Tolaini Valdisanti – Unanimous Critical Acclaim!

Tolaini Valdisanti

What do you get when you take Tolaini’s best fruit from the estate of San Giovanni in Castelnuovo Berardenga and place in under the attentive care of the greatest wine consultant of our generation? If the unanimous critical acclaim for the 2009 version of their Valdisanti is any indication, I’d say the answer is a formidable recipe darn near second to none. Michel Rolland (Owner of Val de Flores, and consultant to more Chateaux than space allows – including Angélus and Pavie) appears to have coaxed something VERY special from the fruit here at Pierluigi Tolaini’s estate.

Together, these two perfectionists – combining Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc – have harnessed luxuriousness in 2009 that I’ve yet to taste from any other producer of this type. There’s not just power here; there’s also this real sense that Pierluigi has come into his own. He’s not just trying to make Bordeaux (or Cabernet); the essence of his Sangiovese is shining through too. And isn’t that what makes us drink Italian wine? When it TASTES like Italian wine? BRAVO!

Rich and voluptuous, the 2009 captures the very best qualities of the year in its resonant, expansive personality. Smoke, tobacco, licorice and melted road tar add an element of darkness on the finish.  ~ Antonio Galloni, Vinous

Buy this masterpiece here

Selvapiana Bucerchiale Riserva, Chianti Rufina – Chart Topping!


Winemaker Extraordinaire Franco Bernabei

Now here’s one which requires virtually zero introduction and even less fanfare – in fact I may have said too much already! In vintages past, Antonio Galloni has asked – when tasting the 2004, for instance – “Why can’t more Chiantis be like this?”  The answer to that seemingly unanswerable question is quite possibly attributable to (at least) two major factors: winemaker extraordinaire Franco Bernabei (known as “Mr. Sangiovese” and the maestro of past treasures such as Flaccianello and Fontalloro from Felsina), as well as the location of Selvapiana:  within the Chianti sub-zone of Rufina.

And I’m here today to posit what may turn out to be THE most substantial declaration regarding not only one of the top vintages for Chianti this past decade, but for the very district itself. Selvapiana’s 2009 Chianti Rufina Riserva Bucerchiale takes my pick as the single greatest Chianti of the 2009 vintage! There. I said it. And the words you’ve just read were somewhat echoed by the guys at Tanzer’s IWC, “The 2009 vintage doesn’t get any better than this. An outstanding wine, and everything a Chianti ought to be.”

No other wine scored higher! A whopping 95 points!

Available here


2010 Pietradolce Etna Rosso “Archineri” ~ Sicily’s Hottest Wine!

Etna Rosso

Hello fellow wine lovers ~

Having now personally tasted several vintages of this truly unique and utterly engaging Sicilian beauty, I fully agree with Galloni’s recent review of the 2010:

“The 2010 Archineri Rosso is striking from start to finish. Sweet, red cherries, flowers, mint, anise and sweet spices are some of the many notes that emerge from this deceptively medium-bodied wine. Although moderately structured at first glance, the 2010 has plenty of depth and equally notable persistence in reserve, qualities that are typical of the great Etna reds. With time in the glass, the wine’s intense structure becomes increasingly apparent. Savory herbs, sage and rosemary add lift on the gracious, refined finish. The 2010 Archineri Rosso is flat-out beautiful today. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2016″
~ Galloni, Wine Advocate
, 92 points

Adding additional fuel to the fire, Italian wine guru James Suckling further praised this delicious Etna born treasure:

“This is delicate but very deep with strawberries, spices and cedar. Full body, with a dense palate, beautiful fruit and a firm tannin structure. This is really corseted with beautiful acidity. Wonderful length. Turns to plums and cedar. Wonderful. A blend of grapes from two sites: one with 40 years of age and another with 80 years of age. Latter is pre-phyloxera. Drink now or hold.”
~ James Suckling, 94 points

~ 2010 Pietradolce Etna Rosso “Archineri”
$34.99/btl + Ground Shipping included on case purchases

For more details regarding the native grape of Sicily – this Nerello grape used in today’s wine – we turn once again to Galloni for his professional review of the grape as well as the region:


“The most exciting region in Sicily, and perhaps Italy, is Mount Etna, where a small number of producers have re-discovered the very unique terrains that lie below this storied volcano. These are the highest-altitude vineyards in Europe. The late-ripening native Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Capuccio produce medium-bodied, aromatic reds that stylistically and texturally share much in common with Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo. Readers who haven’t spent time yet with the wines from the Etna owe it to themselves to do so. The top wines will challenge long-held assumptions about what Sicilian wines can be all about.
~ Antonio Galloni

To order simply reply to this post, or call me at my office number below.


All the best in wine & life,

Christopher Massie, CS

Wine Country Connection