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 2019  Salice Salentino DOP
95 points
A rich and brooding southern Italian wine that will pair well with tomato sauces, grilled lamb or beef.
Awards: 2022 Best Regional Other Italian Red
Saracco 2020  Pinot Noir
95 points
A very focused and fascinating PInot Noir with cool climate underpinnings; this wine will be a lovely surprise for the Pinot lover.
Via Castello 2020 Red Blend Castelli Romani DOC
94 points
Best Buy
Simply excellent; dark fruit on the nose with a savory and herbal palate that will pair well with numerous foods and has short term cellar potential.
94 points $15 Best Buy
Villa Puccini 2019  Chianti Riserva DOCG
94 points
Best Buy
A truly pleasant, no nonsense, and direct expression of Sangiovese; enjoy frequently.
94 points $16 Best Buy
Collina San Ponzio 2019  Barolo DOCG
94 points
Very, very good now but needs some decanting to help integrate the tannins and show off the fruit; this should be splendid in 6 to 10 years.
Ama Bene NV  Sangiovese
94 points
Best Buy
A straight forward and no frills solid example of Sangiovese; serve this by the glass and you will have many happy customers.
94 points $11 Best Buy
Palmento Costanzo 2019 Mofete Rosso Etna DOC
94 points
Best Buy
A bright,tart, lighter-bodied red to go with your pizza, red sauce pastas, and grilled sausage dishes; an excellent Italian example.
94 points $18 Best Buy
Palmento Costanzo 2016 Contrada Santo Spirito Rosso Etna DOC
94 points
Floral, fruity, earthy, savory, absolutely delicious and making a compelling argument for the third best red grape from Italy.
Villadoria 2018  Barbaresco DOCG
94 points
A delicate, elegant and very good drinker now that will benefit from decanting and with cellar time should further integrate.
Villadoria 2018 Serralunga DAlba Barolo DOCG
94 points
A high tannin wine that would benefit from some cellar time, but an excellent pairing with beef tartar, tomato sauces, or grilled meats.