Tolaini Al Passo 2009
Chianti Classico is the major producing area of Sangiovese-based wines in Tuscany – but there are even sub-regions of this sub-region. The Tolaini estate straddles the sub-regions of Chianti Classico and Chianti Colli Senesi (near Siena), located in the prestigious Castelnuovo Berardenga zone. Tolaini makes a Chianti Classico, but they are probably most noted for their Valdisanti (75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Sangiovese, and 5% Cabernet Franc), and the Al Passo (85% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot).
The Al Passo is aged in French oak barrels for fourteen months, then spends 12 months aging in the bottle before release. It still has the pronounced “cherry” characteristic of Sangiovese, but the addition of Merlot softens the “bite” of the Sangiovese, making this wine a drinkable, food-friendly wine. It went very well with the pizza and pasta, especially with the pesto sauces.
In our tasting, the Al Passo had an average score of 4.55, tied with the Avignonese Vino Nobile for the highest rating of the evening. One taster rated it “3”, with most opinions in the range of 4 to 5, with 3 people saying it was the best of the evening.
Source: Mazzaro’s (St. Petersburg) and was purchased for $20. This is a great wine for the price.