Tuscany, 95+, 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 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) ] 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
$49.95
$56.00
Save $6.05 (11%)56.00
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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

[ 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) ] 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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WS 95
JS 93
WA 92
$31.95
$45.00
Save $13.05 (29%)45.00
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97 points Ian D'Agata (Vinous): Luminous red. High-pitched aromas of sour red cherry, raspberry, rose, stainless steel, white pepper and minerals. Dense and silky in texture but displays great juiciness, clarity and floral lift; the lively but harmonious acidity really lifts and frames the bright… ...
V 97
JS 96
WE 95
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Fuligni Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331451)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 97 points Ian D'Agata (Vinous): Luminous red. High-pitched aromas of sour red cherry, raspberry, rose, stainless steel, white pepper and minerals. Dense and silky in texture but displays great juiciness, clarity and floral lift; the lively but harmonious acidity really lifts and frames the bright red and mineral flavors. Totally saturates the palate and yet comes off as virtually weightless. This hauntingly beautiful wine showcases everything Brunello can be when made from an ultra-competent producer farming Sangiovese vines that grow in what is a real grand cru section of the much too large Brunello di Montalcino denomination. Drink: 2024-2038. (Apr 2018) ] 97 points Ian D'Agata (Vinous): Luminous red. High-pitched aromas of sour red cherry, raspberry, rose, stainless steel, white pepper and minerals. Dense and silky in texture but displays great juiciness, clarity and floral lift; the lively but…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
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$58.95
$105.00
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98 points James Suckling: Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello. A little… ...
JS 98
WS 97
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Antinori Tignanello 2015  (#332354)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

[ 98 points James Suckling: Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper. Powerful and structured. A great Tignanello. A little more sangiovese than usual. Best since the legendary 1997? (1/21/18) ] 98 points James Suckling: Fantastic aromas of dark berries, sandalwood and Spanish cedar that are ever so deep. Full body, an incredible spin of polished tannins and bright acidity. Incredible depth. Like looking over the edge of a skyscraper.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
98 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Sammarco is a stunning wine. Super-expressive aromatics make a strong opening statement in a wine endowed with myriad dimensions of nuance and complexity. The 2013 is deep and fleshy, with generous fruit, beautifully integrated tannins and exceptional… ...
AG 98
WS 97
WA 95
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Castello dei Rampolla Toscana Sammarco 2013  (#331682)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

[ 98 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Sammarco is a stunning wine. Super-expressive aromatics make a strong opening statement in a wine endowed with myriad dimensions of nuance and complexity. The 2013 is deep and fleshy, with generous fruit, beautifully integrated tannins and exceptional finesse. Readers should not plan on opening a bottle of this any time soon, though, as it seems likely to age at a glacial pace. Drink: 2025-2043. (Jan 2018) ] 98 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2013 Sammarco is a stunning wine. Super-expressive aromatics make a strong opening statement in a wine endowed with myriad dimensions of nuance and complexity. The 2013 is deep and fleshy, with generous fruit,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
AG 98
WS 97
WA 95
$89.95
$117.00
Save $27.05 (23%)117.00
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97 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): ...Cinnamon, cloves, new leather, licorice and plums are some of the notes that soar from the glass. The 2012 is full-bodied and voluptuous, in classic Flaccianello style, but the new French oak is much better integrated than it often is at this stage, the result… ...
AG 97
WA 94
JS 94
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Fontodi Flaccianello della Pieve 2012  (#325838)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 97 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): ...Cinnamon, cloves, new leather, licorice and plums are some of the notes that soar from the glass. The 2012 is full-bodied and voluptuous, in classic Flaccianello style, but the new French oak is much better integrated than it often is at this stage, the result of a move to lower toast levels over the last few years. This is one of the finest young Flaccianellos I can remember. Simply put, the 2012 Flaccianello is a real stunner. Wow! Drink: 2020-2032. (Sep 2015) ] 97 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): ...Cinnamon, cloves, new leather, licorice and plums are some of the notes that soar from the glass. The 2012 is full-bodied and voluptuous, in classic Flaccianello style, but the new French oak is much better…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
AG 97
WA 94
JS 94
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

[ 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) ] 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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
JS 96
WA 93
WS 93
$39.95
$65.00
Save $25.05 (38%)65.00
Save $25.05 (38%)
96-97 points James Suckling: This is dense and structured with beautifully polished tannins and plenty of currant and blackberry character. Full body and chewy tannins yet refined and juicy. Lots of Mediterranean herbs with the dark fruit. Blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon with merlot and cabernet… ...
JS 96-97
WA 96
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Tua Rita Giusto di Notri 2015  (#329691)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

