New Tuscan Reds From Tenuta di Ghizzano

Ghizzano Cellars

Cellars of Tenuta di Ghizzano

Photo byEnrico Parrini

Tuscany is home to several of Italy's most renowned red wines, most notably Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Chianti Classico. While those wines, along with the famous blends from Bolgheri receive great attention, there are other regional reds that excel. One estate that has been producing these for over 30 years is Tenuta di Ghizzano.

Located in the small village of Ghizzano near the Tuscan coast about 40 miles south of Pisa, Tenuta di Ghizzano is the property of the Venerosi Pesciolini family, which settled here in the 14th century. Today, Ginevra Venerosi Pesciolini runs the property, and produces several wines as well as olive oil; she runs, according to Gambero Rosso, one of Italy's most famous wine publications, "un impresa straordinaria," (an outstanding operation).

At the heart of this winery are two singular reds, blended from indigenous and so-called international varieties. One, named Veneroso, was the first wine produced at Tenuta di Ghizzano back in 1985; this is primarily Sangiovese with a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. The second, known as Nambrot, employs Bordeaux varieties. Initially produced in 1996 exclusively from Merlot, the wine is now a blend of Merlot along with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.


What's interesting about these wines is that this area is part of the Chianti district, known as Chianti Colline Pisani. There used to be a Chianti made here, but that wine is no longer, a decision based no doubt on image. The wine was well made, but was more of a simple Tuscan red meant for short term consumption. Best then for the estate to focus on blended reds, which others call Super Tuscans, but I will not, for fear of comparison with more famous - and more expensive - reds from the region. Tenuta di Ghizzano is doing quite well in critical circles with these two wines, a sign that excellent reds wines emerge from several areas of Tuscany.


Notes on Tenuta di Ghizzano wines:

Tenuta di Ghizzano “Venoroso” 2015 (Terre di Pisa Rosso) - A blend of 70% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby red; aromas of black cherry, cedar and tobacco leaf. Medium-full with excellent concentration. This is very ripe with balanced acidity, medium-weight tannins that are nicely handled, and very good persistence. This is ripe and forward and has very good complexity, but the wood notes are far too strong. Best in 5-7 years. Very Good


Tenuta di Ghizzano “Nambrot” 2016 (Costa Toscana IGT) - A blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Petit Verdot. Deep ruby red/light purple. Black currant, cranberry and clove aromas. Medium-full, this has excellent ripeness, elegantly styled tannins, good acidity, and notable persistence. Somewhat forward, this is a beautifully-made modern Tuscan blend with excellent appeal now, although it is structured for optimum enjoyment in another 7-10 years. Outstanding



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Tuscany is home to several of Italy's most renowned red wines, most notably Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and Chianti Classico. While those wines, along with the famous blends from Bolgheri receive great attention, there are other regional reds that excel. One estate that has been producing these for over 30 years is Tenuta di Ghizzano.

Located in the small village of Ghizzano near the Tuscan coast about 40 miles south of Pisa, Tenuta di Ghizzano is the property of the Venerosi Pesciolini family, which settled here in the 14th century. Today, Ginevra Venerosi Pesciolini runs the property, and produces several wines as well as olive oil; she runs, according to Gambero Rosso, one of Italy's most famous wine publications, "un impresa straordinaria," (an outstanding operation).

At the heart of this winery are two singular reds, blended from indigenous and so-called international varieties. One, named Veneroso, was the first wine produced at Tenuta di Ghizzano back in 1985; this is primarily Sangiovese with a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. The second, known as Nambrot, employs Bordeaux varieties. Initially produced in 1996 exclusively from Merlot, the wine is now a blend of Merlot along with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.


What's interesting about these wines is that this area is part of the Chianti district, known as Chianti Colline Pisani. There used to be a Chianti made here, but that wine is no longer, a decision based no doubt on image. The wine was well made, but was more of a simple Tuscan red meant for short term consumption. Best then for the estate to focus on blended reds, which others call Super Tuscans, but I will not, for fear of comparison with more famous - and more expensive - reds from the region. Tenuta di Ghizzano is doing quite well in critical circles with these two wines, a sign that excellent reds wines emerge from several areas of Tuscany.


Notes on Tenuta di Ghizzano wines:

Tenuta di Ghizzano “Venoroso” 2015 (Terre di Pisa Rosso) - A blend of 70% Sangiovese, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby red; aromas of black cherry, cedar and tobacco leaf. Medium-full with excellent concentration. This is very ripe with balanced acidity, medium-weight tannins that are nicely handled, and very good persistence. This is ripe and forward and has very good complexity, but the wood notes are far too strong. Best in 5-7 years. Very Good


Tenuta di Ghizzano “Nambrot” 2016 (Costa Toscana IGT) - A blend of 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Petit Verdot. Deep ruby red/light purple. Black currant, cranberry and clove aromas. Medium-full, this has excellent ripeness, elegantly styled tannins, good acidity, and notable persistence. Somewhat forward, this is a beautifully-made modern Tuscan blend with excellent appeal now, although it is structured for optimum enjoyment in another 7-10 years. Outstanding



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I am a Chicago-based wine writer, educator and photographer, with 39 years of experience in the wine industry. For the past 20 years, I have been a freelancer, writing

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