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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96 points and 'Top 100 Wines of 2018 (#35),' Wine Enthusiast: Wild berry, crushed violet, pipe tobacco and chopped herb aromas leap out of the glass. Smooth and savory, the full-bodied palate shows restraint and elegance, delivering red cherry, pomegranate, ground clove and black pepper alongside… ...
WE 96
JS 95
V 94
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Frescobaldi Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 2013  (#331456)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

96 points and 'Top 100 Wines of 2018 (#35),' Wine Enthusiast: Wild berry, crushed violet, pipe tobacco and chopped herb aromas leap out of the glass. Smooth and savory, the full-bodied palate shows restraint and elegance, delivering red cherry,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
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$49.95
$79.00
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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
NEW ITEM
$44.95
$56.00
Save $11.05 (20%)56.00
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94 points Wine Spectator: You can almost smell the countryside in this expressive red. Wild herb, underbrush, cherry and smoke notes weave throughout this supple red. Firms up on the finish while remaining fresh and resonant. Best from 2020 through 2035. (6/30/17) ...
WS 94
WA 93
WE 93
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Fattoria dei Barbi Brunello di Montalcino 2012  (#329438)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

94 points Wine Spectator: You can almost smell the countryside in this expressive red. Wild herb, underbrush, cherry and smoke notes weave throughout this supple red. Firms up on the finish while remaining fresh and resonant. Best from 2020 through…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WS 94
WA 93
WE 93
NEW ITEM
$39.95
$59.00
Save $19.05 (32%)59.00
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Not yet reveiwed; 2015 vintage rated 94 points by James Suckling: What a delicious nose that’s ripe, but also really well defined with dried red plums, hazelnuts, Indian spices, baking spices, cedar, tar and licorice. The dusty tannins are a delight, and so are the dried fruit and spices that warm… ...
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Felsina Chianti Classico Berardenga Riserva 2016  (#702217)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

Not yet reveiwed; 2015 vintage rated 94 points by James Suckling: What a delicious nose that’s ripe, but also really well defined with dried red plums, hazelnuts, Indian spices, baking spices, cedar, tar and licorice. The dusty tannins are a delight,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
92 points James Suckling: So much sweet tobacco and cherry character here with hints of smoked meat. Medium body, fine tannins and a bright and fruity finish. Acid tension give this definition. Tangy. Drink now. (10/20/17) ...
JS 92
W&S 91
WS 90
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Castello di Ama Chianti Classico Ama 2015  (#331351)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

92 points James Suckling: So much sweet tobacco and cherry character here with hints of smoked meat. Medium body, fine tannins and a bright and fruity finish. Acid tension give this definition. Tangy. Drink now. (10/20/17)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 92
W&S 91
WS 90
$26.95
$32.00
Save $5.05 (16%)32.00
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97 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): ...drop dead gorgeous... a soft and supple wine that feels like silk sheets against the palate. The bouquet is redolent of red fruit, bold cherry, leather, spice, tar, licorice and grilled herb... They will, of course, reach greater harmony and integration as… ...
WA 97
AG 96
JS 96
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Le Macchiole Toscana Messorio 2012  (#333784)

Merlot from Tuscany, Italy

97 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): ...drop dead gorgeous... a soft and supple wine that feels like silk sheets against the palate. The bouquet is redolent of red fruit, bold cherry, leather, spice, tar, licorice and grilled herb... They will,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 available
WA 97
AG 96
JS 96
$159.95
$300.00
Save $140.05 (47%)300.00
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96 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): ...The bouquet offers black cherry, spice, leather, balsam herb, cola and licorice. The complexity is absolutely impressive. The mouthfeel, however, is slightly thinner. The classic 2010 vintage is remembered for its twofold punch of elegance and power.… ...
WA 96
JS 96
WS 94
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Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2012  (#329201)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

96 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): ...The bouquet offers black cherry, spice, leather, balsam herb, cola and licorice. The complexity is absolutely impressive. The mouthfeel, however, is slightly thinner. The classic 2010 vintage is remembered…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
WA 96
JS 96
WS 94
$84.95
$110.00
Save $25.05 (23%)110.00
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95 points James Suckling: This is extremely perfumed with aromas of lavender, cinnamon, blackberries, bark and blackcurrants. Full-bodied, extremely refined and polished. Gorgeous fruit and balance. Best ever bottling of this pretty wine from the producers of Sassicaia? Drink or hold. (9/11/18) ...
JS 95
WA 94
DE 93
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Tenuta San Guido Toscana Guidalberto 2016  (#334123)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

95 points James Suckling: This is extremely perfumed with aromas of lavender, cinnamon, blackberries, bark and blackcurrants. Full-bodied, extremely refined and polished. Gorgeous fruit and balance. Best ever bottling of this pretty wine from the…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JS 95
WA 94
DE 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
98 points James Suckling: An unforgiving and powerfully structured wine with fabulous grilled meat and granite stone character with dried berry and flower petal. Full body, chewy and intense. Great structure and extremely long and intense. Sexy austerity. Gets the juices going. Best ever from here.… ...
JS 98
WA 95
AG 94
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Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2010  (#321921)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

98 points James Suckling: An unforgiving and powerfully structured wine with fabulous grilled meat and granite stone character with dried berry and flower petal. Full body, chewy and intense. Great structure and extremely long and intense. Sexy…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JS 98
WA 95
AG 94
99 points and 'Top 100 Italian Wine of 2018 (#5),' 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… ...
JS 99
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Sette Ponti Oreno 2016  (#701980)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

99 points and 'Top 100 Italian Wine of 2018 (#5),' 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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$69.95
$110.00
Save $40.05 (36%)110.00
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94 points James Suckling: Aromas of dried flowers and plums with hints of dust and tile. Orange peel, too. Full body, intense and powerful yet always reserved. Give it three or four years but this is already dynamic and fascinating. (11/27/17) ...
JS 94
V 94
WA 93
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Voliero Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331671)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

94 points James Suckling: Aromas of dried flowers and plums with hints of dust and tile. Orange peel, too. Full body, intense and powerful yet always reserved. Give it three or four years but this is already dynamic and fascinating. (11/27/17)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$44.95
$66.00
Save $21.05 (32%)66.00
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