Tuscany, Italy, WINE

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In terms of iconic imagery, Tuscany defines Italian wine, but romanticism aside, the wines themselves have also come to define Italian wine and for good reason. Tuscany's various DOCs and DOCGs represent numerous micro-climates, each of which puts its own mark of identity on the region's almost ubiquitous and most important workhorse grape, Sangiovese. A plethora of other red varietals also thrive here, including the indigenous Canaiolo and Colorino, and more famoustly, the regal Bordeaux variets Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The latter two are responsible for the rise of what is arguably Tuscany's greatest modern claim to wine fame.

Along the warm, coastal regions, growers realized some decades back the potential for crafting utterly profound Bordeaux blends, but this practice ran afoul of Italy's Byzantine wine regulations. Undaunted, the mavericks pressed ahead and created their own unofficial designation and wine category. Thus were born Indicazione Geografica Tipica and the Super Tuscan reds. Morello di Scansano and Maremma produce admirably drinkable red blends, but the tiny DOC of Bolgheri, just south of Livorno, is the epicenter of the movement, and its reputation today is such that its finest wines command prices equaling those of the greatest estates of Bordeaux.

Farther inland in Tuscany, Sangiovese still reigns and a host of DOCs and DOCGs make prolific use of it. Chianti is easily the most famous wine region in Tuscany, and indeed in all of Italy. Unfortunately, this is much due to the mid-20th century practice of producing underripe or oxidative swill in kitschy wicker-wrapped bottles. Today, however, Chianti's producers have returned to their illustrious heritage of centuries past, and eight sub-zones now delineate geographic differences within the wider region, Chianti Classico and Chianti Rufino the finest among them.

The most prestigious, officially-designated DOCG wine region in Tuscany is Brunello di Montalcino, where the wines are made exclusively from Sangiovese grown on the hillsides surrounding the lofty village of Montalcino. Today, there is a push and pull between modernists and traditionalists, but regardless, the wines always display characteristic structure, deeply complex flavors, and world-class longevity. The Rosso di Montalcino DOC is the region's second tier of quality designation with more relaxed production rules. Just over a low set of hills, another of Tuscany's iconic hill towns bears its own mark of quality. Much like Brunello di Montalcino, the Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG adheres to strict geographic, vinification, and aging rules for its Sangiovese-based wines (here known as Prugnolo Gentile). The wines show a characteristic richness similar to those of Montalcino, but the aromatics are decidedly more high-toned and elegant. Its second tier quality designation is the Rosso di Montepulciano DOC.

While Tuscany is unquestionably defined by its red wines, a handful of noteworthy white wine DOCs exist, most famously the San Gimignano region, which produces Tuscany's only white DOCG wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano. There are also a few obscure, but world-class, categories of sweet wines in the form the white Vin Santo and red Passito styles.

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95 points James Suckling: This is very complex with smoke, meat, cherry and spice character that follows through to a full body. The palate grows with more spice and polished tannins. A fantastic wine. Drink in 2020. (9/11/18) ...
JS 95
WA 94
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Le Pupille Toscana Poggio Valente 2015  (#332449)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

95 points James Suckling: This is very complex with smoke, meat, cherry and spice character that follows through to a full body. The palate grows with more spice and polished tannins. A fantastic wine. Drink in 2020. (9/11/18)

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
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$50.00
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92 points James Suckling: Aromas of cherries, dried strawberries and red plums. Medium to full body, round and ripe tannins and a nice, fresh finish. Drink now. (9/11/18) ...
JS 92
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Volpaia Chianti Classico 2016  (#333491)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

92 points James Suckling: Aromas of cherries, dried strawberries and red plums. Medium to full body, round and ripe tannins and a nice, fresh finish. Drink now. (9/11/18)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
96-98 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): Tasted as a barrel sample, the 2015 Le Pergole Torte is a 100% expression of Sangiovese sourced from the estate's oldest vines (between 30 and 50 years old). Like the other wines from Montevertine, Le Pergole Torte sees both its alcoholic and malolactic… ...
WA 96-98
AG 95-98
DE 94
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Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 2015  (#333694)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

96-98 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): Tasted as a barrel sample, the 2015 Le Pergole Torte is a 100% expression of Sangiovese sourced from the estate's oldest vines (between 30 and 50 years old). Like the other wines from Montevertine, Le…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 3 available
WA 96-98
AG 95-98
DE 94
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98 points James Suckling: Plenty of ripe blackberry and incense. Opens up beautifully in the glass. So perfumed. Full body and seamless tannins that coat your palate with a silky texture. Wonderfully framed with complex fruit. Drink in 2021 but already gorgeous. (8/29/17) ...
JS 98
WA 94
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Sette Ponti Orma 2015  (#332341)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

