From the Wine Cellar: 10 Mostly Tuscan Reds

Everyday Tuscan wines

Tuscany can produce wondrous pricey reds, mostly from sangiovese, and reds that are enjoyable everyday drinking at very affordable prices. These are mostly the latter, with a couple of Veronese wines thrown in for variety.

2007 Mantellasi "Le Sentinelle" Morellino di Scanasano ($20). Little funky. Dark cherry flavors, lots of barrel notes, savory finish. Takeaway: An unpolished but pleasant everyday wine.

2011 Coltibuono "Cetamura" Chianti ($11) Light, somewhat ethereal with typical sangiovese raspiness. Light cherry flavors with very modest tannins. Takeaway: Like a starter chianti.

2010 Coltibuono Chianti Classico ($15). Warm, touch sweetish light cherry fruit, almost maraschino, with some raspberries. Little light in body.  Finishes somewhat short. Takeaway: Its flavors stand up better than does its structure.

2009 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico ($20) A little fruit-forward and grapey. Good cherry fruit but it clings to the finish. Needs more balance. Made from organic grapes. Takeaway: Note one of B a C’s better efforts.

2008 Badia a Coltibuono Chianti Classico Riserva ($33). Lovely aromas with soft fruit on the palate and nice touches of bitters. Lots of barrel flavors in the finish with a tangy touch. Takeaway: An enjoyable chianti that straddles modern and traditional.

2011 Sant’Antonio "Scaia" Veneto corvina ($12). From the grape used for amarone. Light sweet, somewhat spicy, a little figgy, and a little grapey. Interesting, but hasn’t quite come together. Takeaway: Could pair with creamy cheeses.

2008 Sant’Antonio Amarone della Valipolcella ($50). Dark, savory fruit, peppery, ripe but not jammy fruit. Some chocolate and anise at the finish, which is just a tad short. Takeaway: Not a perfect wine but a damn intriguing one.

2011 Caposaldo Chianti ($9). Bright but lean cherry flavors with some crisp citrus notes. Little light in body. Takeaway: A very presentable basic chianti.

2009 Spalletti Chianti ($12). A touch gamey, yet still elegant and complex. Kiss of oak on fresh cherries. Takeaway: A very presentable basic-plus chianti.


2006 La Fiorita Brunello di Montalcino Riserva ($59). Spicy, lean, leathery, old-barrel flavors, bacon fat — yes! Impressive in its core if not in its heft. Takeaway: A heavyweight wine in a lightweight’s body.