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JS 92

A subtle nose with fascinating aromas of flowers, strong hints of red berry fruit, light spicy and light vanilla bean. Rich black stone fruit on the palate followed by spicy oak results in a delicious, mouth coating wine with chewy tannins, dense textures and a long, rich finish.
JS 92

A stylish Syrah with spices, dried meats and ripe fruits that follow to a full body, with silky tannins and a fruity finish. Drink or hold.

- James Suckling
JS 90

Bright, fruity red with plums, cranberries and flowers. Full to medium body, firm tannins and a bright, citrus finish. Drink or hold.

- James Suckling (Oct, 2014)
JS 92, V 91

Pelissero's 2013 Barbera d' Alba Piani embodies the virtues of this cool, late-ripening vintage. Freshly cut flowers, mint, hard candy, spices and sweet dark cherries are some of the notes that inform this vibrant, super-expressive Barbera. In 2013, Giorgio Pelissero did not bottle his top of the line Barbera Tulin; all the best fruit went into the Piani.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous
WA 89, IWC 89

The 2011 Langhe Nebbiolo is another attractive, entry-level wine that overdelivers. Juicy dark berries, crushed flowers and cinnamon come to life as this expansive, generous Nebbiolo shows off its class. An expressive, perfumed finish adds complexity and considerable appeal. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2018.

- Anotnio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2012)
WS 93

This is dense, with black cherry, blackberry, tobacco and leather flavors, picking up mineral and spice details on the long aftertaste. Shows ample tannins, fine depth and complexity. Drink now through 2023.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (May, 2017)
WA 88

The 2013 Barbresco is a plump and yielding wine with a soft and opulent approach. The flavor profile spans across spice, ripe fruit, tar and licorice. You taste the sweetness of the primary fruit at its core. Soft tannins give more support and the wine finishes with a supple and velvety texture.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Jan, 2017)
V 94, JS 92, WA 91

La Lecciaia's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is beautifully layered in the glass, with gorgeous intrigue, depth and personality all on full display. There is a sense of translucent finesse in the 2010 that is impossible to miss. Sweet red cherry, stone fruit, mint and wild flowers all grace the exquisite finish. What a pretty wine this is.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous
V 91

The 2014 Bolgheri Rosso is fresh, perfumed and lively in the glass. Sweet floral notes meld into a core of bright fruits in a super-expressive, polished 2014 Bolgheri Rosso that will drink well right out of the gate. Naturally, the 2014 is not as opulent as other recent vintages, but it is quite pretty and expressive.

- Vinous
In the glass, Calanchi di Viano is a luminous pale yellow with green tinges. With elegant aromas that combine citrus fruit, white pepper and apricot, on the palate this Chardonnay is gritty, slightly mineral and noticeably persistent. It is a lovely wine, well suited as an aperitif, or served with paste and rice dishes with mild sauces, white meat, and fish.
V 90

The 2007 Amativo is 60% Primitivo and 40% Negroamaro that spent 10 months in French oak barrels, 15% new. A well-delineated, articulate bouquet leads to racy dark fruit, sweet spices and herbs, all of which are framed by soft, supple tannins. The wine’s sense of inner balance carries through to the harmonious finish. This is a superb effort from Cantele.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2010)
WA 90

The 2005 Carignano del Sulcis Riserva Kanai is a very pretty red made in a mid-weight, ethereal style. The wine reveals lovely inner perfume into its floral red fruits and sweet toasted oak, showing excellent balance and poise. This elegant, restrained Carignano makes a great introduction to the estate’s wines. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2013.

