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Under the Tuscan Snow

Under the Tuscan Snow

by Tom Wolf by Tom Wolf

Ribollita 6-Bottle Sampler

Ribollita 6-Bottle Sampler

$192.00 $256.00
$192.00 $256.00
$192.00 $256.00
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These five Sangiovese bottlings reflect the grape’s mesmerizing array of possible flavors, from succulent cherries and pomegranate to mint, balsamic vinegar, and even the umami of roasted tomato.


Normally $256.00
SPECIAL SAMPLER PRICE $192.00
(a 25% discount)

This item does not take further discounts

If you spend a week in Tuscany in the winter, it is inevitable that you will be served ribollita, and if you ordered it each day of your stay, you would likely taste seven different versions of the hearty, bone-warming, vegetable-rich soup. Despite the same core ingredients of cannellini beans, carrots, kale, tomatoes, bread, and olive oil, there are as many variations of the dish as there are Tuscan nonne (grandmothers).
     Elena Lapini, of Podere Campriano in Greve in Chianti, uses her own grandmother’s recipe, a two-day process that was historically prepared for Friday, when Catholics abstained from eating meat. The pot’s contents would then be reboiled—“ribollita”—for meals in the ensuing days. As you might imagine, this was a staple of the region’s cucina povera* for centuries.
     It turns out that ribollita is the perfect culinary canvas against which to appreciate the wide range of expressions possible in Tuscan reds. Across the Sangioveses in this pack, you will taste a diversity of styles, including three reds from the Chianti region: Villa di Geggiano’s “Bandinello”—mostly Sangiovese with a splash of Ciliegiolo and Syrah—Castagnoli’s Chianti Classico, and Campriano’s Alta Valle della Greve. From Montalcino, south of Siena, Sesti’s Rosso di Montalcino is a great example of an elegant style of Sangiovese whereas Podere Sante Marie’s has more rustic charm. These five bottlings reflect the grape’s mesmerizing array of possible flavors, from succulent cherries and pomegranate to mint, balsamic notes, and even the umami of roasted tomato. The lone Pinot Nero in this sampler comes not from the land of Sangiovese—south of Florence—but from the easternmost slice of Tuscany, in the cooler foothills of the Apennines, and it provides a thrilling contrast to the other wines here.
     If you are like me, you will make this soup over and over again when the temperature drops. I recommend trying Elena’s recipe (found here), as well as several others you can find through a simple online search (and most of which are ready to eat in an hour or less, not the next day). Whenever you do, open a bottle or two of the wines included in this sampler and you will experience an unbeatable marriage of Tuscan food and wine.

* Cucina povera refers to the simple, use-everything, peasant-cooking traditions of rural Italy.

Sampler Includes:

2018 Toscana Rosso “Bandinello”  •  Villa di Geggiano  $25.00
2016 Chianti Classico  •  Castagnoli  $30.00
2017 Rosso di Montalcino  •  Sesti  $40.00
2015 Toscana Rosso “CUNA”  •  CUNA di Federico Staderini  $48.00
2016 Rosso di Montalcino  •  Podere Sante Marie  $56.00
2012 Alta Valle della Greve “80” •  Podere Campriano  $57.00

Normally $256.00
SPECIAL SAMPLER PRICE $192.00
(a 25% discount)

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About The Region

Tuscany

Map of Tuscany wine region

Perhaps no region is tied to Italy’s reputation as a producer of fine wine as much as Tuscany. Since Etruscan times, viticulture has played a prominent role in this idyllic land of rolling hills, and the Tuscan winemaking tradition remains as strong as ever today. With a favorable Mediterranean climate, an undulating topography offering countless altitudes and expositions, and a wealth of poor, well-draining soils, conditions are ideal for crafting high-quality wines. Add to that the rich gastronomical tradition—Tuscany is home to some of the country’s finest game, pastas, salumi, and cheeses—and you have the blueprint for a world-class wine region.

This is Sangiovese territory; in fact, it is arguably the only place in the world where Sangiovese reaches a truly regal expression. In spite of a rocky history with fluctuations in quality, traditionally produced Chianti has reclaimed its status as one of the country’s most reliable, food-friendly reds, while the rapid rise of Brunello di Montalcino shows the grape’s potential for grandiose, opulent reds allying power and finesse. Traditionally-minded growers have stuck to using only indigenous grape varieties and employing techniques like aging in massive wooden casks known as botti, creating wines of terroir that shine at the Tuscan table.

Tuscan wines have had a place in our portfolio since Kermit’s first visit in 1977. While the names of the estates have changed, the spirit of those first unfiltered Chiantis he imported live on through our current selections.

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Old cob-webbed wine bottles

Living wines have ups and downs just as people do, periods of glory and dog days, too. If wine did not remind me of real life, I would not care about it so much.