Anteprima Vini Della Costa Toscana 2024. A journey through the unique wines of the Tuscan coast.

Richard Baudains attended the Anteprima Vini Della Costa Toscana 2024.
He highlights what lies behind the richness of this wine district.

It is an obvious point, but to clear the ground at the outset, the Costa Toscana is not a single viticultural unit, and it is not even entirely coastal in the usual sense of the word. Although all five provinces in the show have a coastline, many important DOCs stretch a long way inland. The strength of the grouping presented at the event is its diversity. The area which takes in Tuscany’s biggest province, Grosseto, and one of its smallest, Massa e Carrara is extremely  heterogeneous.  In his Wine Atlas of Italy (1990) Burton Andersan, with his gift for synthesis, divided what he called the Coastal Flank into the Northwest, on the border with Liguria, the Maritime Hills and the Maremma, but even within these macro-areas there are numerous terroirs with very specific characterisitcs.

On the ascending temperature scale from A (coolest) to F (warmest) all the provinces fall in the official climate zone “D”, but there are significant differences in rainfall and summer temperatures across the region. Lucca and Massa in the northwest have some of the highest rainfalls in Italy, while coastal areas of the province of Grosseto suffer the risk of severe drought and desertification. Soils vary greatly from the sand and silt of the coast through clay to the stony calcareous marl of hills in land.

The coastal regions count a total of 27 DOC/DOCGs, and although a great number are little exploited, they include prestige denominations like Bolgheri and the widely used Maremma Toscana DOC. The catch all IGT Costa Toscana  extends over all five provinces and appears on the labels of a number of individual premium and super premium wines.

Vermentino is the present in all five provinces, is the principle variety in Massa e Carrara and is expanding rapidly in Maremma.  Ansonica has its own DOC on the Grosseto coast and Trebbiano is the base for the Pitigliano DOC in the same province. There are pockets of sangiovese production, at Montecucco and at Scansano for example, but the variety is much less present than in the centre of the region. Amongst the other native red grapes, ciliegiolo is enjoying a revival, but it is the international varieties which predominate in terms of volume and prestige.

While all this divesity makes it difficult to characterise the wines of the coast as a whole, except in very general terms, it is exactly this feature which makes the Anteprima show, first held in 2002,  so attractive. One of its great virtues is that, alongisde high profile denominations like Bolgheri, it gives visibility to small scale productions which otherwise can easily slip under the radar, offering tasting opportunites of varieties like the Ansonica of the island of Giglio or the Pollera of Massa Carrara which rarely leave their own local areas.

Top Tastes

I tasted, blind, all 66 wines available at the press tasting. Here are my favourites, in alphabetical order of producer.

  • Adonaevini,  IGT Toscana, Lupercalia 2020

Sangiovese/cabernet/malvasia nera blend with ripe fruit, mature Maremma tannins and enticing spicy finish

  • Agricola Calafata, IGT Toscana, 2021

Typical florals and red fruit of Sangiovese from Lucca, fresh and vibrant with fine tannins and super length

  • Azienda Agricola Gli Archi,  IGT Toscana, Amelia 2020

Cabernet franc from the hills of Pisa, a little funky but intriguing earthy aromas and great natural tannins

  • Azienda Agricola Pascale, Colli di Luni Vermentino, I Pilastri 2023

Fresh and zippy, with green apple and wild herbs and a long dry finish, classic terroir Vermentino

  • Caiarossa,  IGT Toscana, Caiarossa 2020

From the hils of Riparbella, saturated inky puple shade, great concentration and complexity, super-refined tannins and dense fruit finish.

  • Castello di Bolgheri, Bolgheri Superiore 2021

Exemplary Bolgheri elegance, fine weave tannins and great fruit concentration, still quite compressed, but with a radiant future

  • Fattoria La Torre, IGT Toscana, Esse 2018

Syrah from Montecarlo, with ripe fruit and tannins, lots of volume and great freshness in the finish.

  • Fattoria Sardi,  IGT Toscana, Sebastiano 2022

Cabernet sauvignon/petit verdot from the hills of Lucca: slightly off-centre earthiness, but great cassis fruit and energy.

  • Le Palaie,  IGT Toscana, Bulizio 2021

Bordeaux blend from Pisa hills with nice hints of spice and wood ash, mid-weight, elegant Cabernet tannins and great fruit concentration in the finish

  • Morisfarms, Morellino di Scansano, Moris 2020

Intense violets and blackberry nose and the fresh, juicy agility of Morellino on the palate, still looking very young.

  • Podere  La Regola, IGT Costa Toscana, La Regola 2020

A punchy Cabernet Franc from Riparbella with great fruit concentration, fleshy palate and lots of ageing potential

  • Poggio Levante, Maremma Toscana, Ovvìa 2019

A lovely, mature, Mediterranean sangiovese with sweet ripe red fruit, orange peel and herbs on the nose and a satisfyingly round palate.

  • Società Agricola Petra, IGT Toscana, Petra 2020

Bordeaux blend with the structure and depth of the wines of Suvereto, rich and plummy with notes of tar and wood smoke.

  • Tenuta Campo al Signore, Bolgheri Superiore 2021

Another very young Bolgheri, showing the style of the excellent vintage, firm structure and grippy finish.

  • Tenuta di Valgiano, Colline Lucchesi, Palistorti 2022T

Sangiovese/merlot/syrah: toothsome, smoky and rich with wild berries and raunchy tannins

  • Tenuta Il Quinto, IGT Toscana, Guardoalto 2021

Sangiovese/cabernet blend from Magliano with wild berries and Mediterranean herbs on the nose and a long grippy finish

  • Terenzuola, IGT Toscana, La Merla 2021

Canaiolo and barsaglina grapes, from the predominantly white wine area of Massa e Carrara: soft and juicy, pale red with bright cherry and violets and hints of white pepper

  • Valdonica, Maremma Toscana, Arnaio 2022

All-native grape cuvée with great personality, floral nose, and broad palate with a plummy finish

  • Valle del Sole, IGT Toscana, Ebrius 2021

Very representative. mid-weight, Lucca hills Sangiovese, with an earthy-floral nose, some pointy edges but great intensity and natural progression on the palate


Takeaways from the Show

  • The IGT Costa Toscana may have some resonance as a brand, but it does nothing to communicate the sense of place of the specific terroirs along the coast.  The IGT Toscana does even less.
  • Vermentino is very uneven in quality and style outside its traditional growing areas in the northwest.
  • Lucca remains (with few exceptions) unrepentantly funky, while Pisa (with some notable exceptions) is enologically conventional.
  • The red wines of the Maremma showed great consistency across the various sub-zones
  • The stand out vintage of the show was 2021.
  • The micro-productions of the rare Pollera grape are a reason to return to the show next year



Photo Credits: METADV, Matilde Pardini.

Filippo Magnani

Tuscany – Italy
T: +39 335 53 477 04
O: +39 0565 82 70 44

© Filippo Magnani

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