These are the first wines I have tasted from Sardus Pater, a cooperative located on the Sant’Antioco islands, just off the southwest coast of Sardinia. The winery was founded in 1949 and today counts over 300 members. Consulting oenologist Riccado Cotarella oversees winemaking. His approach is often very much felt in the wines, yet I often get a sense that with a lighter touch in the cellar and a more transparent expression of variety and terroir these wines might very well reach a higher level. The raw materials certainly seem to be available, as the estate’s top reds are made from ancient, pre-phylloxera vineyards. This a beautiful set of wines from an emerging property readers should keep an eye on.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (April, 2009)
LM 98

With fruit reminiscent of Pinot Noir from Burgundy, nuances of velvety rich fruit and tea spice softly enchant the palate. Seductive and enthralling tannins perfectly balance the fragrance of fruit and a subtle scent of oak. Powerful and majestic, this bold Pinot finishes with refined elegance and a note of aged balsamic, cherry, and vanilla.

- Luca Maroni's' Annuario dei migliori vini italiani' (Annual Guide to Italian Wine)
WA 90

The 2011 Valpolicella Superiore impresses for its richness and the purity of its red fruit aromas. The blend is 60% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella and 5% Croatina. The wine is aged in both botte grande and barrique in equal parts. Dark raspberries and blueberries segue to leather, spice, toasted almond and barbecue smoke.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2014)
A stellar example of the potential of Italian indigenous grapes this is 100% Pignolo, a small-clustered variety that faced almost certain extinction. This robust, succulent single-vineyard wine has blackberry, prunes, cigar box and sticky melted milk chocolate aromas and flavors. Rich in soft tannins and fruity concentration.
WE 92

Basilisco delivers a deeply volcanic expression of Aglianico, with aromas of dried fruit, crushed granite, lead pencil and exotic spice. Thanks to 18 months of oak aging, it also shows supple softness and a velvety texture that gives this usually austere wine an easy approach overall.

- Monica Larner, Wine Enthusiast(Feb, 2013)
WA 91

This is one of two estates owned by Ambrogio and Giovanni Folonari. The second is Tenuta di Nozzole. The 2013 Il Borgo opens to a rich, dark garnet appearance with austere fruit flavors. Following a few vigorous swirls of the glass, the wine opens up to soft cherry and blackberry aromas with mellow textural richness. Il Borgo represents a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
WA 93, JS 93, WE 92

The star of the show among La Lecciaia's new releases is the mid weight 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva. A little slow to open, the wine shows power and depth followed by a pretty embroidery of varietal aromas. This wine is focused on the small details and the finer nuances. Lingering aromas of wild berry, toasted nut, smoke, wet earth, cola and balsam herb add brightness and buoyancy to the bouquet. There is a dry mineral note on the finish that serves to give weight and definition. The wine reveals tight tannins and a silky feel. I suggest giving this Riserva another few years to reach integration.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Marcg, 2016)
WA 90

The 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon (magnum) offers up dark red fruit, roasted coffee beans, grilled herbs and licorice in a mid-weight, elegant style. Soft tannins inform the soft, polished finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2017.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2011)
WS 92

Vibrant acidity focuses this rich and smoky white, enlivening the flavors of baked plum and nectarine, singed orange peel, star anise and ground white pepper. Fine and harmonious throughout, with a long, detailed finish. This should show nicely with some age. Drink now through 2027.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2015)
JS 90

A silky Barolo with plenty of plum, cedar and walnut aromas and flavors. Medium body, caressing mouthfeel and a delicious finish. Drink or hold.

- James Suckling (March, 2016)
V 91, WS 90, IWC 90

This inky red offers plum, cherry jam, violet and tobacco aromas and flavors on a full, rich, powerful frame. Concentrated, needing air to cohere, with a firm grip of tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2018. Only 750 cases made.

- Vinous
WA 93

We are finally seeing some very exciting results from Paolo Panerai's Rocca di Frassinello estate in northern Maremma, Tuscany. The 2012 Maremma Toscana Rocca di Frassinello is a thickly extracted and beautifully favored red blend. The richness of the wine is very attractive and the bouquet peels back with chocolate, candied cherry, pressed blackberry and grilled herb. The wine shows exceptional texture with firm tannins that are enveloped within fleshy berry flavors.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Sept, 2015)
WS 92

Ripe and complex, this is full of sweet mulled plum and cherry, showing leather, spice and cigar box overtones. Focused and fresh, with plenty of life and a fine, savory aftertaste. Drink now through 2024.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2013)
WA 90

