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Brunello di Montalcino DOCG, 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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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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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
NEW ITEM
$49.95
$79.00
Save $29.05 (37%)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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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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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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95 points James Suckling: The orange peel and dried fruits with white truffles are intense. Full body, dense and energetic with a beautiful center palate of ripe fruit and energetic acidity. Drink in 2021. (11/27/17) ...
JS 95
WA 94
WS 93
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Castiglion del Bosco Brunello di Montalcino Campo del Drago 2013  (#331452)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

95 points James Suckling: The orange peel and dried fruits with white truffles are intense. Full body, dense and energetic with a beautiful center palate of ripe fruit and energetic acidity. Drink in 2021. (11/27/17)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JS 95
WA 94
WS 93
96 points and 'Top 100 Italian Wines of 2017 (#55),' James Suckling: I like the ripe-fruit and smoked-meat aromas to this. Subtle and complex. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and chewy finish. Needs time to soften. Very structured for the vintage. Better in 2020. (11/30/16) ...
JS 96
WA 94
WS 93
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Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2012  (#329170)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

96 points and 'Top 100 Italian Wines of 2017 (#55),' James Suckling: I like the ripe-fruit and smoked-meat aromas to this. Subtle and complex. Medium to full body, firm and silky tannins and a long and chewy finish. Needs time to soften. Very…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
JS 96
WA 94
WS 93
$79.95
$110.00
Save $30.05 (27%)110.00
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93 points Wine Enthusiast: Chopped herb, wild berry, spice and truffle aromas slowly take shape in the glass. The palate shows both concentration and elegance, offering fleshy raspberry, crushed cherry, licorice and crushed mint flavors, bolstered by firm but refined tannins. Drink 2019-2027.… ...
WE 93
V 92
WA 92
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La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino 2012  (#332329)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

93 points Wine Enthusiast: Chopped herb, wild berry, spice and truffle aromas slowly take shape in the glass. The palate shows both concentration and elegance, offering fleshy raspberry, crushed cherry, licorice and crushed mint flavors, bolstered by…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
$42.95
$60.00
Save $17.05 (28%)60.00
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98 points James Suckling: This is intense and complex yet subtle with fantastic aromas of rose petal, plum, clove and fresh mushroom. Hints of stems. Full body, focused and polished with a linear line of tannins and fabulous length. A beauty. Better after 2021 but already a joy to taste. (11/27/17) ...
JS 98
WFW 94
WA 93
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Sassetti (Pertimali) Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331449)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

98 points James Suckling: This is intense and complex yet subtle with fantastic aromas of rose petal, plum, clove and fresh mushroom. Hints of stems. Full body, focused and polished with a linear line of tannins and fabulous length. A beauty. Better…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
JS 98
WFW 94
WA 93
98 points and 'Top 100 Wines of 2017,' James Suckling: This is an incredible 2012 with fantastic depth, richness, focus and tension. Full body, polished and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Goes on for minutes. Better in 2020 but a joy to taste now. One of the wines of the vintage. … ...
JS 98
WS 95
WA 94
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San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere 2012  (#329216)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

98 points and 'Top 100 Wines of 2017,' James Suckling: This is an incredible 2012 with fantastic depth, richness, focus and tension. Full body, polished and velvety tannins and a long and flavorful finish. Goes on for minutes. Better in 2020 but a…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
JS 98
WS 95
WA 94
$69.95
$80.00
Save $10.05 (13%)80.00
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91 points Wine Spectator: Intense and complex, this combines cherry and berry fruit with earth, iron, leather and spice flavors, finishing with sour cherry, leather and tobacco notes. Drink now through 2022. 2,500 cases made. (10/15/18) ...
WS 91
WA 90
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Piancornello Rosso di Montalcino 2016  (#334476)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

91 points Wine Spectator: Intense and complex, this combines cherry and berry fruit with earth, iron, leather and spice flavors, finishing with sour cherry, leather and tobacco notes. Drink now through 2022. 2,500 cases made. (10/15/18)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
$21.95
$28.00
Save $6.05 (22%)28.00
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94 points James Suckling: A wealth of fruit yet remains fresh and vivid with blueberry and black cherry character. Some bark and dried earth. Full body, integrated tannins and a flavorful finish. Better than 2012. Drink or hold. (11/27/17) ...
JS 94
WA 93
WS 93
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Camigliano Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#702252)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

94 points James Suckling: A wealth of fruit yet remains fresh and vivid with blueberry and black cherry character. Some bark and dried earth. Full body, integrated tannins and a flavorful finish. Better than 2012. Drink or hold. (11/27/17)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 94
WA 93
WS 93
$41.95
$58.00
Save $16.05 (28%)58.00
Save $16.05 (28%)
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