While French wine styles are ingrained in Australia’s wine scene – we’re well and truly acquainted with varietals such as shiraz, cabernet, merlot and pinot noir – Italian reds are still on the fringes for many.

Mind you, when you fall in love with Italian reds you tend to fall head over heels – so it’s worth getting to know what’s on offer.

The Australian Wine Club has tapped our European connections to pull together a super-affordable mixed dozen of easygoing Italians, loaded with charm and style, and created by leading producers.

Among our treasures are a Tuscan sangiovese from an exciting region, a rich full-bodied blend of primitivo and negroamaro from Puglia in the south and a popular Valpolicella blend produced in the Veneto region in the northeast.

Also in the dozen is what our senior buyer in Italy, Leonardo Bassano, describes as a “rule-breaker”.

It’s a multi-regional, non-vintage red that combines ripe montepulciano and cherry-fresh sangiovese from Abruzzo with dark primitivo and spicy negroamaro from Puglia’s sun-baked vineyards. If you love intense, fruit-driven reds, this will tick the box. (See below for more details.)

To round out your Italian adventure, there’s the chance to add to your order a classy Barolo, stacked with those classic nebbiolo characters of rose petals, tar, dried herbs and liquorice. Perfect with good home-cooking in front of the fire. Salute!

Tenuta di Montecucco Passonaia 2019


This sangiovese-dominated blend hails from what Decanter magazine has described as “Tuscany’s last undiscovered” subregion. The area is Montecucco, which was designated in 1998 as a DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) and sits within Maremma, home to some of Italy’s most expensive and sought-after wines, such as Ornellaia, Sassicaia and Masseto.

Brambly dark fruit aromas beckon, with touches of roasted capsicum, sweet paprika and chorizo. Juicy and fresh on the palate: characteristic sour cherry flavours with smoky cedar in the background.

A bargain now – but expect to pay more before long. 14% alc; RRP $38 a bottle.

SPECIALS $28.99 a bottle in any dozen; $20.83 a bottle in Italian dozen.

Ultima Edizione NV


From a winery named Italy’s Winery of the Year three times comes this unique blend of montepulciano, sangiovese, primitivo and negroamaro. Winemaker Dennis Verdecchia selected these high-quality parcels from vineyards in Abruzzo and Puglia.

Vibrant dark berry aromas rise from the glass, leading to a velvety, intense palate of cherries, dark plums, tar, liquorice and spice. Medium- to full-bodied but easy drinking.

97 points from leading Italian wine critic Luca Maroni. 13.5% alc; RRP $28 a bottle.

SPECIALS $19.99 a bottle in any dozen; $20.83 a bottle in Italian dozen.

La Fonte d’Oro Negroamaro Primitivo 2020


Puglia, located in the heel of Italy’s “boot”, is well known for producing rich, ripe, full-bodied reds. This is a little more sophisticated: dark cherries, blackberries and satsuma plums shine brightly with a hint of smoky charcuterie and dark spices in the background.

Winemaker Simone Cortese dries the grapes for two weeks before pressing to extract the flavours. The wine was aged in oak for six months, adding layers of vanilla and spice to the fruit.

A treat, especially with a braised beef stew and winter vegetables. 14% alc; RRP $32 a bottle.

SPECIALS $24.99 a bottle in any dozen; $20.83 a bottle in Italian dozen.

Bartolomeo Lorenzi Rosso Veronese 2020


This wine is a Valpolicella blend produced in the Veneto region, primarily using the corvina grape. On the nose, you’ll find earthy complex aromas: tobacco, cherries, coffee, oregano and a hint of tomato. Fresh cherries and forest fruits drive the palate, with soft, well-integrated tannins flowing to a lingering finish.

A more-ish delight. 13% alc; RRP $25 a bottle.

SPECIALS $18.99 a bottle in any dozen; $20.83 a bottle in Italian dozen.

ITALIAN DOZEN Three bottles of each wine above for $20.83 a bottle. SAVE $119 a dozen.

15-BOTTLE DEAL Add three bottles of gold medal-winning Il Poeta Barolo 2017 (RRP $55 a bottle) for $24.67 a bottle across the 15 bottles.

Il Poeta Barolo 2017


Those classic Barolo aromas of rose flower, tar and dried herbs can’t be missed, along with violets and touches of nutmeg, mocha and liquorice. You’ll also find the firm tannins and high natural acid associated with thin-skinned nebbiolo, which was grown in the world-famous Piedmont region in Italy’s northwest.

Aged in oak for three years; best enjoyed with food – perhaps a mushroom risotto. Scored a gold medal at Mundus Vini in Germany. 14.5% alc; RRP $55 a bottle.

Order by simply clicking the links to our online store or telephone 1300 765 359 Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm AEST. Deals are available only while stocks last. The Australian Wine Club is a commercial partnership with Laithwaites Wine, LIQP770016550. Stockhead is partnering with The Australian Wine Club on this offer.