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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100 points and '#1 Italian Wine of 2017,' James Suckling: This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense.… ...

JS 100
WA 97
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Tua Rita Redigaffi 2015  (#329690)

Merlot from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
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$235.00
$400.00
Save $165.00 (41%)400.00
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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

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JS 99
AG 97
WA 96
NEW ITEMPRE-ARRIVAL
$84.95
$126.00
Save $41.05 (33%)126.00
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96 points James Suckling: Fantastically complex aromas of spices, dried flowers and plums follow through to a full body, integrated and polished tannins and a superb finish. This is a 2012 Brunello with it all. Drink in 2018. (11/30/16) ...

JS 96
WA 94
WS 93
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Argiano Brunello di Montalcino 2012  (#329207)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JS 96
WA 94
WS 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
$39.95
$68.00
Save $28.05 (41%)68.00
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99 points James Suckling: Superb wine here, offering aromas of dark berries, tobacco, tar, blackberries and black cherries. It changes all the time and is very complex with hints of meat. On the palate it's full-bodied and very well refined, showing wonderful tannin tension and polished texture. It… ...

JS 99
WS 95
AG 94
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Tua Rita Redigaffi 2013  (#325944)

Merlot from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
JS 99
WS 95
AG 94
PRE-ARRIVAL
$199.95
$400.00
Save $200.05 (50%)400.00
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100 points and '#1 Italian Wine of 2017,' James Suckling: This is an extraordinary merlot with such purity and focus. Flowers such as violets and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense.… ...

JS 100
WA 97
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Tua Rita Redigaffi 2015  (#331268)

Merlot from Tuscany, Italy

1.5L Magnum | In stock, 3 available

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 | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WS 95
WA 94
JS 94
PRE-ARRIVAL
$43.95
$65.00
Save $21.05 (32%)65.00
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96 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): Gorgeous and soft, the 2013 Fontalloro is another landmark wine from this classic vintage. There is enormous intensity here and the wine is only at the beginning of its long aging trajectory... There is evident thickness and generosity here, especially in the… ...

WA 96
JS 95
AG 94
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Felsina Fontalloro Toscana 2013  (#330311)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
WA 96
JS 95
AG 94
NEW ITEM
$49.95
$70.00
Save $20.05 (29%)70.00
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99 points and 'Cellar Selection,' Wine Enthusiast: Enticing aromas of ripe berry, chopped herb, new leather, tobacco and a whiff of eucalyptus all mingle together on this gorgeous, vibrant red. The stunning, savory palate boasts juicy red cherry, pomegranate, white pepper and star anise while firm… ...

WE 99
JS 98
WS 97
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Altesino Brunello di Montalcino Montosoli 2013  (#331448)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WE 99
JS 98
WS 97
PRE-ARRIVAL
$84.95
$125.00
Save $40.05 (32%)125.00
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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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
WA 96
JS 96
WS 94
$84.95
$110.00
Save $25.05 (23%)110.00
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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 | In stock, 12+ available
JS 98
WA 97
WS 96
$89.95
$105.00
Save $15.05 (14%)105.00
Save $15.05 (14%)

96 points James Suckling: Subtle and complete aromas of cherry, flowers, and orange peel. Full body, round and velvety tannins. So pretty and refined. Polished. A gorgeous wine. Drink or hold. (11/27/17) ...

JS 96
WS 95
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San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere 2013  (#331569)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$62.95
$90.00
Save $27.05 (30%)90.00
Save $27.05 (30%)

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, 12+ available
JS 96
WA 94
WS 93
$79.95
$110.00
Save $30.05 (27%)110.00
Save $30.05 (27%)
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