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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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% Sangiovese. The bouquet is generous and nicely concentrated with dark fruit nuances and succulent spice at the back. Delicate floral nuances of wild rose and violets are given ample room for expression. The mouthfeel is velvety and fine in texture. (Dec 2016) ] 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, 12+ available
WA 91
WE 91
JS 91
$19.95
$35.00
Save $15.05 (43%)35.00
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98 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Sammarco is a stunning wine. Super-expressive aromatics make a strong opening statement in a wine endowed with myriad dimensions of nuance and complexity. The 2013 is deep and fleshy, with generous fruit, beautifully integrated tannins and exceptional… ...
AG 98
WS 97
WA 95
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Castello dei Rampolla Toscana Sammarco 2013  (#331682)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

[ 98 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Sammarco is a stunning wine. Super-expressive aromatics make a strong opening statement in a wine endowed with myriad dimensions of nuance and complexity. The 2013 is deep and fleshy, with generous fruit, beautifully integrated tannins and exceptional finesse. Readers should not plan on opening a bottle of this any time soon, though, as it seems likely to age at a glacial pace. Drink: 2025-2043. (Jan 2018) ] 98 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Sammarco is a stunning wine. Super-expressive aromatics make a strong opening statement in a wine endowed with myriad dimensions of nuance and complexity. The 2013 is deep and fleshy, with generous fruit,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
AG 98
WS 97
WA 95
$89.95
$117.00
Save $27.05 (23%)117.00
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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 and beautiful. Mineral undertone with ash and hot stone highlighting the dark fruits. It goes on for minutes. Needs three or four years to come together. But a serious red all the way. (8/28/17) ] 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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$79.95
$126.00
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94+ points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino offers a soft and fruity interpretation of this slightly cooler vintage. The bouquet is lively and bright with loads of primary fruit at its core. That fruit (and the balanced acidity) will surely be the motor to drive this… ...
WA 94
WS 94
JS 92
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Talenti Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331462)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 94+ points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino offers a soft and fruity interpretation of this slightly cooler vintage. The bouquet is lively and bright with loads of primary fruit at its core. That fruit (and the balanced acidity) will surely be the motor to drive this wine forward during the course of its future evolution. There is a point of sourness with well managed tannins. The finish offers flavors of dried cherry, moist earth and tobacco. Drink: 2020-2035. (Feb 2018) ] 94+ points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): The 2013 Brunello di Montalcino offers a soft and fruity interpretation of this slightly cooler vintage. The bouquet is lively and bright with loads of primary fruit at its core. That fruit (and the balanced…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 9 available
WA 94
WS 94
JS 92
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$41.95
$55.00
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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, dark and profound. Takes you on a long journey and shows you its true character. Better in 2025. Give it time. (5/22/18) ] 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
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$110.00
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98 points James Suckling: Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello. A little… ...
JS 98
WS 97
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Antinori Tignanello 2015  (#332354)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

[ 98 points James Suckling: Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello. A little more sangiovese than usual. Best since the legendary 1997? (1/21/18) ] 98 points James Suckling: Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
99 points James Suckling: A stunning wine. This is the best Testamatta ever made. Fascinating aromas of red fruits, tea, bark and wet soil as well as fresh leather. Full body, silky tannins and a juicy finish. I love the tension and texture of this great red. So gorgeous to taste now but better in… ...
JS 99
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Bibi Graetz Toscana Testamatta 2015  (#331388)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 99 points James Suckling: A stunning wine. This is the best Testamatta ever made. Fascinating aromas of red fruits, tea, bark and wet soil as well as fresh leather. Full body, silky tannins and a juicy finish. I love the tension and texture of this great red. So gorgeous to taste now but better in 2021. (8/28/17) ] 99 points James Suckling: A stunning wine. This is the best Testamatta ever made. Fascinating aromas of red fruits, tea, bark and wet soil as well as fresh leather. Full body, silky tannins and a juicy finish. I love the tension and texture of this…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
Rèmole has a deep purple-red color, brilliant and intense. The nose is complex, with a hint of berries such as raspberry, blackberry and black cherry, followed by aromatic and spicy notes of black pepper and eucalyptus. Fresh, medium-full bodied Rèmole proves to be an elegant wine with a long finish… ...
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Frescobaldi Toscana Rosso Remole 2015  (#330008)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

