James Suckling 94
A really endearing red that shows dried herbs, fresh blueberries, tobacco and cedar. Lithe and very tangy on the palate, which is medium-to full-bodied, elegant and dialed-in. The fine tannins add to a delicate but muscular impression on the medium-chewy finish. Drink now. JS (JS)
Wine Advocate 92
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 rag. 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 (WA)
Wine Spectator 92
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. BS (WS)
Equal parts Sangiovese, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes are first selected during harvest in the vineyard and then on the sorting table when they arrive at the winery; they are destemmed and the whole berries are immediately put into stainless steel fermentation tanks and a portion into French oak fermenters. The wine spends 6 months on the lees in French oak fermenting tanks and in French oak barriques (20 new and 80 used one year) and then 8 months in barriques (20 new).
The name of this wine comes from the passo found in the circular forest at the highest point of the Montebello vineyard where an Estruscan tomb was uncovered only a few years ago. From here there is a clear view of Montepulciano, Montalcino, and the tower of Piazza del Campo in Siena. This has clearly been a magical place for centuries, which adds to the mystique of this passo.
Tolaini WineryView all from Tolaini Winery
The harvested grapes, once debunched, go through the optical selection machine where the grapes must meet the preset criteria to pass through: any small, green or squished grapes and all debris are ejected and only the ripe whole grapes make it into the vats. The vats are cooled to 5C-10C (41F - 50F) and the grapes are added whole to each tank for a cold soak before natural selected yeast strains are added to initiate fermentation. Vinification at Tolaini is done in 26 stainless steel temperature-controlled tanks with a two chamber system, while 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 barrels between 18-25hl before blending.