proportions.

4. Classico also has a Riserva tier (aged a min of 24 months with a minimum of 12.5% alcohol to guarantee the fruit is ripe), and Gran Selezione (aged 30 months in barrel, 13% alcohol minimum).

Example: Montevertine (especially Le Pergola Torte),

5. We talk about how Super Tuscans raised the bar. We discuss Tiganello by Antinomy, Cepparello

6. The best producers pay attention to climate, clonal selection and tension between acidity, fruit and terroir.

7. Great producers

In Montalcino:

Tenuta di Renieri

Pietroso

Tenuta Le Potazzine

Fuligni

Le Ragnaie

In San Gimignano (Vernaccia):

Sono Montenidoli,

Cesani

Panizzi

Il Colombaio di Santa Chiara

La Lastra

San Quirico

Il Lebbio

I know we promised a list of more Tuscan producers, but it's been hard to get a hold of those names since Filippo is the wineman to the stars : ) For now, we can use this list from an article he penned for Decanter a while back... http://www.decanter.com/wine-travel/italy/top-10-tuscan-wineries-to-visit-13770/2/

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