[ Rèmole has a deep purple-red color, brilliant and intense. The nose is complex, with a hint of berries such as raspberry, blackberry and black cherry, followed by aromatic and spicy notes of black pepper and eucalyptus. Fresh, medium-full bodied Rèmole proves to be an elegant wine with a long finish. ] Rèmole has a deep purple-red color, brilliant and intense. The nose is complex, with a hint of berries such as raspberry, blackberry and black cherry, followed by aromatic and spicy notes of black pepper and eucalyptus. Fresh, medium-full bodied…

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$7.95
$10.00
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96-97 points James Suckling: This is dense and structured with beautifully polished tannins and plenty of currant and blackberry character. Full body and chewy tannins yet refined and juicy. Lots of Mediterranean herbs with the dark fruit. Blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon with merlot and cabernet… ...
JS 96-97
WA 96
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Tua Rita Giusto di Notri 2015  (#329691)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

[ 96-97 points James Suckling: This is dense and structured with beautifully polished tannins and plenty of currant and blackberry character. Full body and chewy tannins yet refined and juicy. Lots of Mediterranean herbs with the dark fruit. Blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon with merlot and cabernet franc. Pretty barrel sample. This is coming along very nicely. Can't wait to taste in bottle. Made from organic grapes. (8/28/17) ] 96-97 points James Suckling: This is dense and structured with beautifully polished tannins and plenty of currant and blackberry character. Full body and chewy tannins yet refined and juicy. Lots of Mediterranean herbs with the dark fruit. Blend of…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
94 points James Suckling: Very focused and firm with chewy tannins and bright black cherry character. Medium body, dense center palate and a fresh finish. Solid. Fantastic wine. Drink or hold. (10/20/17) ...
JS 94
WA 92
AG 92
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Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga 2015  (#331428)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 94 points James Suckling: Very focused and firm with chewy tannins and bright black cherry character. Medium body, dense center palate and a fresh finish. Solid. Fantastic wine. Drink or hold. (10/20/17) ] 94 points James Suckling: Very focused and firm with chewy tannins and bright black cherry character. Medium body, dense center palate and a fresh finish. Solid. Fantastic wine. Drink or hold. (10/20/17)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
JS 94
WA 92
AG 92
$23.95
$31.00
Save $7.05 (23%)31.00
Save $7.05 (23%)
95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo, estate-grown, no added yeast, nutrients, or malolactic bacteria are used. Bright middling garnet color; aroma and flavor of cedar, sandalwood, red berries, and violets; fresh acidity, long finish. The relatively fresh acidity of this Classico makes it very useful with… ...
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Monteraponi Chianti Classico 2016  (#332549)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo, estate-grown, no added yeast, nutrients, or malolactic bacteria are used. Bright middling garnet color; aroma and flavor of cedar, sandalwood, red berries, and violets; fresh acidity, long finish. The relatively fresh acidity of this Classico makes it very useful with all sorts of food, red meats certainly but also all sorts of pasta, roast chicken, even salmon. Not yet reviewed; 2015 vintage rated 94 points by James Suckling. ] 95% Sangiovese, 5% Canaiolo, estate-grown, no added yeast, nutrients, or malolactic bacteria are used. Bright middling garnet color; aroma and flavor of cedar, sandalwood, red berries, and violets; fresh acidity, long finish. The relatively fresh…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$28.95
$33.00
Save $4.05 (12%)33.00
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95 points Wine Enthusiast: Alluring aromas of wild berry, crushed blue flower, dried herb and exotic spice lead the way. The elegant linear palate doles out juicy black cherry, raspberry preserve, licorice and a hint of tobacco. It's well balanced, with taut fine-grained tannins and bright acidity.… ...
WE 95
DE 94
V 93
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Brunelli/Gianni Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331589)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 95 points Wine Enthusiast: Alluring aromas of wild berry, crushed blue flower, dried herb and exotic spice lead the way. The elegant linear palate doles out juicy black cherry, raspberry preserve, licorice and a hint of tobacco. It's well balanced, with taut fine-grained tannins and bright acidity. Give this time to fully develop. Drink 2023-2033. Alcohol 13.5%. (May 2018) ] 95 points Wine Enthusiast: Alluring aromas of wild berry, crushed blue flower, dried herb and exotic spice lead the way. The elegant linear palate doles out juicy black cherry, raspberry preserve, licorice and a hint of tobacco. It's well balanced,…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
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$58.95
$73.00
Save $14.05 (19%)73.00
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