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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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93 points Wine Enthusiast: Chopped herb, wild berry, spice and truffle aromas slowly take shape in the glass. The palate shows both concentration and elegance, offering fleshy raspberry, crushed cherry, licorice and crushed mint flavors, bolstered by firm but refined tannins. Drink 2019-2027.… ...
WE 93
V 92
WA 92
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La Gerla Brunello di Montalcino 2012  (#332329)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 93 points Wine Enthusiast: Chopped herb, wild berry, spice and truffle aromas slowly take shape in the glass. The palate shows both concentration and elegance, offering fleshy raspberry, crushed cherry, licorice and crushed mint flavors, bolstered by firm but refined tannins. Drink 2019-2027. Alcohol 14%. (Apr 2017) ] 93 points Wine Enthusiast: Chopped herb, wild berry, spice and truffle aromas slowly take shape in the glass. The palate shows both concentration and elegance, offering fleshy raspberry, crushed cherry, licorice and crushed mint flavors, bolstered by…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
$39.95
$60.00
Save $20.05 (33%)60.00
Save $20.05 (33%)
94+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2005 Brunello di Montalcino Annata opens with a fabulous, expressive bouquet of freshly cut roses, spices and raspberries, all of which carry through to the palate, where the wine reveals impeccable class and elegance, with just enough fruit to balance its… ...
AG 94
WE 92
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Biondi-Santi (Il Greppo) Brunello di Montalcino 2005  (#332975)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 94+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2005 Brunello di Montalcino Annata opens with a fabulous, expressive bouquet of freshly cut roses, spices and raspberries, all of which carry through to the palate, where the wine reveals impeccable class and elegance, with just enough fruit to balance its angular, lean structure. Still, the 2005 is surprisingly round and harmonious for a young vintage of Biondi Santi, in fact, I had a hard time putting the glass down! Though medium in body, the wine offers gorgeous persistence and a long, exceptionally pure finish. I expect the 2005 Brunello to shut down in bottle, but readers who have an opportunity to taste the wine should not hesitate. Biondi-Santi did not produce a Riserva in 2005; instead the best of the fruit that is normally destined for the Riserva plus a selection of old vines near the heart of the estate were used for the 2005 Brunello. This is one of the unqualified successes of the vintage. Drink: 2015-2030. (Apr 2010) ] 94+ points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): The 2005 Brunello di Montalcino Annata opens with a fabulous, expressive bouquet of freshly cut roses, spices and raspberries, all of which carry through to the palate, where the wine reveals impeccable class and…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
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

[ 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 vintage. Give it time to show its greatness. Drink in 2022. (1/25/18) ] 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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
JS 98
WA 97
WS 96
$89.95
$105.00
Save $15.05 (14%)105.00
Save $15.05 (14%)
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

[ 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. (2/19/17) ] 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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
JS 98
WS 95
WA 94
$64.95
$80.00
Save $15.05 (19%)80.00
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94 points Ian D'Agata (Vinous): Luminous deep red. Captivating aromas of sweet red berries, cinnamon, violet and licorice. Then also very fruity in the mouth; refined, juicy red plum and raspberry flavors linger brightly on the fresh back end. Has a delightful red fruit cocktail quality that makes… ...
V 94
WA 93
WS 93
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Casanova di Neri Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#701945)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 94 points Ian D'Agata (Vinous): Luminous deep red. Captivating aromas of sweet red berries, cinnamon, violet and licorice. Then also very fruity in the mouth; refined, juicy red plum and raspberry flavors linger brightly on the fresh back end. Has a delightful red fruit cocktail quality that makes it practically impossible to put the glass back down... this may well be the best entry-level wine from Casanova di Neri that I have ever tasted. Drink: 2021-2030. (Apr 2018) ] 94 points Ian D'Agata (Vinous): Luminous deep red. Captivating aromas of sweet red berries, cinnamon, violet and licorice. Then also very fruity in the mouth; refined, juicy red plum and raspberry flavors linger brightly on the fresh back end. Has a…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 8 available
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
WS 94
JS 92
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Talenti Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331462)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 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 wine forward during the course of its future evolution. There is a point of sourness with well managed tannins. The finish offers flavors of dried cherry, moist earth and tobacco. Drink: 2020-2035. (Feb 2018) ] 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…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 9 available
WA 94
WS 94
JS 92
PRE-ARRIVAL
$41.95
$55.00
Save $13.05 (24%)55.00
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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

[ 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 for decades ahead. Try to leave it until 2021. (11/27/17) ] 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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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, 11 available
WS 95
JS 93
WA 92
$31.95
$45.00
Save $13.05 (29%)45.00
Save $13.05 (29%)
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
PRE-ARRIVAL
$58.95
$105.00
Save $46.05 (44%)105.00
Save $46.05 (44%)
94 points James Suckling: The deep, rich red-plum nose sucks you into this powerful Brunello that has great fruit and polished, dry tannins that are beautifully in synch. Long, intense and rather complex finish. A great food wine for tonight, but this has the structure to hold for up to a decade. (1… ...
JS 94
WFW 94
WE 93
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Col d'Orcia Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331460)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 94 points James Suckling: The deep, rich red-plum nose sucks you into this powerful Brunello that has great fruit and polished, dry tannins that are beautifully in synch. Long, intense and rather complex finish. A great food wine for tonight, but this has the structure to hold for up to a decade. (1/25/18) ] 94 points James Suckling: The deep, rich red-plum nose sucks you into this powerful Brunello that has great fruit and polished, dry tannins that are beautifully in synch. Long, intense and rather complex finish. A great food wine for tonight, but…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12 available
JS 94
WFW 94
WE 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
$34.95
$55.00
Save $20.05 (36%)55.00
Save $20.05 (36%)
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

[ 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) ] 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…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
JS 96
WA 94
WS 93
$79.95
$110.00
Save $30.05 (27%)110.00
Save $30.05 (27%)
100 points Wine Enthusiast: Heady scents of chopped herbs, woodland berry, forest floor, new leather, dark spice and violet are just some of the aromas you'll find on this fragrant wine. It's savory and loaded with finesse, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, licorice, orange zest… ...
WE 100
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Conti Costanti Brunello di Montalcino Riserva 2012  (#332822)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 100 points Wine Enthusiast: Heady scents of chopped herbs, woodland berry, forest floor, new leather, dark spice and violet are just some of the aromas you'll find on this fragrant wine. It's savory and loaded with finesse, delivering juicy Marasca cherry, raspberry compote, licorice, orange zest and pipe tobacco alongside firm yet polished tannins and fresh acidity. A tangy mineral note graces the lingering finish. It's still young and needs plenty of time to fully unwind and develop. Drink: 2027-2042. Alcohol 14%. (May 2018) ] 100 points Wine Enthusiast: Heady scents of chopped herbs, woodland berry, forest floor, new leather, dark spice and violet are just some of the aromas you'll find on this fragrant wine. It's savory and loaded with finesse, delivering juicy Marasca…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$169.95
$245.00
Save $75.05 (31%)245.00
Save $75.05 (31%)
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