This is the perfect wine for people who like the thought of Chianti but sometimes find the reality too lean and tangy. It has Sangiovese's earth-sweet tobacco and autumn-forest flavours, but it's plump and fleshy with a velvet texture and perfumed cherry fruit. It's polished and structured but slips down effortlessly – in other words, the flavour of Sangiovese but none of the potential pain.
The Montecucco wine region is in warmer southern Tuscany, sandwiched between Brunello di Montalcino to the north and Morellino di Scansano to the south, and the red wines (there are whites, too) have elements of both – the majesty of Brunello and the softer style of Morellino. They're not as well known as other Tuscan reds because the appellation is younger: it only came into being in 1998, barely 21 vintages ago. The DOC Rosso must be at least 70% Sangiovese, while DOCG Montecucco Sangiovese has to be a minimum of 90%.
This Rosso Riserva was fermented spontaneously, part in stainless steel and part in oak, and was then matured for another 18 months in oak (barriques and larger). Food? Game, mushrooms, roast pumpkin and root veg, cotecchino, duck, steak, lamb, lasagne – you'll find it versatile. 14%
Castello Collemassari Montecucco Rosso Riserva 2015, Tuscany, Italy
£14.99, Waitrose (78 branches) and waitrosecellar.com