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 Wine Spectator: An intense perfume of juniper, bay laurel, sage, rose and berries marks this silky red. The structure is there, yet superb balance and refined tannins help this retain elegance through the long finish. Almost ethereal in its presence. Best from 2021 through 2036. (6/15/18) ...

WS 95
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JS 94
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Altesino Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331458)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WS 95
WA 94
JS 94
NEW ITEM
$42.95
$65.00
Save $22.05 (34%)65.00
Save $22.05 (34%)

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

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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96 points James Suckling: Fantastic aromas of orange peel and dark berry with plenty of plum and cherry. Sweet tobacco and mushrooms. Full body, juicy and fruity with firm tannins and a fresh finish. Complex and gorgeous. Fine and very long. Drink now. (11/27/17) ...

JS 96
WA 93
WS 93
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Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331450)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
JS 96
WA 93
WS 93
NEW ITEM
$39.95
$65.00
Save $25.05 (38%)65.00
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95 points Wine Spectator: This cuts more of a broad swath than its peers, yet remains graceful, evoking strawberry, cherry, tobacco and stony mineral flavors. Long and dense in structure, with a tobacco- and underbrush-tinged finish. Best from 2021 through 2033. (6/15/18) ...

WS 95
JS 93
WA 92
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Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331461)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WS 95
JS 93
WA 92
NEW ITEM
$31.95
$45.00
Save $13.05 (29%)45.00
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98 points James Suckling: A vivid and bright red with intense blueberries and raspberries. Floral undertones and tons of citrus, too! Full-bodied, dense and layered. Polished tannins and fantastic fruit. The muscularity of the structure is what gives this wine focus and intensity. So serious for the… ...

JS 98
WA 97
WS 96
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Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino Tenuta Nuova 2013  (#332345)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
JS 98
WA 97
WS 96
NEW ITEM
$89.95
$105.00
Save $15.05 (14%)105.00
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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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 96
WS 94
WA 92
$49.95
$56.00
Save $6.05 (11%)56.00
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93 points James Suckling: I like the texture of this 2011 with plenty of ripe fruit and tannins yet polished and refined. Full body. Clean and fruity. Bright is the word to describe it. Drink or hold. (2/14/16) ...

JS 93
WE 91
WA 90
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San Felice Brunello di Montalcino Campogiovanni 2011  (#329832)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
JS 93
WE 91
WA 90
$48.95
$65.00
Save $16.05 (25%)65.00
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85% Ciliegiolo, 15% Alicante. Winemaker Sergio Bucci, from the province of Pisa, has a lifelong passion for Tuscan field blend varietals. Many of the obscure grapes in Tuscany can make exceptional wines on their own if they are understood properly. Now he introduces this gorgeous Ciliegiolo, a… ...

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Cantina del Morellino Capoccia 2015  (#328576)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$8.88
$12.00
Save $3.12 (26%)12.00
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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

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JS 99
AG 97
WA 96
NEW ITEMPRE-ARRIVAL
$79.95
$126.00
Save $46.05 (36%)126.00
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94 points James Suckling: A firm and chewy young wine with chestnut, chocolate and oyster shell character. A blackberry undertone. Full body, polished and fresh. Drink now or hold in your cellar. (8/28/17) ...

JS 94
WA 90
WS 90
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Sette Ponti Toscana Crognolo 2015  (#331497)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 94
WA 90
WS 90
$22.95
$40.00
Save $17.05 (43%)40.00
Save $17.05 (43%)

97 points James Suckling: Very aromatic with subtle tea-leaf, underbrush, dried-cherry and flower character. Medium to full body, fine tannins and a fresh finish. Lovely acidity to this. Long and thoughtful wine. All about length and beauty. Pure old-vine sangiovese. Better in 2019. (11/9/16) ...

JS 97
AG 94
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Sette Ponti Toscana Vigna dell'Impero 1935 2013  (#329470)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$79.95
$112.00
Save $32.05 (29%)112.00
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96 points Nicolas Belfrage, MW (The World of Fine Wine): Quite deep, though far from opaque. Fresh-picked black-berry fruit on the nose. Announces its forceful personality on the attack. Rich, ripe, and opulent, dark cherry and spice. Firm tannin structure, almost chewy, tight fruit flavors, some… ...

WFW 96
JS 95
V 93
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Capanna Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#332352)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WFW 96
JS 95
V 93
NEW ITEM
$51.95
$60.00
Save $8.05 (13%)60.00
Save $8.05 (13%)
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