Grapevines and Tuscan hill towns

~ Tolaini Vineyards within sight of Castelnuovo Berardenga ~

The 2012 vintage wasn’t good enough for the Tolaini Estate to release a Gran Selezione.  That tells you all you need to know about their dedication to quality and their insistence that their top wines never be compromised.

The story of Tolaini’s humble beginnings have been well chronicled here.   Yet from those humble beginnings rose a manicured, impeccably run estate located in Castelnuovo Berardenga led by Pierluigi Tolaini, and a brilliant energetic winemaking team.  With Michel Rolland lending his tutelage where necessary, the wines from Tolaini have never been better and they deserve your attention.

Men standing in a vineyard among vines

~ The Tolaini Team: Davide Xodo, Diego Bonato, and Louie Tolaini ~

Today we’re looking at the most recent release of Tolaini’s Gran Selezione.   I’ve been fortunate enough to try this wine several times across a few different vintages and most recently, the 2011 Tolaini Gran Selezione was absolutely singing.

This 100% Sangiovese is meticulously crafted.  Hand harvested grapes are sorted twice; first in the vineyards as clusters and then again after de-stemming.  Whole berry fermentation takes place in both stainless steel and French oak fermenters.  For aging, the wine rests 6 months on the lees, 6 months in stainless steel and 6 months in bottle.  The efforts achieves notable results.

In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby that trends almost to garnet.  There’s a slight fade at the rim of the bowl.  The color has darkened from the bright violet tones noted 2 years ago.  Aromas of red plums, red stone fruit, fennel and dried herbs are attractive and easily noted and carry through on the palate which is fresh and lively.  She’s an elegant lithe dancer in a flowing white lace dress that captivates your attention with its wistful, yet playful nature.  The slight heat of the vintage is well balanced here and while there’s no rush to drink this, I don’t sense that it will evolve greatly beyond where it is.  Drink now and over the next 5 years and you will be highly rewarded.  93 points and fairly priced around $30.

Red wine in a glass next to bottle on table

~ The Tolaini Gran Selezione is 100% Sangiovese from the estate’s Montebello Vineyard ~

Want to find this wine?   Go here:  Wine Searcher


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