I know many of you will remember last fall when we sold the TOLAINI’s LEGIT ’16 Cabernet Sauvignon! The Theolonius Monk label! The Wine Spectator’s 2020 #13/Top 100 Wines of the Year (95 points).
(Pier) “Luigi” Tolaini is a real rags to riches story. As a peasant boy he left Tuscany penniless, and returned some 40 years later as a northeastern America-Canada transportation mogul and ultra-millionaire with a simple goal to produce Tuscany’s greatest red wines. After four years of searching, he settled on vineyard sites just outside the prestigious commune of Castelnuova Berardenga in the southern most Chianti Classico zone.
We all know that the 2016 vintage in Tuscany is considered classic, a soon-to-be-benchmark. So I was especially interested in obtaining a sample of Tolaini’s proprietary 2016 “Valdisanti” from the estate’s San Giovanni vineyard. Particularly, because 75% of the blend is Cabernet Sauvignon, while 20% Sangiovese, and 5% Cabernet Franc. If you have purchased the LEGIT ’16 which is 100% varietal, then you should need no convincing that long lived, greatly structured and balanced Cabernet Sauvignon is no fluke in this land of Sangiovese. Valdisanti’s mélange of juicy, dark “balsamic-like” berries will be enough to win you over. However, it is the spicy complexity, aromatics and firm but finely packed tannins tempered by the Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc components that makes this wine so appealing and delicious to drink! And we HIGHLY RECOMMEND, especially at this affordable and realistic price. Should be $40 a bottle. NOW $37.95 or 4+/$34.95. See recent Wine Advocate’s 94 point rating below.
Valdisanti ’16 is true bona fide BELL RINGER! The same organic farming practices, and care and attention to detail is given to the selection and laborious sorting and de-stemming process. Fermented in temperature controlled French oak cask and stainless steel while macerating up to 30 days. Then racked, blended and aged for 6 months on the lees in 70% new French barrique – 30% one year used. Racked again off the lees, and aged for a total of 16 months. Bottled unfiltered.
“Tolaini makes some of the best wines in Chianti Classico and specifically in the sun-kissed Castelnuovo Berardenga appellation. From a classic vintage, the 2016 Valdisanti is made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc grapes all sourced from the estate’s Tenuta San Giovanni vineyard. The wine is absolutely fantastic on all fronts, with rich and soft fruit that hits all those sensorial pleasure points. It offers ample dark fruit, cherry, spice and dried blackberry. 2021-2030. $40” – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate 94 points (4/15/21 Monica Larner)
“A beautiful, juicy young red with currants, berries and hints of walnuts and dried herbs. Full-bodied and chewy. Polished and attractive. Needs time to soften. Better after 2022.” – 93 points, James Suckling.com – July 2020
“Lean and taut, this red reveals robust tannins wrapped around black cherry, blueberry, earth and tobacco flavors. The tannins have the upper hand now, but time should restore the equilibrium. Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc. Best from 2023 through 2037. – 92 points, Wine Spectator (BS) June 30, 2021