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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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)

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12 available
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$37.95
$60.00
Save $22.05 (37%)60.00
Save $22.05 (37%)
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…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JS 99
AG 97
WA 96
PRE-ARRIVAL
$89.95
$126.00
Save $36.05 (29%)126.00
Save $36.05 (29%)
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

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…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
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97 points Nicolas Belfrage, MW (The World of Fine Wine): Deceptively light and bright. Delicately scented and attractive on the nose. Restrained and delicate, yet full of flavor and scent, this is a fine bottle of Brunello. Nothing is overstated and yet it is totally satisfying. Long and elegant,… ...
WFW 97
WA 94
WS 94
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Uccelliera Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331670)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

97 points Nicolas Belfrage, MW (The World of Fine Wine): Deceptively light and bright. Delicately scented and attractive on the nose. Restrained and delicate, yet full of flavor and scent, this is a fine bottle of Brunello. Nothing is overstated and…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 7 available
WFW 97
WA 94
WS 94
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$54.95
$76.00
Save $21.05 (28%)76.00
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98 points James Suckling: Plenty of blackcurrant, blackberry and dark chocolate character with oyster shell and walnut undertones. Full body, extremely tight and structured with blueberry and light vanilla and coffee highlights. A gorgeous Oreno. Give this wine two or three years to come together. … ...
JS 98
AG 95
WS 94
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Sette Ponti Oreno 2015  (#331644)

Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy

98 points James Suckling: Plenty of blackcurrant, blackberry and dark chocolate character with oyster shell and walnut undertones. Full body, extremely tight and structured with blueberry and light vanilla and coffee highlights. A gorgeous Oreno.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 98
AG 95
WS 94
$79.95
$110.00
Save $30.05 (27%)110.00
Save $30.05 (27%)
100 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): There is a magical infinity, a continuous loop of compatibilities, between the icon wines of Tuscany and the 2015 vintage. The stunning 2015 Solaia is solid evidence of this perfect alignment. This was a warm vintage that shows less favorably in my opinion… ...
WA 100
JS 100
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Antinori Toscana Solaia 2015  (#333238)

100 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): There is a magical infinity, a continuous loop of compatibilities, between the icon wines of Tuscany and the 2015 vintage. The stunning 2015 Solaia is solid evidence of this perfect alignment. This was a warm…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
99 points James Suckling: Incredible aromas of dark berries, lavender, rosemary, licorice and dried flowers. Spice. Full body and fantastic tannin texture with great length. Goes on for minutes. Muscular yet wonderfully formed and refined. A glorious Saffredi. Drink in 2022. (12/17/18) ...
JS 99
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Le Pupille Maremma Toscana Saffredi 2016  (#333802)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

99 points James Suckling: Incredible aromas of dark berries, lavender, rosemary, licorice and dried flowers. Spice. Full body and fantastic tannin texture with great length. Goes on for minutes. Muscular yet wonderfully formed and refined. A glorious…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
96 points and '#7 Top Wine of 2018,' International Wine Report: ...an exquisitely made, classic style of Brunello that begins with simply gorgeous aromas of raspberries and red plums woven together with exotic spices, fresh florals and a wonderful mineral character, which beautifully reflects its… ...
IWR 96
WE 95
DE 94
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Brunelli/Gianni Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331589)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

96 points and '#7 Top Wine of 2018,' International Wine Report: ...an exquisitely made, classic style of Brunello that begins with simply gorgeous aromas of raspberries and red plums woven together with exotic spices, fresh florals and a wonderful…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
IWR 96
WE 95
DE 94
$64.95
$73.00
Save $8.05 (11%)73.00
Save $8.05 (11%)
94-97 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Rich, pliant and super-expressive, the 2015 Montevertine is shaping up to be a magnificent wine. There is a radiance to the 2015 that is impossible to miss. At the same time, it’s wonderfully polished, with more than enough freshness and overall structure to… ...
AG 94-97
WA 94-96
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Montevertine Rosso di Toscana 2015  (#333693)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

94-97 points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): Rich, pliant and super-expressive, the 2015 Montevertine is shaping up to be a magnificent wine. There is a radiance to the 2015 that is impossible to miss. At the same time, it’s wonderfully polished, with more…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
AG 94-97
WA 94-96
PRE-ARRIVAL
95 points James Suckling: Aromas of rosewood, cherries and blueberries follow through to a full body, tight and focused tannins and a long and flavorful finish. This is linear and bright. The tannins are wonderfully polished and poised. Hard not to drink now, but it will improve beautifully in the… ...
JS 95
WS 92
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Sette Ponti Toscana Crognolo 2016  (#702120)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

95 points James Suckling: Aromas of rosewood, cherries and blueberries follow through to a full body, tight and focused tannins and a long and flavorful finish. This is linear and bright. The tannins are wonderfully polished and poised. Hard not to…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
$24.95
$40.00
Save $15.05 (38%)40.00
Save $15.05 (38%)
96-98 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): Tasted as a barrel sample, the 2015 Le Pergole Torte is a 100% expression of Sangiovese sourced from the estate's oldest vines (between 30 and 50 years old). Like the other wines from Montevertine, Le Pergole Torte sees both its alcoholic and malolactic… ...
WA 96-98
AG 95-98
DE 94
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Montevertine Le Pergole Torte 2015  (#333694)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

96-98 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): Tasted as a barrel sample, the 2015 Le Pergole Torte is a 100% expression of Sangiovese sourced from the estate's oldest vines (between 30 and 50 years old). Like the other wines from Montevertine, Le…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 3 available
WA 96-98
AG 95-98
DE 94
PRE-ARRIVAL
98 points James Suckling: Plenty of ripe blackberry and incense. Opens up beautifully in the glass. So perfumed. Full body and seamless tannins that coat your palate with a silky texture. Wonderfully framed with complex fruit. Drink in 2021 but already gorgeous. (8/29/17) ...
JS 98
WA 94
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Sette Ponti Orma Toscana 2015  (#332341)

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

98 points James Suckling: Plenty of ripe blackberry and incense. Opens up beautifully in the glass. So perfumed. Full body and seamless tannins that coat your palate with a silky texture. Wonderfully framed with complex fruit. Drink in 2021 but…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
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