Tolaini Legit Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
#13 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2020
The wine has a deep ruby red color. The nose displays hints of green pepper, licorice and graphite melted with oak vanilla flavors. Full bodied with a ripe fruit palate, LEGIT has the potential to age for a long period of time, which is typical of the Cabernet Sauvignon produced in the Castelnuovo Berardenga Area.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Here's a fun Tuscan red with what appears to be a jazz or R&B pianist depicted on the front label, oozing all kinds of Millennial appeal. The Tolaini 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Legit plays the role thanks to the legitimate darkness, sultriness and suppleness of the mouthfeel. Dark fruit and blackberry are followed by light spice, earth and tobacco. This is a balanced and fruit-forward red that will jazz up any steak-frites dinner served in a tavern with cigar smoke hanging heavy, if such a thing exists any more. And while it may not be priced perfectly for the walk-up, top-floor Brooklyn set, this wine is definitely "on point."
Pierluigi Tolaini, a native of Tuscany, immigrated to Canada in 1956. He planned to work a few years, make some money, then go back home, buy a farm, marry his high school sweetheart and make some good wine... and not with his feet this time! It took Pierluigi 45 years before he returned with a clear vision of the high quality wine he wanted to make: one of Italy's best, no less. In 1998 he returned to his native land and purchased some of the best land in the region of Chianti Classico in the noted commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga. He constructed, from the roots up, this state-of-the-art winery and brought together the best technology and winemakers to bring to light wines that would be a true expression of this significant region. Pierluigi hired famed enologist Michel Rolland and Tuscan agronomist Andrea Paoletti, who put together a team that share Pierluigi's vision - to make the best wines possible with one vitally unique ingredient - the terroir of Chianti Classico's southern most commune: Castelnuovo Berardenga . A true marriage of tradition and modern technology. The belief in the "best fruit produces the best wine" is the fundamental principal of the Tolaini estate. High density planting per hectare and low yield per plant is a proven strategy worldwide in producing excellent quality fruit. With up to 11,500 plants per hectare in the less hilly vineyards, drip irrigation for each plant, and two green harvests to pre-select the healthiest and most promising bunches on the vine, the Tolaini property produces fruit of unsurpassable quality. This fruit is evident in every mouthful of the estate's four incredible red wines.
Ruggero Mazzilli is Tolaini's consulting agronomist and is based in Gaiole in Chianti where he is the owner and founder of SPEVIS (The Experimental Station for Sustainable Viticulture). Under Ruggero's supervision Panzano in Chianti became the first Bio-Distretto (Organic District) in the world, immediately followed by San Gimignano and Gaiole in Chianti. SPEVIS works with the best scientific research institutes to find new solutions to practical vineyard issues by following the principles of organic agriculture and respectful environmental practices. With Ruggero as part of the team, Tolaini will continue to cultivate the maximum expression of Chianti Classico terroir while farming organically and sustainably.
Like the vineyards surrounding it, the winery at Tolaini Estate is an expression of both old and new. An optical sorter guarantees that only the healthy whole grapes make it into the fermentation vats. The best grapes from each harvest are fermented in open-top fermenters made of French Allier oak (12 units of 4500 liter capacity), a time-proven touch that increases the complexity in the wines. The generous array of tank sizes allows for individual parcels of grapes to be fermented and stored separately. These batches are kept apart through subsequent barrel aging in new French oak before blending. Today Luca D'Attoma is the consulting oenologist and his hand is apparent starting with the 2015 vintage of Tolaini.
Tolaini wines are known internationally for their impeccable quality and incredible taste. With each new vintage they continue to innovate and impress.
Legendary in Italy for its Renaissance art and striking landscape, Tuscany is also home to many of the country’s best red wines. Sangiovese reigns supreme here, as either the single varietal, or a dominant player, in almost all of Tuscany’s best.
A remarkable Chianti, named for its region of origin, will have a bright acidity, supple tannins and plenty of cherry fruit character. From the hills and valleys surrounding the medieval village of Montalcino, come the distinguished and age-worthy wines based on Brunello (Sangiovese). Earning global acclaim since the 1970s, the Tuscan Blends are composed solely of international grape varieties or a mix of international and Sangiovese. The wine called Vine Nobile di Montepulciano, composed of Prognolo Gentile (Sangiovese) and is recognized both for finesse and power.