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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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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
WA 94
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
$39.95
$65.00
Save $25.05 (38%)65.00
Save $25.05 (38%)

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 | Pre-arrival, 11 available
JS 96
WA 93
WS 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
$39.95
$65.00
Save $25.05 (38%)65.00
Save $25.05 (38%)

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 | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WFW 96
JS 95
V 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
$49.95
$60.00
Save $10.05 (17%)60.00
Save $10.05 (17%)

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 | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WS 95
JS 93
WA 92
PRE-ARRIVAL
$31.95
$45.00
Save $13.05 (29%)45.00
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98 points James Suckling: A juicy, young Brunello with berry, dried mushroom and flower character. Orange peel, too. Full body, firm and velvety tannins and a flavorful finish. So complex and beautiful. It goes on for minutes. I love the balance that makes it so enjoyable to try now but it will age… ...

JS 98
WA 94
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Valdicava Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#332821)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
JS 98
WS 95
WA 94
$64.95
$80.00
Save $15.05 (19%)80.00
Save $15.05 (19%)

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
JS 96
WA 94
WS 93
$79.95
$110.00
Save $30.05 (27%)110.00
Save $30.05 (27%)

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 | Pre-arrival, 10 available
JS 98
WA 97
WS 96
NEW ITEMPRE-ARRIVAL
$89.95
$105.00
Save $15.05 (14%)105.00
Save $15.05 (14%)

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
JS 92
V 91
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Talenti Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331462)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 9 available
PRE-ARRIVAL

96 points 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 taut fine-grained tannins and bright… ...

WE 96
JS 95
V 94
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Frescobaldi Brunello di Montalcino Castelgiocondo 2013  (#331456)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$44.95
$79.00
Save $34.05 (43%)79.00
Save $34.05 (43%)

97 points and 'Cellar Selection,' Wine Enthusiast: Delicately scented, this offers underbrush, pressed violet and wild berry aromas. It's medium-bodied and loaded with elegance, delivering crushed raspberry, Morello cherry, licorice and a hint of pipe tobacco set against taut, refined tannins.… ...

WE 97
WS 94
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Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#332823)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$59.95
$95.00
Save $35.05 (37%)95.00
Save $35.05 (37%)

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

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 8 available
JS 98
WFW 94
WA 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
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