Bob Fyke

Brunello, and other Tuscan reds, are home base for me. I enjoy wines from many other regions as well, and love to organize,and participate in, wine themed dinners in NYC. Twitter @brunellobob Visit my blog at

Brunello Bob's Sangiovese Value List #1

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Fattoria Lavacchio Chianti Rufina Cedro (2008)
Comments: Sweet, aromatic wood notes (Cedar?) on the nose with solid, fragrant, red cherry, and sweet spice. Later there's a small hint of vanilla as well. On the palate, there is a nice richness at the core of the firm black cherry skins flavor and a soft texture at first sip. Well supported with earth, leather and flint notes, this wine is both rustic and rich, with good length and a fair a mount of complexity. In addition, the character holds up well over time in the open bottle, no fading here. This is a top value, and a great "house wine" option.
Previously available for $12.99
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2 Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino DOC (2011)
Comments: The first whiff shows deep, rich, red and black cherry notes with classic Montalcino character, showing earthy spice (fennel?) and a pleasant tartness in the fragrances much like orange rind. Also on the nose is a firmness and mineral character that add seriousness and stature. The palate is mouthwatering with its sweet acidity, full black cherry flavor and medium weight. There is a hint of sweetness, just enough to balance out the rusticity and minerality. Later, grilled meat and herb notes develop on the solid finish. The Il Poggione Rosso can be relied upon year after year for an affordable alternative to Brunello, although their Brunello is top notch and should be enjoyed as well. Serious wine at a great price.
Average price: $23.29 from 10 stores
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3 Falchini Chianti Colli Senesi Titolato Colombaia (2008)
Comments: The nose is firm with subtle incense, reserved black cherry fruit, a little black pepper, and lightly charred underbrush.The palate has masculine black cherry and black cherry skins, with great structure, subtle Chinese spice and a hint of pepper again.Medium weight and well balanced, it has a pleasantly bitter finish with good grip and lingering aromatic wood notes.
Previously available for $12.99
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4 Castello di Farnatella Chianti Colli Senesi (2010)
Comments: This starts on the elegant side with pretty notes of lean red cherry, clove and allspice, and a heart of flinty Earth and brambles. There's a nice little core of richness in the nose as well.The palate has plenty of lean red cherry fruit with dark notes of Earth, underbrush, and dried herbs. Aromatic and well balanced showing fine tannins and good acidity that work well to support the whole show. I've enjoyed this wine repeatedly, and it's consistency makes it a great value for regular consumption.
Previously available for $12.98
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5 Mantellassi Morellino di Scansano le Sentinelle Riserva (2008)
Comments: Floral, spiced, black cherry and nice power on the nose, with aromatic wood notes and flinty Earth. Dark brambles are prominent on the palate, with black cherry extract and red raspberry notes as well. Delicious acidity, fennel, dusty tannins, and good balance fill out the rest. The finish has some length, showing cedar, dried herbs and meat, and a little bit of warmth.
Previously available for $22.99
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6 Rocca di Castagnoli Chianti Classico (2010)
Comments: The nose starts with solid black cherry flesh, with a slightly roasted character to it, and some milk chocolate notes at the core. Overlying that is a bit of elegance, with dusty sage, anise, and a little smoke.The palate is woodsy, with lean black cherry, and good acidity to support. Later, there's a little strawberry and some charred Earth coming through. Well balanced, with easy tannins and a savory finish. I've tasted this several times, and it does have some bottle variation, but each manifestation has been a good value.
Average price: $14.99 from 1 store
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7 Altesino Rosso di Altesino (2010)
Comments: From a well known Brunello producer, this is their "Super-Tuscan" red. The nose starts off with some bite, and a little acridity, although not unpleasantly so. There's plenty of dark fruit there as well, primarily blackberry, with a little violet, and firm flinty notes underneath. The palate presents with a smooth texture, and pleasing fragrant wood notes, along with charred black cherry and mineral earth. The acidity plays a lesser role, behind the fairly extracted fruit and dense, fine grained, texture. Later, a clear Bordeaux-like nose begins to develop, with cedar, pencil shavings, and some ink. There was also a subtle hint of spearmint late on the nose. Quite firm in its nature, but satisfying, and resilient, for the duration of the bottle. Rather, this is an I.G.T. wine made of 80% Sangiovese, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot comprising the other 20%.
Average price: $21.99 from 1 store
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8 Poggio Argentiera Sangiovese Blend Morellino di Scansano Bellamarsilia (2008)
Comments: Fresh red cherry fruit, with a little sweetness, and nice Asian spice notes. The palate is well balanced, with bright red cherry and raspberry, some minerality, good balance and a spicy bite. This wine is complete and satisfying, while being very subtle about it. Excellent QPR. Look for their basic Morellino as well for another great value.
Previously available for $24.99
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