88

2015 Poggio Civetta, Tuscany

( £6.99, 12.5%, Majestic )

If you’re looking for an easy drinking pink to quaff over the next few weeks, this pale rosé made from “typical Tuscan varieties”  is a snip at under £7 (as long as you buy five other bottles at Majestic). There’s a spicy, wild herb-like note to the raspberry fruit that’s backed up by a nip of tannin. 

BuyDrinking window: NowSimilar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Italy, Rose, Merlot, Sangiovese
89

2009 Villa di Vetrice Chianti Rufina Riserva, Tuscany

( £9.95, 13%, The Wine Society )

Chaintis from Rufina often have a slightly savoury, even rustic note to them, which distinguishes them from Classico styles. This great value example certainly has a little of that, but it’s offset by sweet red fruits. This is a fairly traditional style, combining Sangiovese with Canaiolo, with fairly sturdy tannins and a lift of volatile acidity. A pasta-bashing red. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Italy, Red, Sangiovese
91

Castillo Perelada, Ex Ex 9, Empordà 2010/2011, Empordà

( €50, 14.5% )

Ex ex stands exceptional experiences, apparently, with this being the ninth release under this label. Aromatic, alcoholic and eucalyptus-perfumed, this is a revolutionary blend of Sangiovese and Nero d’Avola with bright acidity, medium tannins and good structure, with vanilla oak adding an extra layer of flavour.

Similar Wines: £50-£100, 91-95, Spain, Red, Sangiovese
90

2009 Finest* Chianti Riserva, Tuscany

( £7.99 down to £5.99, 13%, Tesco )

An unoaked, modern meets traditional style Chianti Riserva from Piccini which blends a dash of Merlot with 95% Sangiovese. This is a medium weight, savoury red with good focus and acidity, some sweetness from the Merlot and fine, filigree tannins. A superior red to go with your bowl of pasta tonight. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-16Similar Wines: £5-£10, 86-90, Italy, Red, Merlot, Sangiovese

Everyday value?

by Matt Walls
Lined up against the wall in my hallway, they stood quietly like forlorn commuters queuing for a bus. These were not bottles to make a taster salivate. Why didn’t I...
95

2010 Mazzei, Fonterutoli, Chianti Classico, Tuscany

( £16.75, 13.5%, Great Western Wine )

When it’s good – and 2010 is a very classy vintage in Tuscany – Chianti Classico can still deliver a lot of flavour and complexity for less than £20. That’s certainly the case here, because I can’t remember a better basic wine from this estate. Its texture is almost Pinot Noir-like, but with a nip of tannin to add some extra backbone. On the palate, it’s silky and sweet with subtle oak and notes of dried tea, raspberry and wild strawberry. Essence of Sangiovese. 

BuyDrinking window: 2013-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Italy, Red, Sangiovese
91

2010 Scott Shiraz/Sangiovese, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

( £14.99, 14%, Oddbins )

A really innovative blend (12% of it Sangiovese) from a comparatively new Adelaide Hills winery, this is a very smart, textured red with cherrystone and plumskin aromas, supple, yet savoury tannins, bramble and mint flavours and an Italianate dry flourish. One of the best Italian-influenced reds I’ve had from Down Under. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Australia, Red, Sangiovese
90

2005 La Capannuccia Chianti Rufina, Tuscany

( £14.99 down to £11.24, 12.5%, Sainsbury's )

Always good to see an Italian wine with some bottle age on a supermarket shelf, especially when it’s as good as this Sangiovese-based Tuscan red. It’s made in a modernised traditional style, with lovely floral, tealeafy flavours, fresh acidity and savoury, complex tannins. Drink it with a good winter stew and it will taste even better. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Italy, Red, Sangiovese

Argentina’s Malbec obsession

by Tim Atkin
Is Argentina too dependent on Malbec? The question might seem absurd – few countries have managed to associate themselves so successfully with a single grape – but it’s beginning to...

Making sense of Sangiovese

by Tim Atkin
How do you make sense of Italian wine? The country has more indigenous grapes than any other (somewhere between 800 and 1000 at a rough estimate) many of which are...