The 2010 Fiano di Avellino comes across as intensely pointed and mineral, even within the context of this wine. Seashells, crushed rocks, minerals, grapefruit and white flowers are some of the notes that are woven into the wine's mid-weight, focused fabric. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2011)
JS 93 WE 90

This full-bodied wine opens with aromas of blue flower, black berries and cooking spices. The palate delivers dark cherry layered with accents of chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and a hint of orange peel. Assertive tannins give way to a minty, fresh finish.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Nov, 2014)
There’s a ripe, almost jammy quality to the bouquet of this Riserva Barbaresco that appears as raspberry or strawberry candy with subtle cola, leather and tar aromas at the back. The wine is tight and compact with the kind of firmness in the mouth that suggests it needs another five years of bottle aging.
Classic Nebbiolo aromas of wild berry, aromatic herb, tilled soil and a balsamic note slowly emerge on this structured red. The focused, full-bodied palate offers wild cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon, white pepper, anise and mint alongside assertive tannins and bright acidity. It needs to come together but already boasts finesse and complexity. Drink 2019–2031.
WS 90

Fragrant, with mesquite smoke and oak spice notes, this lush, modern-style red layers supple, sculpted tannins with flavors of crème de cassis, blueberry puree, espresso and melted licorice. Lightly juicy and medium- to full-bodied, this ripples across the palate and lingers on the lasting finish. Montepulciano and Sangiovese from Abruzzo and Primitivo, Malvasia Nera and Negroamaro from Puglia. Best from 2018 through 2023.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2016)
WA 92

The 2009 Barbaresco Albesani Santo Stefano unfurls on the palate with layers of highly expressive dark fruit. Hints of menthol, smoke, incense, leather and tobacco appear later, adding considerable depth and complexity. A plush, open finish rounds things out in style. Though fresher than the straight bottling, the Santo Stefano is also remarkably open today. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2024.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2012)
WE 90

Leafy underbrush, leather, truffle, grilled herb and tilled soil aromas lead the way. The dense, forward palate doles out juicy black cherry, star anise, tobacco and an earthy hint of game while velvety tannins give it a smooth, polished texture. It has immediate appeal and will offer fine drinking for the next few years. Drink through 2020.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Sept, 2016)
JS 93, WA 92

Ceretto presents a fine expression of Barolo (with fruit sourced from various sites) in the 2012 Barolo. The wine is redolent of pressed flowers, cassis, dried raspberry and grilled herb. Lighter, more vertical aromas of cola, smoke, campfire ash, dried ginger and toasted anise seed lift gently from the back. The mouthfeel boasts savory, ripe fruit and offers a distant note of succulent sweetness.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2016)
WE 91

With a deep amber color and luminous copper highlights, this Moscato-based dessert wine from central Italy boasts pretty aromas of caramel, chestnut honey, pinecone and candied orange. There are well-integrated toasted or nutty notes in the background. It’s a full and sophisticated wine with a masculine, brooding personality and lightly candied fruit on the close.

- Monica Larner, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2008)
WA 89

Luciano Sandrone's 2014 Nebbiolo d'Alba Valmaggiore is a terrific drinking wine that offers fresh fruit, pretty balsam intensity and crisp acidity on the close. A bottle like this begs for a wood-oven pizza topped with spicy sausage or wild mushrooms. It exhibits fine tannins and an easy overall approach.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2016)
JS 92

What a wonderful red with aromas of sliced tangerines and blueberries. Very perfumed nose. Full body, with silky tannins and a beautiful texture. Delicious finish. Bright acidity and freshness to the ripe fruits. Excellent for the vintage.

- James Suckling
JS 94, WE 92, V 91

A rich and flavorful red with plum, dried orange peel and a chocolate finish. Full body, round tannins and a savory finish.

