How a “Legit” Cab Steps Out of Chianti

Lia Tolaini BanvilleThe story of Tolaini Cabernet Sauvignon Legit Toscana 2013 starts in the cellars of Tuscany’s Tolaini as estate owner and US Importer Lia Tolaini Banville (founder Perluigi Tolaini’s daughter) and her colleague Jeremy Hart were tasting barrels of vintage 2013 before blending.

It was a great vintage in Tuscany, so the tasting of the Sangiovese for both Chianti Classico and super-Tuscan blends shone brightly. The Merlot and Cabernet Franc used in the super-Tuscans? Superb.

And the Cabernet Sauvignon? Well, “pianissimo” it was not!

Wait! This Is World-Class Cab
Both Lia and Jeremy were stunned by how distinctively delicious the estate’s 2013 Cabernet was all by itself – not just a good blending wine but a “legit” world-class Cab. So they improvised and decided for the first – and perhaps only – time in the history of the estate, they’d bottle a 100% varietal Cabernet Sauvignon as legit as anything you’d fine in Napa.

The decision to bottle the Cab without adding any Merlot or Sangiovese reminded Jeremy of a quote from jazz icon Thelonious Monk:

“Don’t play everything, let some things go by. What you don’t play can be more important than what you do.”

Thelonious_Monk_in_ItalyA Tribute to Theolonious Monk
So they decided to make the wine a tribute to Monk. Lia’s son, Alex, began looking for images and discovered the stunning photograph from the cover of one of Monk’s greatest live albums, Thelonious Monk in Italy recorded live on April 21, 1961, in Milan. So Lia set out to procure the rights to use that image.

In the years since these amazing Cabernet grapes were harvested, Lia’s family and Monk’s children and descendants have become close and are now able to jointly celebrate the brilliance of great making of music and wine together. Now it’s time for you to join in the song.



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