About Red Wines from Italy

About Red Wines from Italy
Italy is regularly the world's leading producer of wine quantity-wise (or second next to France - the numbers are very similar), which should come as no surprise, as wine is produced in each of the country's 20 regions (this is the only country in the world where this is true). While there are still many inexpensive red wines produced in the south as well as in Abruzzo in the country's central region,along with a multitude of value-priced whites from the Veneto region in the north, the emphasis over the last thirty years in the Italian wine industry has been more on quality as well as regional and varietal differences in their wines. Some of the world's most highly regarded red wines, such as Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) as well as Barolo and Barbaresco (Piedmont) are produced in Italy and have brought the country great respect from critics and consumers the world round. Of course, Chianti is a moderately priced red that is as popular a red wine as there is anywhere and Barbera from Piedmont and Nero d'Avola from Sicily, two tangy, spicy reds, have become extremely popular over the past two decades. As of late, Italian white wines have made great strides, as examples from Friuli, Alto Adige and Campania among other regions, have been recognized for their distinctiveness and vibrancy. Combining a sense of history with the emphasis on traditional indigenous varieties, along with a willingness to experiment and craft wines that modern consumers are looking for, the Italian wine industry is as strong and as relevant as ever.

Top Picks for Italy

Red Wines

Varvaglione 2015 Papale Primitivo di Manduria DOP
95 points
$24.99
Black violet color. Aromas of blackberry pie, chocolate bicuit, and chai latte with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a polished, charming, medium-length date cake, toffee, and toast finish with moderate oak flavor. A rich and chocolatey primitivo with sultry dark fruit and kisses of sweetness.
95 points $24.99
Tenuta Cucco 2012 Cerrati Vigna Cucco Barolo Riserva DOCG
95 points
$98
Dusty garnet color. Complex aromas and flavors of wet plaster, anise biscotti, brandied raisins and dried berries, and honeysuckle and apricot with a supple, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a seamless, layered, long finish with nuances of pomegranate and tomato relish, delicate floral herbs, earth, and cedar with crunchy, earthy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A complex and vibrant, highly structured old-school Barolo that is built to last.
Cantina Zaccagnini 2014 San Clemente Montepulciano dAbruzzo DOC
94 points
$49.99
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of ripe plum, dried figs, almond tart, dark chocolate, and sage with a round, vibrant, fruity medium-full body and a graceful, complex, long finish with elements of orange liqueur and chocolate ganache with moderate oak flavor. A rich, ready-to-drink Montepulciano with great concentration of fruit and well-developed flavors.
94 points $49.99
Villadoria 2015 Serralunga dAlba Nebbiolo
94 points
$49.99
Brown brick red color. Aromas of candied beets, licorice, fresh basil, sun dried tomato, proscuitto, and dried herbs and cracked pepper with a chewy, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, very complex, very long dried rose, rose hip jam, pomegranate, and leather finish with grippy tannins and moderate oak flavor. An excellent Barolo with superb tannin integration and concentrated flavor; get lost in this wine.
94 points $49.99
Villadoria 2015 Lazzarito Nebbiolo
94 points
$75.99
Burnt sienna color. Aromas of cherry tart, strawberry-rhubab, roasted parsnip, dried rose, hints of chocolate, and freesia with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, very long terra cotta, toasted spice cake, rosemary, and orris root finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak flavor. Great concentration, elegant flavors, and a triumphant finish; drink this.
94 points $75.99
Azienda Uggiano 2011 Petraia Super Tuscan Toscano IGT
94 points
$38.99
Black ruby color. Mature aromas of raisin, plum butter, wood-grilled mushroom, spearmint, compressed watermelon, lingonberry preserve, and coffee cake with an vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, intriguing, medium-long sun dried tomato, cedar, graphite, and charcoal finish with firm tannins and moderate oak flavor. A lovely Super Tuscan that delivers a mature, savory streak alongside its friendly fruits.
94 points $38.99
Emporium 2017 Appassimento Salento IGP
93 points
$14.99
Best Buy
Brown brick red color. Smoky, savory aromas and flavors of grilled berries, pickled and roasted ramps, tar and pomace, and farmyard earth with a supple, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, intriguing, long finish that shows accents of craisins and spiced toffee with fine, chewy tannins and moderate oak flavor. A great range and balance of bright fruit and smoky flavors make this a delightful choice for a BBQ outing.
93 points $14.99 Best Buy
Collina San Ponzio 2016 Barolo Fossati Barolo DOCG
93 points
$85
Garnet black color. Attractive aromas and flavors of dried cherry and apricot, raspberry, sun dried tomato, mushrooms, grilled baguette brushed with olive oil, and barnyard with a lightly tannic, crisp, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, intricate, long finish manifesting notes of toasted pine nuts and tar with light oak flavor. A dreamy Barolo with enticing notes of maturity and great length; cellar.
Villadoria 2016  Nebbiolo
93 points
$29.99
Garnet color. Aromas of amarena cherry, wild raspberry, pencil shavings, and dried herbs with a tannic, vibrant, dry medium body and a tingling, involved, medium-long marzipan, nougat, cherry jam, orange zest, tar, and roasted beets and beans finish with moderate oak flavor. A firm but expressive Barbaresco with enchanting fruit aromas and serious ageability.
93 points $29.99
Saracco 2017  Pinot Noir
93 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Dusty ruby garnet color. Inviting aromas and flavors of cranberry sauce, roasted mushrooms, clove, dried herbs, amarena cherries, dark chocolate, hibiscus, and anise with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, involved, long finish that shows notes of leather, coconut, and pine nuts. A delicious, concentrated and lengthy Pinot Noir that bridges Old World with New; a stylish, highly recommended bottle.
Awards: '2019 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $20 and Under' Best Value Italian Red Exceptional Value
93 points $19.99 Best Buy