It’s hard to find a Tuscan wine that gets nearly universal praise and only costs around $10.

Monte Antico’s Tuscana is such a wine. I first found this wine in a small shop 5-6 years ago. I frequently buy it today. You’ll find it anywhere from $8.95 to $12.95 at shops everywhere. The Italian producer makes about 100,000 cases annually and they seem to make great juice with each vintage.

The inexpensive blend has 5% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 85% of the great Italian grape Sangiovese. Sangiovese is the base for most red Italian blends. You can also buy many great, inexpensive bottles of 100% Sangiovese at many shops.

The 2004 Monte Antico is just a very easy-to-drink wine. For those who’s Italian Red wine experience starts with things like the Riunite at the market, here as an easy step up financially for a great companion to any Italian dish. You get the fruit of the Sangiovese with the Cab and Merlot making it a well-rounded, enjoyable glass with food. It’s very smooth and goes great with pasta, pizza, or meat.

I’d call it medium bodied, at best. Wine drinkers who like big Cabs, Zins, or Syrah will find this a bit boring. But I have never grown tired of this fine little wine.

Again, you’ll find it everywhere. If you are just getting into wine – this one is a great buy, a great wine. Wine Spectator gave this little gem an 87 for its 2004 bottle.

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