- James Suckling (April, 2015)
WA 95, JS 94

The 2013 Il Borro is a delicious wine that I have tasted several times over the past few months. It presents seamless aromatic integration with luscious dark fruit, proportioned doses of spice, tobacco and sweet blackberry flavors. This wine offers velvety softness and plumpness over a richly extracted mouthfeel and sweet oak tannins. The slightly cooler 2013 vintage reveals very long persistence with pretty nuances of moist earth, rum cake and cherry liqueur. This is a landmark wine from the Il Borro estate in Tuscany.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (May, 2017)
WS 93

Intense aromas of cherry, tar, wild herb and camphor signal this rich, fleshy red. Cherry fruit comes forward on the palate, while tobacco, licorice and iron notes play supporting roles. The dusty tannins are moderate. Long finish. Best from 2019 through 2032.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2017)
WE 90

This robust red opens with enticing aromas of mature black-skinned berry, pipe tobacco, baking spice and crushed violet. The dense hearty palate delivers ripe black cherry, fig, mocha and star anise framed in chewy tannins.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2016)
WA 93

Icardi’s 2010 Barbaresco Montubert opens with dark concentration and a tight aromatic embroidery of tar, cola, licorice, cedar, dried cherry and black currant. The personality here is steady, strong and smart. Firm Nebbiolo structure holds it together beautifully. There is an initial shyness or restraint that unwinds as the wine spends more time in the glass. You can count on the same softening to occur with more cellar aging. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
WS 93

A floral aroma introduces this delicate red, whose cherry and leather flavors are ripe. Balanced overall, with sweet fruit, floral and light savory notes that linger on the aftertaste. Not a typical Barolo, this is more lacy in texture. Decant now or age for a few more years. Best from 2018 through 2029.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (2017)
WE 93

Wild berry, red rose, baking spice and a balsamic note meld together in the glass. The structured, savory palate doles out juicy wild cherry, crushed raspberry, anise, cinnamon and tobacco. Bracing but refined tannins provide the framework. Drink 2018 through 2026.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (July, 2016)
Shows a luminous ruby red.The nose is ripe, refined and elegant, with a bouquet of fresh red fruits and chocolate notes. The palate is fruity, mineral and sapid, with well blended and highly elegant tannins, for a long and silky finish.
WE 91, JS 91

Aromas of bluish-black fruit, exotic spice and purple flowers lead the nose of this structured blend of 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot. The firm palate delivers dried black cherry, mint, sage, clove and espresso alongside ample, fine-grained tannins. A licorice note signals the close.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Aug, 2015)
WS 94, JS 94

Firm and salty, this red delivers cherry, strawberry, mineral and tobacco notes. Tightens up on the finish, so probably best to wait another five years. Delivers fine harmony and a lasting finish. Best from 2019 through 2035. 665 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2015)
JS 93

A white depth and richness of a top chardonnay yet remains fresh and minerally. Full body, lots of cooked apple, stone and citrus undertones. Soft and round texture. Drink now.

- James Suckling (Nov, 2015)
WS 91

Expressive, with effusive aromas of sweet cherry, earth, leather and spice. The tannins are chalky, but overall this is balanced and well-structured, lingering with tobacco and mineral notes. Best from 2018 through 2032.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (March, 2017)
JS 90, WS 90

Concentrated but not overbearing, showing good acidity, this boasts black cherry, plum and spice flavors, finishing on the elegant side, with subtle accents of tar and earth. Best from 2016 through 2028. 175 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2013)
WE 92

You'll find classic Nebbiolo scents of perfumed berry, rose, violet, tilled earth, leather and a hint of game in this striking wine. On the palate, notes of sage, white pepper and clove accent a core of red and black cherry. It's balanced with nervous acidity and gripping tannins.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Oct, 2015)
WA 90

Claudio Icardi’s 2006 Barbaresco Montubert is an attractive, fruit-driven Barbaresco bursting with generous dark cherries, plums, spices and flowers. The wine possesses excellent length and soft, polished tannins that make it accessible with a minimum of cellaring. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2016.

