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

Collina San Ponzio 2018  Barolo DOCG
94 points
$44
Garnet black color. Aromas and flavors of lingonberry, capers, buttery pastry crusts, and pate with a tannic, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a warming, layered, very long finish with notes of caramel and tar. A firm but generous Barolo with distinctive caper berry flavors; stylish, balanced, bodacious.
Kirkland Signature 2016  Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
94 points
$19.99
Best Buy
Ruby black color. Aromas and flavors of blackberry, cherry tobacco, cocoa, and vintage leather with a tannic, racy, dry full body and a warming, very long finish revealing notes of cranberry sage jam, rose hip, cured meats, and juniper with firm, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. Complexity abounds in this Brunello; easily pair with show-stopping meals or allow it to unfold in the glass over long conversations.
Awards: '2021 World Value Wine Challenge-Top 10 Red Wine $15 and Under' Best Value Tuscan Red
94 points $19.99 Best Buy
Collina San Ponzio 2018 Fossati Single Vineyard Barolo DOCG
93 points
$85
Burnt sienna color. Aromas of toasted cinnamon sticks, spiced raisins, and ripe persimmon with a tannic, vibrant, dry medium-full body and a warming, complex, long hints of espresso, five spice, and pressed flowers finish with light oak flavor. Excellent balance, beckoning style.
Kirkland Signature 2015  Brunello di Montalcino DOCG
93 points
$26
Burnt sienna color. Aromas and flavors of leather, rose, black tea, fresh thyme, sandalwood, and dried cherries with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, complex, long finish that exhibits shades of hibiscus with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A delicious, well-integrated Brunello that will continue to improve with age.
Omina Romana 2016 Ars Magna Merlot
93 points
$70
Brick red color. Aromas of candied cherry, raspberry gelee, and red bell pepper with a round, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long leather, licorice, cola, and cafe au lait finish with silky, well-integrated tannins and moderate oak flavor. A silky, well integrated Merlot that will fit right in with an excellent steak.
Villa Puccini 2017  Toscana IGT
92 points
$14
Best Buy
Dusty garnet color. Aromas and flavors of raspberries, red cassis, hints of tobacco, leather, and candied aniseed with a supple, crisp, dryish light body and a smooth, complex, medium-long finish that shows nuances of pine nut brittle, honey and hints of cafe au lait. A tasty Tuscan Red that is sure to please; lovely balance.
92 points $14 Best Buy
Zeni 2015 Barriques Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG
92 points
$58
Dark burnt sienna color. Aromas of dried figs, dates, orange peel, and suede with a slightly chewy, vibrant, fruity medium body and a warming, appealing, medium-long sun dried tomato, toast with cocoa spread, tea with cream, and peppercorns finish with light oak flavor. A lush Amarone with a silky style and high-impact flavors.
Villadoria 2017 Bricco Magno Nebbiolo
92 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Brick red color. Aromas and flavors of tar, truffle paste, licorice, and ripe red plum with a slightly chewy, lively, dry medium-full body and a tingling, interesting, long finish with suggestions of tart cherry, lingonberry, and anise seeds with firm, drying tannins and moderate oak flavor. Tart red fruits and floral nuance make this a nice example of the style.
Awards: 2021 World Wine Championships - Best Value Nebbiolo
92 points $17.99 Best Buy
Kirkland Signature 2017  Barolo DOCG
92 points
$19
Best Buy
Burnt sienna color. Aromas and flavors of peony blossoms, wintergreen, clay, nutella, and strawberry tisane with a lightly tannic, vibrant, dryish medium body and a warming, complex, medium-long finish manifesting notes of almond skins, juicy cherries, and rhubarb with a suggestion of oak flavor. A bright Barolo fine-tuned to the American palate; juicy and generous.
92 points $19 Best Buy
Villadoria 2016 Bricco Magno Nebbiolo
92 points
$17.99
Best Buy
Bright burnt sienna color. Aromas and flavors of cherry preserves, wild strawberry, rose potpourri, orange peel, incense, anise, hint of horse saddle, and hibiscus with a lightly tannic, lively, dryish medium body and a graceful, complex, long finish that shows nuances of basalt and fine black tea with well-integrated, firm tannins and light oak flavor. Bold, intoxicating aromatics jump from the glass in this overdelivering Langhe Nebbiolo; certainly one to drink now or cellar.
92 points $17.99 Best Buy