98 points James Suckling: Plenty of ripe blackberry and incense. Opens up beautifully in the glass. So perfumed. Full body and seamless tannins that coat your palate with a silky texture. Wonderfully framed with complex fruit. Drink in 2021 but…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
92 points James Suckling: Lots of chocolate and berry character with hints of vanilla and cherry character. Medium to full body, soft tannins and a long finish. Drink now. (11/21/16) ...
JS 92
WA 91
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Montepeloso Toscana A Quo 2014  (#331864)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

92 points James Suckling: Lots of chocolate and berry character with hints of vanilla and cherry character. Medium to full body, soft tannins and a long finish. Drink now. (11/21/16)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
$20.95
$26.00
Save $5.05 (19%)26.00
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96 points James Suckling: Shows lots of black cherries, cranberry tea, caramelized orange peel, roasted herbs and citrus peel. Full-bodied with ripe and quite round tannins that frame layers of cherries. Bright and fresh, yet rich and long at the same time. The sangiovese character really springs… ...
JS 96
WS 93
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Isole e Olena Cepparello 2015  (#702104)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

96 points James Suckling: Shows lots of black cherries, cranberry tea, caramelized orange peel, roasted herbs and citrus peel. Full-bodied with ripe and quite round tannins that frame layers of cherries. Bright and fresh, yet rich and long at the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
$79.95
$90.00
Save $10.05 (11%)90.00
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96 points James Suckling: This shows pure and fresh fruit that many others don't have. Also, there are plenty of linear tannins. Precise and beautiful. Medium to full body. Persistent finish. Better in 2019. (11/30/16) ...
JS 96
WS 94
WA 92
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Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino 2012  (#329549)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

96 points James Suckling: This shows pure and fresh fruit that many others don't have. Also, there are plenty of linear tannins. Precise and beautiful. Medium to full body. Persistent finish. Better in 2019. (11/30/16)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 96
WS 94
WA 92
100 points and '#1 Italian Wine of 2017,' James Suckling: This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense.… ...
JS 100
WA 97
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Tua Rita Redigaffi 2015  (#329690)

Merlot from Tuscany, Italy

100 points and '#1 Italian Wine of 2017,' James Suckling: This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$235.00
$400.00
Save $165.00 (41%)400.00
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99 points James Suckling: I love the currant and rosemary character of this wine. Some sage, too. Complex aromas that draw you in. Full body, extremely tight and chewy with a long and intense finish. The tannins are fantastic -- so polished. Focused and beautiful. Mineral undertone with ash and hot… ...
JS 99
AG 97
WA 96
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Le Pupille Maremma Toscana Saffredi 2015  (#332450)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

99 points James Suckling: I love the currant and rosemary character of this wine. Some sage, too. Complex aromas that draw you in. Full body, extremely tight and chewy with a long and intense finish. The tannins are fantastic -- so polished. Focused…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JS 99
AG 97
WA 96
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$89.95
$126.00
Save $36.05 (29%)126.00
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93 points James Suckling: This is a tight and fruity Chianti Classico with dried cherry and walnut aromas and flavors. Some tile and spice too. Medium body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Give it a year to open up. (8/21/16) ...
JS 93
WS 92
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Rocca Macie Chianti Classico Riserva di Fizzano Gran Selezione 2013  (#332340)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

93 points James Suckling: This is a tight and fruity Chianti Classico with dried cherry and walnut aromas and flavors. Some tile and spice too. Medium body, firm tannins and a fresh finish. Give it a year to open up. (8/21/16)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$29.95
$42.00
Save $12.05 (29%)42.00
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91 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): Based in an authentic sense of territory, the 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva Villa Antinori is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot - although Renzo Cotarella tells me that the goal is to soon make this wine 100% Sangiovese. The bouquet is generous and nicely… ...
WA 91
WE 91
JS 91
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Antinori Chianti Classico Villa Antinori Riserva 2013  (#332772)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

91 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): Based in an authentic sense of territory, the 2013 Chianti Classico Riserva Villa Antinori is 90% Sangiovese and 10% Merlot - although Renzo Cotarella tells me that the goal is to soon make this wine 100%…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
WA 91
WE 91
JS 91
$19.95
$35.00
Save $15.05 (43%)35.00
Save $15.05 (43%)
99 points James Suckling: Gorgeous floral and deep, dark berry aromas with hints of spices such as cinnamon and hazelnuts. Full body and ultra-fine and strong tannins that are powerful yet so sleek and beautiful. Fantastic length and texture. Deep, dark and profound. Takes you on a long journey and… ...
JS 99
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Sette Ponti Oreno 2016  (#701980)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

99 points James Suckling: Gorgeous floral and deep, dark berry aromas with hints of spices such as cinnamon and hazelnuts. Full body and ultra-fine and strong tannins that are powerful yet so sleek and beautiful. Fantastic length and texture. Deep,…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$64.95
$110.00
Save $45.05 (41%)110.00
Save $45.05 (41%)
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