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Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends, 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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97 points and 'Top 100 Wine of 2018 (#37),' International Wine Report: ...50% Cabernet Franc, 36% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot... displays a dark, inky color followed seductive aromas of ripe dark cherries, blackberries, spices, fresh violets, graphite and hints of tobacco that… ...
IWR 97
AG 96
WS 96
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Tenuta di Trinoro Rosso di Toscana 2015  (#331086)

750ml
In stock, 6 available

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

97 points and 'Top 100 Wine of 2018 (#37),' International Wine Report: ...50% Cabernet Franc, 36% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 4% Petit Verdot... displays a dark, inky color followed seductive aromas of ripe dark cherries, blackberries, spices,…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 6 available
IWR 97
AG 96
WS 96
98 points James Suckling: Amazing graphite and violet aromas with dark fruits. Medium to full body, ultra-velvety tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Formed and tight. I love the fresh ginger underneath it all. This has a cool profile to the wine. So approachable yet this has wonderful length. … ...
JS 98
AG 96
WA 96
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Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia 2013  (#326446)

750ml
In stock, 12+ available

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

98 points James Suckling: Amazing graphite and violet aromas with dark fruits. Medium to full body, ultra-velvety tannins and a long and beautiful finish. Formed and tight. I love the fresh ginger underneath it all. This has a cool profile to the…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 98
AG 96
WA 96
$199.95
$240.00
Save $40.05 (17%)240.00
Save $40.05 (17%)
96 points International Wine Report: ...34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 20% Petit Verdot... offers seductive aromatics of black cherries and cassis woven together with spices, espresso, graphite floral and hints of loam all coming together in the glass. On the palate this… ...
IWR 96
JD 95
JS 95
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Tenuta dell'Ornellaia Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia 2014  (#330543)

750ml
In stock, 2 available

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

96 points International Wine Report: ...34% Cabernet Sauvignon, 32% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 20% Petit Verdot... offers seductive aromatics of black cherries and cassis woven together with spices, espresso, graphite floral and hints of loam all…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 2 available
IWR 96
JD 95
JS 95
$149.95
$220.00
Save $70.05 (32%)220.00
Save $70.05 (32%)
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
WA 98
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Le Pupille Maremma Toscana Saffredi 2016  (#333802)

750ml
Pre-arrival, 9 available

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, 9 available
PRE-ARRIVAL
$89.95
$125.00
Save $35.05 (28%)125.00
Save $35.05 (28%)
97 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Argentiera is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, and the Cabernet Sauvignon logically feels and tastes most prominent. This is a dark and penetrating Tuscan red that is beautifully elevated, thanks to the… ...
WA 97
JS 96
DE 95
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Argentiera Bolgheri Superiore 2016  (#335082)

750ml
In stock, 12+ available

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

97 points Monica Larner (Wine Advocate): The 2016 Bolgheri Superiore Argentiera is 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc, and the Cabernet Sauvignon logically feels and tastes most prominent. This is a dark and penetrating Tuscan…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WA 97
JS 96
DE 95
$74.95
$85.00
Save $10.05 (12%)85.00
Save $10.05 (12%)
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)

750ml
In stock, 12+ available

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
$69.95
$78.00
Save $8.05 (10%)78.00
Save $8.05 (10%)
94 points James Suckling: Fresh herbs, cedar, black raspberries, orange peel and citrus. Very balanced and focused on the palate, thanks to cutting acidity, but with firm, chewy tannins that envelop a plethora of red fruit. Drink now. (6/16/19) ...
JS 94
WE 93
WS 92
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Tenuta San Guido Toscana Guidalberto 2017  (#334149)

750ml
In stock, 12+ available

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

94 points James Suckling: Fresh herbs, cedar, black raspberries, orange peel and citrus. Very balanced and focused on the palate, thanks to cutting acidity, but with firm, chewy tannins that envelop a plethora of red fruit. Drink now. (6/16/19)

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
JS 94
WE 93
WS 92
$37.95
$60.00
Save $22.05 (37%)60.00
Save $22.05 (37%)
93 points Wine Spectator: This red leans toward the firm, dry side, featuring touches of bell pepper, green olive and spice that accent the main black cherry and black currant flavors. Taut and long, with refreshing acidity. Should develop well. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit… ...
WS 93
JS 93
WA 92
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Poggio al Tesoro Il Seggio 2016  (#334794)

750ml
In stock, 12+ available

Cabernet/Bordeaux Blends from Tuscany, Italy

93 points Wine Spectator: This red leans toward the firm, dry side, featuring touches of bell pepper, green olive and spice that accent the main black cherry and black currant flavors. Taut and long, with refreshing acidity. Should develop well.…

750ml Bottle | In stock, 12+ available
WS 93
JS 93
WA 92
$24.95
$48.00
Save $23.05 (48%)48.00
Save $23.05 (48%)
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