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90+pt Under $15 Italian Reds

There are over 2500 different varietals in production in Italy, according to the DOC. 99% of them you, or anyone else I know, have never heard of before. From time to time its fun to find these little gems and experience new and exciting wines.

Today’s offering is a true Tour of Italy. From the north to the south, grapes you never heard of but will want to try. All are under $15 a bottle so it’s easy top try them all. Mix and match if you want and still get the case discounts. These fun reds will sure to please. You may even find a new favorite red. I did while finding them for you.


2014 Librandi * Cirò Rosso- Calabria
90pts JS
$11.50btl or $124.20cs

Librandi offers one of the most purest expressions of Gaglioppo on the market today. The 2014 Cirò Rosso is a very informal wine that, served slightly chilled, could pair with fried zucchini flowers or crispy rice balls. The wine opens to a lean garnet color with aromas of sour cherry and thorny raspberry. Dark wild berries, herbs, spices and licorice are just some of the nuances that flow from this mid-weight red.


2012 Carmino Zanchi * Ciliegiolo- Umbria
90pts JS
$11.99btl or $129.49cs

The 2012 Ciliegiolo reveals a hearty and rustic personality that will appeal to those looking to explore new taste frontiers. This pure expression of the Ciliegiolo grape shows dark fruit tones with lingering spice and some herbs on the finish such as chopped rosemary or oregano. That dark fruit element is the protagonist and compliments those green background notes. The finish shows some snappy acidity to close.


2013 de Tarczal * Marzemino- Trentino
91pts JS
$13.50btl or $145.80cs

A pure expression of the little-known Marzemino grape, the 2013 is a thorny and sharp red wine with almond tones backed by grilled rosemary and sour cherry. The wine ages in large oak casks for 18 months. This is a crisp red wine from the far North of Italy that should be paired with cheesy pasta or lasagna. The wine has the natural acidity to cut through the fat in those dishes. Only 5,000 bottles were produced.


2015 Masseria Altemura * Primitivo- Puliga
91pts JS
$13.50btl or $145.80cs

The wine opens to soft lines and thick consistency with sweet tannins and plump, purple fruit flavors. This Primitivo sees a brief aging period in French tonneaux but is otherwise focused on portraying those luscious, primary fruit aromas of dark chewy raspberries. The mouthfeel shows some edginess with bright acidity but with textural richness. For the true Zinfandel lover!