2012 Erik Banti "Carato" Toscana

SKU #1173251 Wine Enthusiast

 *Best Buy* This bright blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo discloses aromas of ripe berry and cooking spice. The soft, easy-drinking palate offers black cherry, white pepper and grilled sage alongside round tannins. (KO)  (7/2015)

K&L Notes

This Carato is a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot, and 10% Ciliegiolo and is just delicious: full, fleshy, voluptuous, sumptuous, truly hedonistic. We think at this price you too will be saying wow!

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Price: $8.99
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Staff Image By: John Downing | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/5/2016 | Send Email
Banti's "Carato" is definitely one of our best buy Italian reds and the 2012 is a winner! There's a bit more Syrah in this blend which adds an additional layer of spiciness to an already outstanding wine. At $8.99 it's a steal.

Staff Image By: Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/26/2016 | Send Email
The nose gives up earthy, baked plum and berry fruit, with light herb accents. Supple, darker fruited, and medium-bodied on the palate, there’s a whisper of tannin and vanilla, and a more tart rather than sweet bias. In short, this is a home run of an everyday wine, right where you want it to be for immediate enjoyment, and priced so that you can buy it in quantity, and uncork bottles wantonly.

Staff Image By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/19/2015 | Send Email
Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Full Glass Empty
Erik Banti’s Carato is a Mini Super Tuscan! It’s a blend of 75% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot and 10% Ciliegiolo aged for 10 months in oak barrels and is just delicious. The wine tastes like it should cost much more, full, smooth, flavorful with excellent balance. A K&L Direct Import that offers you extraordinary value, and at this price you will be saying--Wow!
Drink from 2015 to 2017

Staff Image By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/31/2015 | Send Email
This "baby Chianti" from Erik Banti has been a hit since the first 2009 vintage we picked up. Bright cherry fruit, earth, and touch of mineral quality give this 2012 Carato great balance. Untouchable value at $9 for a quality everyday red!

Staff Image By: Randy Hagerman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/28/2015 | Send Email
This is a perfect everyday food wine that won't hurt your wallet. I cannot believe this wine sells for under $10! The touch of earthiness juxtaposes perfectly with the bright red fruit and racy acidity. It's impossible to overstate the value this red presents!

Staff Image By: David Driscoll | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/10/2015 | Send Email
This just a whole lotta Sangiovese flavor for an incredibly reasonable price. The Carato really tastes like a baby Chianti and it's less than $10. Dark cherry, dusty earth. Seriously?

Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/9/2015 | Send Email
This is a ton of classic Sangiovese for 9 bucks. A beautiful blend of 3/4 Sangiovese, plus some Merlot and Ciliegiolo to balance everything out. A truly outstanding value at 9 dollars, this wine delivers ripe and fleshy fruit with the structure to balance. You certainly won't regret trying a bottle and you might find your new everyday Italian red. Cheers!

Staff Image By: Kyle Kurani | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/31/2015 | Send Email
Year in and year out the Carato is offers one of the best values for red in the entire store. Bright and lively, pretty red cherry, lifted raspberry notes, give way to a finish with just a hint of earth and spice. The classic profile of Tuscany all for an amazing price.

Staff Image By: John Majeski | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/26/2015 | Send Email
Opened another bottle of this yesterday just to see if my early notes were somehow hyperbole. Nope, this giveaway value is the real deal, an amazing baby Tuscan with super-luscious flavors of ripe cherry, dark plum, nice spice and a kiss of oak to satisfy your ardent craving for that perfect everyday red to go with virtually anything consumable by a human being on the planet Earth… ok, maybe not anything, there I go exaggerating again. You’ll know.
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Sarah Covey | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/10/2015 | Send Email
Every time I try a new vintage of this wine, I am reminded of how ridiculous this is for the price! The gorgeous Sangiovese stands out in this blend, with red cherry and sandalwood, the Merlot lends a little plummy fleshiness and the 10% Ciliegiolo a bit of mineral and delight. Seriously too good not to tuck away a few cases for your house wine! Fabulous with pizza, burgers, roasted chicken, antipasto--Salute!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2014 | Send Email
A great buy. A nice medium-bodied wine with expressive fruit flavors that are balanced with a nice dry finish. It will be good alone, or with pizza, pasta and lighter meat dishes. A lot of wine for this price.

Staff Image By: Mike Parres | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/24/2014 | Send Email
I just opened this for our staff tasting recently and this little “Tuscan blend” stopped the show, with lots of oohs and ahhs from my coworkers. This wine has lots of bang for the buck (or EURO, very tough to beat these days). Medium–bodied with dark fruit, good acidity and a really long finish.

Additional Information:



- The most widely planted grape in Italy is Sangiovese, a high-acid grape with moderate to high tannins, apparent earthiness and subtle fruit. It is thought to have originated in Tuscany and its name, which translates to "blood of Jove," leads historians to believe it may date all the way back to the Etruscan period, though historical mentions only go as far back as the early 1700s. Though planted all over modern Italy, the most significant wines made from Sangiovese still come from Tuscany: Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino. Sangiovese must make up 75% of a blend from the Chianti DOCG t be labeled as such, traditionally allowing for Canaiolo, Trebbiano and Malvasia for the remainder, though more recently small proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot have been allowed. In Brunello di Montalcino the wine must be made entirely of Sangiovese. Prugnolo is Montepulciano's name for Sangiovese, and it is used there for the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano wines. In the DOC of Carmignano Sangiovese can be blended with 20% Cabernet Sauvignon. There are also Super Tuscans, IGT wines that blend Sangiovese with large proportions of Cabernet or Merlot. Elsewhere in Italy it is a workhorse grape, though it does find some success (though not the longevity) in the Montefalco and Torgiano wines of Umbria as well as the foundation of Rosso Piceno and a significant element of Rosso Conero from the Marches. Like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese has struggled to find footing outside of Italy, though in recent years California wineries have been having better fortune with grape plantings in the Sierra Foothills/El Dorado County, as well as Sonoma County and the Central Coast.


- Once named Enotria for its abundant vineyards, Italy (thanks to the ancient Greeks and Romans) has had an enormous impact on the wine world. From the shores of Italy, the Romans brought grapes and their winemaking techniques to North Africa, Spain and Portugal, Germany, France, the Danube Valley, the Middle East and even England. Modern Italy, which didn't actually exist as a country until the 1870s, once produced mainly simple, everyday wine. It wasn't until the 1970s that Italy began the change toward quality. The 1980s showed incredible efforts and a lot of experimentation. The 1990s marked the real jump in consistent quality, including excellence in many Region that had been indistinct for ages. The entire Italian peninsula is seeing a winemaking revolution and is now one of the most exciting wine Region in the world. For our entire Italian wine selection, click here. Click for a list of bestselling items from all of Italy.


Specific Appellation:

Super Tuscan

Alcohol Content (%): 13.5