[ 96-97 points James Suckling: This is dense and structured with beautifully polished tannins and plenty of currant and blackberry character. Full body and chewy tannins yet refined and juicy. Lots of Mediterranean herbs with the dark fruit. Blend of mostly cabernet sauvignon with merlot and cabernet franc. Pretty barrel sample. This is coming along very nicely. Can't wait to taste in bottle. Made from organic grapes. (8/28/17) ] 96-97 points James Suckling: This is dense and structured with beautifully polished tannins and plenty of currant and blackberry character. Full body and chewy tannins yet refined and juicy. Lots of Mediterranean herbs with the dark fruit. Blend of…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
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

[ 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 stone highlighting the dark fruits. It goes on for minutes. Needs three or four years to come together. But a serious red all the way. (8/28/17) ] 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…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JS 99
AG 97
WA 96
PRE-ARRIVAL
$79.95
$126.00
Save $46.05 (36%)126.00
Save $46.05 (36%)
Three Glasses Plus, Gambero Rosso (2010). 99 points Decanter: This 2006 has guts and glory, there is stuffing here. The exotic heat comes through like a pan-seared filet steak, nothing more than a flash fire that gives way to succulence. More exoticism with the dancing array of flavours, from plums,… ...
DE 99
WA 96
IWC 95
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Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia 2006  (#304752)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

[ Three Glasses Plus, Gambero Rosso (2010). 99 points Decanter: This 2006 has guts and glory, there is stuffing here. The exotic heat comes through like a pan-seared filet steak, nothing more than a flash fire that gives way to succulence. More exoticism with the dancing array of flavours, from plums, damson and spices to forest fruits and heather then the menthol kicks comes in. You just want to linger over this glass, pick apart the individual flavours and get to understand what it is saying. Alcohol 13.5%. (Feb 2018) ] Three Glasses Plus, Gambero Rosso (2010). 99 points Decanter: This 2006 has guts and glory, there is stuffing here. The exotic heat comes through like a pan-seared filet steak, nothing more than a flash fire that gives way to succulence. More…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
DE 99
WA 96
IWC 95
95 points James Suckling: Beautiful aromas of black cherry and apricot. Full body, exotic and intense. A wealth of fruit yet remains vibrant and firm. Extremely focused. Long finish. Great follow up to the 2012. Drink in 2021. (11/27/17) ...
JS 95
V 94
WA 91
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Collosorbo Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331454)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 95 points James Suckling: Beautiful aromas of black cherry and apricot. Full body, exotic and intense. A wealth of fruit yet remains vibrant and firm. Extremely focused. Long finish. Great follow up to the 2012. Drink in 2021. (11/27/17) ] 95 points James Suckling: Beautiful aromas of black cherry and apricot. Full body, exotic and intense. A wealth of fruit yet remains vibrant and firm. Extremely focused. Long finish. Great follow up to the 2012. Drink in 2021. (11/27/17)

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$37.95
$60.00
Save $22.05 (37%)60.00
Save $22.05 (37%)
96 points Ian D'Agata (Vinous): Deep red-ruby. Highly perfumed, mineral aromas of raspberry, red cherry, violet and iron. Wonderfully sappy but youthfully imploded in the mouth, this remarkably precise and well-delineated Brunello offers an extremely refined set of flinty red and black fruit herbal… ...
V 96
WA 93
JS 93
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Piancornello Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331910)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 96 points Ian D'Agata (Vinous): Deep red-ruby. Highly perfumed, mineral aromas of raspberry, red cherry, violet and iron. Wonderfully sappy but youthfully imploded in the mouth, this remarkably precise and well-delineated Brunello offers an extremely refined set of flinty red and black fruit herbal flavors. Finishes with a firm edge of tannins and very good floral and spicy lift. An outstanding, very pure and deep wine that [is] one of the Brunellos of the vintage. Drink: 2026-2040. (Apr 2018) ] 96 points Ian D'Agata (Vinous): Deep red-ruby. Highly perfumed, mineral aromas of raspberry, red cherry, violet and iron. Wonderfully sappy but youthfully imploded in the mouth, this remarkably precise and well-delineated Brunello offers an extremely…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$47.95
$85.00
Save $37.05 (44%)85.00
Save $37.05 (44%)
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