B-21 Top Recommendation
Not far from the Tuscan coast – equidistant from Livorno and Pisa – nestled 1,000 feet above sea level, rests the ancient village of Ghizzano. As economic turmoil in the 1980s all but vanquished its few hundred inhabitants, Pierfrancesco Venerosi Pesciolini remained. Descendant of the original Pesciolinis who established Tenuta Ghizzano in the 14th century, the village itself and its most important wine estate were in his hands. Pierfrancesco partnered with famed agronomist PierMario Meletti Cavallari (Grattamacco), identifying the perfect clone of Sangiovese for these gently rolling hills, later incorporating Cabernet to their estate. Towards producing world-class wines, Pierfrancesco replanted his vineyards from a mere 2,500 plants per hectare (high volume, low quality wines) to an astonishing 6,600 plants per hectare (First Growth Bordeaux, by example, are planted at 10,000). Pierfrancesco then launched Veneroso, in 1985. Named in honor of Ghizzano's historical wine legend, Veneroso Venerosi the inaugural release garnered top honors in Gambero Rosso. And the 2012 is among the finest I've tasted. Deeply, darkly fruited, with all the elegance and minerality of top vintages, this is one of Tuscany's most brilliant wines – one you should know; one I truly adore.