95+, 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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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
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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, 5 available
WA 97
AG 96
JS 96
$159.95
$300.00
Save $140.05 (47%)300.00
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97 points and 'Top 100 Wine of 2018 (#37),' International Wine Report: ...50% Cabernet Franc, 36% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot... displays a dark, inky color followed seductive aromas of ripe dark cherries, blackberries, spices, fresh violets, graphite and hints of tobacco that… ...
IWR 97
AG 96
WS 96
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Tenuta di Trinoro Rosso di Toscana 2015  (#331086)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

97 points and 'Top 100 Wine of 2018 (#37),' International Wine Report: ...50% Cabernet Franc, 36% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot... displays a dark, inky color followed seductive aromas of ripe dark cherries, blackberries, spices,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
IWR 97
AG 96
WS 96
95 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Fèlsina's 2007 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico is terrific. Silky, expressive and gracious, the 2007 is all class. Orange zest, mint, cinnamon and dried flowers grace the palate. The aromatics are especially pretty in this midweight, lifted Vin Santo. Drink: 2017… ...
AG 95
WA 94
JS 94
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Felsina Vin Santo del Chianti Classico Berardenga 2007  (#334090)

Dessert Wine from Chianti Classico DOCG, Tuscany, Italy

95 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Fèlsina's 2007 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico is terrific. Silky, expressive and gracious, the 2007 is all class. Orange zest, mint, cinnamon and dried flowers grace the palate. The aromatics are especially pretty…

375ml Half Bottle | In stock, 1 available
AG 95
WA 94
JS 94
$39.95
$50.00
Save $10.05 (20%)50.00
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97 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2015 Syrah is a total stunner. Bright, polished and impeccably nuanced, the 2015 is all class. Here, too, the purity of the flavors is simply remarkable... A touch of whole clusters and drops of Viognier add an attractive floral upper register. Stated simply,… ...
V 97
JS 95
WA 94
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Isole e Olena Syrah Toscana Collezione Private de Marchi 2015  (#702244)

Syrah/Shiraz from Tuscany, Italy

97 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2015 Syrah is a total stunner. Bright, polished and impeccably nuanced, the 2015 is all class. Here, too, the purity of the flavors is simply remarkable... A touch of whole clusters and drops of Viognier add an…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 available
$59.95
$70.00
Save $10.05 (14%)70.00
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98 points and 'Cellar Selection,' Wine Enthusiast: Wild-berry, fragrant purple-flower and crushed aromatic herb aromas mingle with whiffs of tilled earth and new leather on this dazzling red. The stunning, savory palate boasts remarkable finesse combined with an age-worthy structure, offering… ...
WE 98
WA 95
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Ciacci Piccolomini Brunello di Montalcino Pianrosso 2013  (#335081)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

98 points and 'Cellar Selection,' Wine Enthusiast: Wild-berry, fragrant purple-flower and crushed aromatic herb aromas mingle with whiffs of tilled earth and new leather on this dazzling red. The stunning, savory palate boasts remarkable finesse…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WE 98
WA 95
JS 94
PRE-ARRIVAL
$64.95
$90.00
Save $25.05 (28%)90.00
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96 points and 'Cellar Selection,' Wine Enthusiast: Combining an irresistible pairing of earthy elegance and ageworthy structure, this fragrant, focused red boasts heady scents of smoke, wild berry, pipe tobacco, sunbaked earth and rose petal. The taut linear palate shows lovely tension, delivering… ...
WE 96
WA 93
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Selvapiana Chianti Rufina Vigneto Bucerchiale Riserva 2015  (#702396)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

96 points and 'Cellar Selection,' Wine Enthusiast: Combining an irresistible pairing of earthy elegance and ageworthy structure, this fragrant, focused red boasts heady scents of smoke, wild berry, pipe tobacco, sunbaked earth and rose petal. The…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
97 points James Suckling: A ripe and juicy super Tuscan with lots of aromas of ripe berries, chocolate, nutmeg and spices, which follow through to a full body. Round, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Rich and layered with beautiful fruit and intensity. Subtlety lavish. Drink or hold. (12/17/18) ...
JS 97
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Luce della Vite Toscana Luce 2015  (#334062)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

97 points James Suckling: A ripe and juicy super Tuscan with lots of aromas of ripe berries, chocolate, nutmeg and spices, which follow through to a full body. Round, silky tannins and a flavorful finish. Rich and layered with beautiful fruit and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$94.95
$135.00
Save $40.05 (30%)135.00
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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

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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 5 available
$79.95
$112.00
Save $32.05 (29%)112.00
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97 points James Suckling: Love the aromas to this wine with black olives, red chiles and violets. Full-bodied, very tannic and structured, yet polished and also in harmony. A rich, racy and wonderful young red. Pure cabernet franc. Better in 2017. (8/5/15) Three Glasses, Gambero Rosso: The 2012 has… ...
JS 97
WE 95
AG 94
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Le Macchiole Paleo Toscana Rosso 2012  (#334176)

Cabernet Franc from Tuscany, Italy

97 points James Suckling: Love the aromas to this wine with black olives, red chiles and violets. Full-bodied, very tannic and structured, yet polished and also in harmony. A rich, racy and wonderful young red. Pure cabernet franc. Better in 2017. (8…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 10 available
JS 97
WE 95
AG 94
$84.95
$110.00
Save $25.05 (23%)110.00
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100 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Readers should do whatever they can to get their hands on a few bottles of the 2013 d'Alceo. Seamless and voluptuous in the glass, it is an epic wine that embodies all the qualities that make these terraced vineyards in Panzano so special. Blackberry jam, crème… ...
AG 100
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Castello dei Rampolla Toscana Vigna d'Alceo 2013  (#701903)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

100 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Readers should do whatever they can to get their hands on a few bottles of the 2013 d'Alceo. Seamless and voluptuous in the glass, it is an epic wine that embodies all the qualities that make these terraced…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$199.95
$240.00
Save $40.05 (17%)240.00
Save $40.05 (17%)
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 | In stock, 12+ available
JS 95
WA 94
DE 93
98 points James Suckling: Amazing graphite and violet aromas with dark fruits. Medium to full body, ultra-velvety tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Formed and tight. I love the fresh ginger underneath it all. This has a cool profile to the wine. So approachable yet this has wonderful length. … ...
JS 98
AG 96
WA 96
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Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia 2013  (#326446)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

98 points James Suckling: Amazing graphite and violet aromas with dark fruits. Medium to full body, ultra-velvety tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Formed and tight. I love the fresh ginger underneath it all. This has a cool profile to the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 98
AG 96
WA 96
$199.95
$240.00
Save $40.05 (17%)240.00
Save $40.05 (17%)
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