Gregory Dal Piaz

Location: New York, NY

Top Value Sangiovese 2012

Rank Wine Rating Price
1 Marchesi di Frescobaldi Spa Castiglioni Chianti Rouge (2010)
Comments: Very nice on the nose, a veritable bowl of cherries with hints of flowers, almond, pear and almond adding detail. Rather large scaled at first, this fills the mouth with lovely fruit. A bit plummy at the edges but cherry to the core, with soft tannins and enough acid to add a bit of snap on the palate. There’s some gentle complexity here but this is all about finely presented fruit that follows through on a finish which retains a hint of fruit sweetness while showing the gentle austerity of ripe Sangiovese tannins. Lovely wine. 88pts
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2 Di Majo Norante Sangiovese Terre Degli Osci IGT (2010)
Comments: A little funky on the nose with lovely suggestions of dried orange peels, almond hulls, and beeswax over lightly toasty, chocolaty wild berry fruit. This is very well balanced in the mouth with lovely acidity that is very well integrated, lending this a bit of a blueberry character. There’s a fine bed of austere tannins, but the bright, fresh fruit keeps them fairly well covered. The finish turns slightly drying and shows good length with a briary note to the wild blueberry fruit. Nice little wine with good fruit and tension. 87pts
Previously available for $10.99
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3 Piccini Supertuscan Blend Toscana IGT Sasso Al Poggio (2010)
Comments: Decidedly earthy with rather intense leather, beef, hickory, sage and cranberry aromas. Light and fresh in the mouth, this delivers bright cranberry and raspberry fruit supported by soft tannins and lively acids that really perk up the back end. The fruit takes on more of a cherry character before adding some stemmy herb tones and revealing a nice tannic bite on the finish, which is fairly long. Appealing old school Chianti. 87pts
Average price: $11.79 from 7 stores
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4 Melini Sangiovese Blend Chianti Borghi d'Elsa (2010)
Comments: Seems a bit dumb on the nose, showing some bitter almond and green strawberry notes. On the palate this is not the most expressive, but boy is it well balanced and lively without being lean. Round and smooth with simple cherry and strawberry fruits, delivered with nice richness and really attractive structural balance. This is absolutely gluggable, though it does gain some added richness with air and nice herbal, slightly stemmy top notes. The finish is grippy and a touch coarse, but with more than enough fruit to keep this very attractive. 87pts
Average price: $8.99 from 1 store
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5 Falesco Sangiovese Umbria IGT (2010)
Comments: Tight on the nose with some earthy strawberry fruit and gentle woodsy and smoky top notes. This is really quite smooth on entry, though the minor tannins and integrated acidity help the wine pop on the mid-palate. There fruit shows fine depth, if in a slightly matte style, with a bit of a tea like, extracted feel. A bit rough and rich at the same time. The finish shows good intensity of black cherry skin fruit with decent length. 86pts
Average price: $13.99 from 5 stores
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6 Melini Chianti San Lorenzo (2010)
Comments: Very nice notes of bitter almond and sage frame the core of lightly jammy red currant fruit. This is a bit soft in the mouth, quite fruity and rich in a very clean style. It’s a nice enough wine but I would like to see a bit more detail. Though the acid does rise through the fruit on the palate, it never really breaks through, lending this a slightly Lifesaver candied quality. Certainly easy to drink, and the fruit is nice with gentle tannins and a faint bitterness, but this is rather four square and simple. 86pts
Previously available for $13.95
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