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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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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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 3 available
JS 96
WA 93
WS 93
$43.95
$65.00
Save $21.05 (32%)65.00
Save $21.05 (32%)

93 points Antonio Galloni (Wine Advocate): ...very distinctive nose redolent of scorched earth, tobacco and cherries initially showing a wilder side of Sangiovese in its hints of gaminess. It is full-bodied and structured on the palate, where it offers plenty of fruit, with considerable length as… ...

WA 93
IWC 91
WS 90
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Il Poggione Brunello di Montalcino 2001  (#112238)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
WA 93
IWC 91
WS 90

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, 7 available
WE 99
JS 98
WS 97
PRE-ARRIVAL
$84.95
$125.00
Save $40.05 (32%)125.00
Save $40.05 (32%)

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 9 available
JS 98
WS 95
WA 94
$64.95
$80.00
Save $15.05 (19%)80.00
Save $15.05 (19%)

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

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

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

750ml Bottle | In stock, 4 available
$39.95
$60.00
Save $20.05 (33%)60.00
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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

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%)

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
Save $21.05 (32%)

96 points Nicolas Belfrage, MW (The World of Fine Wine): Quite deep, though far from opaque. Fresh-picked black-berry fruit on the nose. Announces its forceful personality on the attack. Rich, ripe, and opulent, dark cherry and spice. Firm tannin structure, almost chewy, tight fruit flavors, some… ...

WFW 96
JS 95
V 93
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Capanna Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#332352)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WFW 96
JS 95
V 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
$52.95
$60.00
Save $7.05 (12%)60.00
Save $7.05 (12%)

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

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WS 95
JS 93
WA 92
PRE-ARRIVAL
$31.95
$45.00
Save $13.05 (29%)45.00
Save $13.05 (29%)

94 points James Suckling: Aromas of plums and chocolate with hints of hazelnut. Medium body, a solid core of ripe fruit and a rich and long finish. Very fine and polished character. Better in 2019. (11/30/16) ...

JS 94
WE 93
WS 92
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Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino La Casa 2012  (#332323)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 94
WE 93
WS 92
$49.95
$79.00
Save $29.05 (37%)79.00
Save $29.05 (37%)
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