WEEK THIRTY-THREE WINE: A 92 point Super Tuscan stunner!

The 2016 Tolaini Al Passo is a super Tuscan blend of Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon grown in the Chianti Classico region. "Al Passo" is a small circular forest with an interior passage ("al passo") at the highest point of the Tolaini vineyard with a breathtaking view of the towers of Siena and the towns of Montalcino and Montepulciano to the east. It was in Al Passo that Etruscan tombs and ruins were discovered and restored. With this wine, spicy notes of oak rise above distinct aromas of cherry and berry. The fruit purity and varietal signatures are testament to the meticulous care given to the vines.

Varietal Composition: 34% Sangiovese, 33% Merlot, 33% Cabernet Sauvignon
Appellation: Toscana IGT
Aging: 6 months on lees in French barriques and oak fermenters, followed by 8 months in French barriques, 20% new, and finally 12 additional months in bottle prior to release

92 Points, "Smart Buys" - Wine Spectator
"Black currant fruit signals this supple red, focused by refined tannins and bright acidity. Cedar, iron and tobacco notes add depth as this winds down on the long finish. Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Drink now through 2027. 9,150 cases made, 6,000 cases imported." -BS, 10/15/19

92 Points - Wine Advocate
"There are three grapes here in more or less equal measure: Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. You'll find sturdy notes of tilled earth in the 2016 Al Passo, with lots of intensity and ripe fruit. It would make a nice pairing with a good old spaghetti al ragù. The wine is balanced and bright without too much concentration or heft. It feels very Tuscan. This is Tolaini's base wine, of which they produced a massive 100,000 bottles in this vintage, and you get excellent value." -ML, 9/19/19

91 Points - Vinous
"The 2016 Al Passo, Tolaini's Sangiovese/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot blend is bold and juicy, not to mention absolutely delicious. Fresh, vibrant and full of character, the 2016 hits all the right notes. Sangiovese red fruits are nicely pushed forward. Al Passo is such a pretty and inviting wine in 2017. I very much like the energy here. Bright aromatic top notes add a kick of energy on the finish." -AG, Mar/2020