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Tuscany

Tenuta San Guido Le Difese Toscana IGT 2014

Tenuta San Guido Le Difese Toscana IGT 2014

The third wine of Sassicaia, Tenuta San Guido Le Difese 2014 is a blend of 70% Cabernet and 30% Sangiovese. Aged for twelve months on French and American oak barrels, it's a medium-bodied, fairly liner Tuscan red bedecked in plums, pie cherries, cassis and mint. In the mouth, firm tannins and high-acid and youthful energy converge, revealing a finish of savory sweet tobacco and spice. Best paired with food, this is a wine that should continue to age gracefully in the cellar. Sample Tenuta San Guido 8.8 Points...

Palazzina Le Macioche Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Le Macioche 2007

Palazzina Le Macioche Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Le Macioche 2007

The 2007 The Macioche, tasted in a vertical was the oldest vintage we were treated to a very impromptu tasting at the winery. It's the color of brick dust, and it feels like it's on the nose, along with layered aromas of purple, incense, anise, menthol, iron. It is quite nimble the mouth, with well integrated finer tannins, and more often than not. Black tea, peppercorn bookend a lengthy finish. 14.5% ABV | sample Canteen Brunello di Montalcino The Macioche 9.2 Points...

Palazzina Le Macioche Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Le Macioche 2011

Palazzina Le Macioche Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Le Macioche 2011

Virtually unknown in the US, Le Macioche is in the same neighborhood as Biondi Santi—their stylish 2011 Riserva is a study in lightness and complexity. Aromas of menthol, incense, pomegranate, leather, mushroom, and forest floor give way to an understory of well-integrated, ultra-fine tannins. The acid here is quite pretty, too—it crescendos mid-palate, and softly glides to a mineral driven finish. Lovely and drinking well now, and should continue to improve. 14.5% ABV | Sample Cantine Brunello di Montalcino Le Macioche 9.1 Ponts...

Poggio Al Tesoro Bolgheri Superiore Sondraia 2012

Poggio Al Tesoro Bolgheri Superiore Sondraia 2012

Supple and stylish, Poggio Al Tesoro is part of the Allegrini family of wineries. This decidedly modern Cabernet, Merlot and Cabernet Franc blend is frife with earth, leather, plums, and cellar dust. With a core that's juicy and plush, and cradled in soft, ripe tannins it's hard to resist the pure hedonism in this glass. Dried herbs and bay leaf emerge at the close. 14.09% ABV | Sample Poggio Al Tesoro 9.2 Points...

2013 Brancaia Maremma Toscana Ilatraia

Brancaia: The Best of Both Worlds

Like so many New World winemakers, Barbara Widmer's childhood landscape wasn't shaped by a life amongst the vines. Her parent's journey into winemaking began, more or less, as a hobby that stemmed from the purchase of an abandoned hillside Castellina named Brancaia. "I grew up in Zurich; I had no ambition or dream to move to Tuscany," Widmer confessed in a recent interview. "My parents encouraged me to become Brancaia's winemaker, but I was totally against it." Instead, she studied architecture and soon found that the discipline demanded compromise, "I loved the design process, but I also started to realize that you have to understand the taste of other people. You have to accommodate other peoples' style, and I’m bad at doing things that are not to my taste." Charting a new course, she spent a year working for a winery in Switzerland before enrolling at the Swiss Institute for Life Sciences in Wädenswil. Studying enology and viticulture in a cool climate has graced her with a lighter touch and an appreciation for balanced acidity. "Working in a marginal climate is much more difficult," she admits. "It teaches you to be careful, to be aware that there is no guarantee that you’ll...

2013 Brancaia Maremma Toscana Ilatraia

2013 Brancaia Maremma Toscana Ilatraia

A Cab-dominant blend that flirts with opulence, reigned in by its Tuscan provenance—and that is a good thing, a food-friendly thing. The 2013 Brancaia Illatraia quietly unspools with notes of plums and ripe blackberries steeped in thyme. Burning embers, dust, and juniper berries add layered complexity. On the palate, it’s round and plush, with mouth-coating tannins and bright acidity that ebb and flow in a core of juicy dark fruit. Sample | 14.0% ABV Brancaia Azienda Vinicola 9.2 Points...

Brancaia Tre 2014

Brancaia Tre 2014

A stylish Super Tuscan that is as modern as its label, Brancaia's 2014 Tre is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon from all three of the winery's estate vineyards. It's softly textured on the nose and palate, a basket of freshly harvested, sun-warmed Italian plums and black cherries infused with thyme blossoms. The palate is plush and generous, with ripe tannins and a core of black fruit enlivened by a burst of acidity that leads into cedar and bay leaf. 13.5% ABV | Sample Brancaia Azienda Vinicola 9.0 Points...

Poggio Al Tesoro Vermentino Bolgheri Solosole 2015

Poggio Al Tesoro Vermentino Bolgheri Solosole 2015

Refreshing as Vermentino often is, the 2015 Poggio Al Tesoro Solosole is brimming with canned pear, star fruit, white flowers, cucumber, and granulated honey notes. The palate is lean, chalky, and linear with an arc of nervy acidity that hits first, a tidal burst that gives way to sea foam, lime stone, kaolin clay, and white pear, followed by a mouthwatering, delightfully persistent finish. Nice QPR on this versatile Italian white. 13.5% ABV | Sample Poggio Al Tesoro 9.0 Points...

Da Vinci Chianti 2014

Da Vinci Chianti 2014

88 points because Da Vinci's Chianti falls squarely in the value category. A softly textured blend of 90% Sangiovese grapes and 10% Merlot, the 2014 vintage offers pretty, uncomplicated aromatics of plums, black cherries, and vanilla. Roughly half of the grapes are vinified in new and used American oak, and the tannins along with the acidity are moderate and accessible. I'd encourage early consumption of this straightforward Chianti, certainly, it won't put a dent in your pocketbook. 12.5% ABV | Sample Da Vinci Winery 8.8 Points...

La Spinetta Chianti Riserva Casanova 2007

La Spinetta Chianti Riserva Casanova 2007

While there is lots of complexity to be found in the 2007 La Spinetta Chianti Riserva Casanova, but individual elements come across as slightly underripe. Aromas of Black olives, saddle leather, roasted bell pepper, black cherries, smoke and burning embers fill out the nose. On the palate, it's mid-weight, but there is little in the way of fruit, save for a dab of blackberry jelly. Earthy notes give way to tobacco and dried herbs, echoing a repeating chorus of the greener tones found on the nose. Azienda Agricola La Spinetta S.S. 8.7 Points...