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Chianti or sangio-blend Italian wine suggestions - sub $11?

souvenir May 18, 2008 12:46 PM

I tend to be a person who drinks, if you will, locally- California wines when I'm in California, French wines when I'm in France, Italian when in Italy... you get the idea. Of course I do buy "foreign" wines to where I'm located, just not as much.

A recent thread had some posters discounting Cal-Ital wines in general. So even though I am currently in northern Cal, I am curious to spend some time comparing California sangioveses with Italian.. As a fairly random starting point, would love to hear about your Italian favorites under $11 for everyday drinking that are fairly readily available.


  1. TonyO May 18, 2008 12:52 PM

    Almost anything from Falesco seems to be a great value.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TonyO
      souvenir May 18, 2008 01:02 PM

      I'll put it on the list. My only immediate memory was that I have had some Vitiano vintages before and was underwhelmed... Any more specific recs? Thanks for the quick response.

      1. re: souvenir
        TonyO May 18, 2008 01:06 PM

        You're welcome. I'll check some notes and post.

    2. b
      BN1 May 18, 2008 01:26 PM

      I agree completely about Falesco.
      Other good ones (don’t know current prices):
      ‘03 I Mori, Chianti Classico, $6.95
      ‘03 Banfi, Chianti Classico, 3 cases, $9.99
      ‘03 Fazi Battaglia, Sangiovese, Estate, from Le Marche, $9.99
      One of the best, I’ve found really good wines from Le Marche
      ‘03 Castello di Fabbrica, Chianti Classico Reserva, $8.95
      ‘04 Conti Contini, Sangiovese, $11.00
      These prices are from the various discount wine shops in Los Angeles.

      1 Reply
      1. re: BN1
        souvenir May 18, 2008 03:47 PM

        Great- thanks much!

      2. ChefJune May 19, 2008 08:18 AM

        Cetamura, the everyday Chianti from Badia a Coltibuono is about $8.

        agree about Falesco.

        Banfi has a blend called Col di Sasso of Sangiovese with Cabernet for around $6. good value.

        1. s
          souvenir May 19, 2008 10:22 AM

          Thanks for ongoing suggestions. Please keep them coming. Ran out of time yesterday and was only able to check for what is currently at my local market (armed with the suggestions that had come in by that time). Not much to choose from sub $11. Think the strength of the euro is a factor.

          I'm pretty sure that the 2006 version of the Badia a Coltibuono Cetamura Chianti was there. Also Banfi Centine Toscana, it was either the 2004 or 2005.

          In the next couple of days, I'll make time for wine store visits. Thanks again everyone!

          1. b
            BN1 May 19, 2008 11:07 AM

            I was looking at 2005 Antinori Santa Christina Sangiovese on a website wine list. I haven’t tried this in several years, but I know 2005 is a great year in Tuscany, so I looked for reviews on the internet. They were all positive, some were very high for this really inexpensive Sangiovese, Merlot blend. The restaurant was closed on Sunday, so I didn't try it.

            2 Replies
            1. re: BN1
              ChefJune May 19, 2008 11:38 AM

              The Santa Cristina is similar to the Cetamura. both are good everyday wines, and when you get a few more $$ to spend their next level up is delicious, too!

              1. re: ChefJune
                souvenir May 19, 2008 11:55 AM

                Once I get some trying of the current ~$11 and under out of the way, then I will start a thread on the next level, say ~$12-18 or 19?

            2. waitress May 22, 2008 07:50 AM

              Badiola- 75% sangio 25% merlot- yummy-

              should be $11 or $12
              not a big fruit bomb, medium body with earthy notes.

              1. scrappydog May 22, 2008 08:06 AM

                At about $10 to $11 locally (SOCAL), the Monte Antico Rosso, a Tuscan Sangiovese, is an excellent wine for the money. Fairly widely available.

                1. s
                  souvenir May 22, 2008 09:21 AM

                  Thanks very much for the continuing recs!

                  I came down with a cold Monday night, so tasting reds is delayed for a few days (seems to be mild and going away pretty quickly happily, tho taste buds are still off).

                  At this price point, I can go ahead and buy all the recs I find, and look forward to trying them soon.

                  1. SteveTimko May 24, 2008 08:50 AM

                    Wow, I can't believe no one's mentioned Di Majo Norante. The 2005 was a bad vintage, I guess, but usually it's a great wine. It sells for $8 to $10, typically.
                    Vino Noceto is a very nice Amador sangiovese. It's about $15.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SteveTimko
                      souvenir May 24, 2008 12:08 PM

                      Thanks Steve T. I returned to this thread right now to print it out and found your suggestions.

                      I agree with you about Vino Noceto. I posted some pleased comments about their current release of their everyday Nutz blend (2006) on another thread. We drink a lot of Vino Noceto sangios and recent discussions on this board have made me interested to try some comparably priced Italian made sangios/blends.

                      I am heading to a couple of different wine stores this afternoon. Am crossing my fingers to find at least some of the wines suggested on this thread. Will report back.

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