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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: 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

[ 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) ] 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)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
JS 96
WA 94
WS 93
$43.95
$68.00
Save $24.05 (35%)68.00
Save $24.05 (35%)
98 points James Suckling: This is intense and complex yet subtle with fantastic aromas of rose petal, plum, clove and fresh mushroom. Hints of stems. Full body, focused and polished with a linear line of tannins and fabulous length. A beauty. Better after 2021 but already a joy to taste. (11/27/17) ...
JS 98
WFW 94
WA 93
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Sassetti (Pertimali) Brunello di Montalcino 2013  (#331449)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 98 points James Suckling: This is intense and complex yet subtle with fantastic aromas of rose petal, plum, clove and fresh mushroom. Hints of stems. Full body, focused and polished with a linear line of tannins and fabulous length. A beauty. Better after 2021 but already a joy to taste. (11/27/17) ] 98 points James Suckling: This is intense and complex yet subtle with fantastic aromas of rose petal, plum, clove and fresh mushroom. Hints of stems. Full body, focused and polished with a linear line of tannins and fabulous length. A beauty. Better…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 11 available
JS 98
WFW 94
WA 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
Carlina Brunello di Montalcino Riserva La Togata 1999 ...
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Carlina Brunello di Montalcino Riserva La Togata 1999  (#332981)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

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750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
95 points James Suckling: This really explodes with ripe fruit such as dried strawberries and cranberries as well as leather and tobacco. Full body with lots of round tannins but fresh acidity and a long, remarkably savory finish. Drink now or hold. (3/2/18) ...
JS 95
WA 92
WS 92
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Banfi Brunello di Montalcino 2010  (#332973)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 95 points James Suckling: This really explodes with ripe fruit such as dried strawberries and cranberries as well as leather and tobacco. Full body with lots of round tannins but fresh acidity and a long, remarkably savory finish. Drink now or hold. (3/2/18) ] 95 points James Suckling: This really explodes with ripe fruit such as dried strawberries and cranberries as well as leather and tobacco. Full body with lots of round tannins but fresh acidity and a long, remarkably savory finish. Drink now or hold. …

750ml Bottle | In stock, 7 available
JS 95
WA 92
WS 92
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%)
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
PRE-ARRIVAL
96 points James Suckling: A wonderfully precise and clear red with cherry, plum and floral character. Hints of lemons. Full body and firm and velvety tannins. Long and tannic. Yet this still shows polish. Better in 2020. (11/27/17) ...
JS 96
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La Rasina Brunello di Montalcino 2012  (#333007)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 96 points James Suckling: A wonderfully precise and clear red with cherry, plum and floral character. Hints of lemons. Full body and firm and velvety tannins. Long and tannic. Yet this still shows polish. Better in 2020. (11/27/17) ] 96 points James Suckling: A wonderfully precise and clear red with cherry, plum and floral character. Hints of lemons. Full body and firm and velvety tannins. Long and tannic. Yet this still shows polish. Better in 2020. (11/27/17)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
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, 1 available
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 yet it is totally satisfying. Long and elegant, this is Montalcino at its best: Pinot Noir style. I want to drink it now. (Issue 60; 2018) ] 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, 12+ available
WFW 97
WA 94
WS 94
PRE-ARRIVAL
$54.95
$76.00
Save $21.05 (28%)76.00
Save $21.05 (28%)
94 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): This wine is now identified by a single vineyard designation but was once the estate's annata Brunello... shows some signs of the vintage heat, but really only in terms of textural roundness and general softness. The bouquet sings loud and clear with red… ...
WA 94
AG 93
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Pian dell'Orino Brunello di Montalcino Vigneti del Versante 2011  (#328665)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 94 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): This wine is now identified by a single vineyard designation but was once the estate's annata Brunello... shows some signs of the vintage heat, but really only in terms of textural roundness and general softness. The bouquet sings loud and clear with red fruit aromas of cherry and blackberry. The fruit is nicely balanced by those elegant, ethereal notes of blue flower, balsam herb, cola and crushed pine nut that are characteristic of aged Sangiovese. Drink: 2017-2030. (Mar 2016) ] 94 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): This wine is now identified by a single vineyard designation but was once the estate's annata Brunello... shows some signs of the vintage heat, but really only in terms of textural roundness and general…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 1 available
94 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Advocate): The single-vineyard 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna la Casa is immediately distinguished by aromas of smoke, flint and dark fruit. This wine offers more depth and complexity compared to Caparzo's base Brunello from this same excellent vintage. Unlike… ...
WA 94
JS 94
WS 93
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Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino La Casa 2013  (#331459)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 94 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Advocate): The single-vineyard 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna la Casa is immediately distinguished by aromas of smoke, flint and dark fruit. This wine offers more depth and complexity compared to Caparzo's base Brunello from this same excellent vintage. Unlike the base Brunello, however, this wine will definitely require more time to open and flesh out as it continues its bottle evolution. The fruit is a little less accessible at this young stage in the wine's lifespan. It shows lots of energy and tightness at its core that should soften and blossom over the next 5 years. It should be worth the wait. Drink: 2022-2035. (Feb 2018) ] 94 points Lisa Perrotti-Brown (Wine Advocate): The single-vineyard 2013 Brunello di Montalcino Vigna la Casa is immediately distinguished by aromas of smoke, flint and dark fruit. This wine offers more depth and complexity compared to Caparzo's base…

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
WA 94
JS 94
WS 93
PRE-ARRIVAL
$49.95
$70.00
Save $20.05 (29%)70.00
Save $20.05 (29%)
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
V 94
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San Filippo Brunello di Montalcino Le Lucere 2013  (#331569)

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy

[ 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) ] 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)

750ml Bottle | Pre-arrival, 12+ available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$64.95
$90.00
Save $25.05 (28%)90.00
Save $25.05 (28%)
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