- Antoni Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct 2009)
JS 93, WS 92

Ripe and generous, featuring black currant, black cherry, cedar, sandalwood and underbrush aromas and flavors. This is built with serious tannins, leaving a firm grip on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. Best from 2015 through 2028.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2013)
V 94

Impeccable. Dark red cherries, freshly cut flowers, mint and crushed rocks take shape in the glass. The style is focused, tense and energetic. Sweet floral, tobacco and spice notes develop in the glass, adding depth, complexity & nuance.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous
JS 95, V 94

Pomegranate, wild cherries, flowers, mint, leather and sweet spices abound in the 2011 Granato. Sexy and radiant to the core, the Granato is especially seamless in this vintage, with voluptuous fruit, silky tannins and exceptional overall balance. I imagine the 2011 will provide consumers with a wide window of drinking pleasure.

Today, the fruit is naturally quite primary, so readers who prefer more shades of nuance will want to cellar the 2011 for at least a few years."The estate consists of 16 hectare, spread over 15 parcels, all farmed biodynamically. All Teroldego vines are planted in the Campo Rotaliano, the “grand cru” of Teroldego. The soils are a mixture of sandy alluvial deposits and morainic limestone from the nearby dolomites. While the vineyards are flat, they have excellent drainage.
WS 91, JS 91

Firm tannins are tightly knit to the core of crushed blackberry, wild herb, tarry mineral and abundant spice notes in this sleek, full-bodied red. Fresh and focused, this should open nicely with air or short-term cellaring. Best from 2018 through 2027.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (March, 2017)
WE 91

Fruity plum aromas mingle with dark spice, chopped herb and violet notes on the nose of this full-bodied red. On the palate, fleshy black cherry, clove and anise flavors are set against chewy tannins and fresh acidity. It's already approachable but will also offer years of enjoyment. Drink 2018–2023.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (April, 2017)
JS 92

Intense ruby red color. Black pepper, fruity hints on the nose blend well with the toasty, chocolate and vanilla notes from ageing in wood. A complex, harmonious and well-structured wine with smooth tannins and persistent fruity hints.
WA 91, JS 91, V 91

Very savory and almost spicy, the 2009 Nemo (Cabernet Sauvignon) opens to grilled notes of smoked meat and rosemary with loads of dark, luscious fruit at the back. Barbecue sauce and sweet spice give the wine added aromatic appeal. Where this wine really stands apart is in the mouth, where polished tannins add a firming sense of structure. Nemo is ready to drink now or can be put aside for the future.

The wines made at Castello di Monsanto are some of the most consistent in the entire Chianti Classico appellation. Year in and year out, they offer an impeccably clean perspective that is always characterized by varietal and vintage. This set of new releases follows faithfully in the tradition set forth by this winery.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
Nebbiolo (85%) and Vespolina (15%)
The mineral composition of the porphyry soil together with the characteristics of the Nebbiolo grapes create in “Boca” a full expressive wine. Flavors are reminiscent of well-matured wood berries, tobacco and leather with hints of balsamic and citrus fruits. Power and silky elegance develop in the mouth which plays with a slightly noble-bitter finish.
V 93, WA 91

A blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot, the 2008 60-20-20 is aged in new French oak for 36 months. The wine is full and immediate with thick aromas of black fruit, plum, spice cake and cigar box that fit together seamlessly. Pretty accents of dried rosemary or Italian oregano add lift and buoyancy to the bouquet. This is a large and opulent wine in terms of mouthfeel with thick, fruity extract and a delicious touch of soft sweetness on the finish. Drink 2015-2025.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2013)
WE 92, WS 91

Subdued aromas of menthol, dark spice and a whiff of leather lead the nose while the full-bodied palate offers mature black cherry, star anise and clove. Tightly wound tannins give a solid finish.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Oct, 2016)
WE 91, WS 90, JS 90

Oak, roasted coffee bean and star anise aromas lead the nose. On the palate, notes of fennel, licorice, mocha and espresso lend depth to a core of dried cherry while firmly delineated tannins provide the framework. Drink after 2020.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Oct, 2016)
WS 93

This is elegant, with well-integrated structure framing black currant, black cherry, violet, leather and tobacco flavors. Stays long and resonant on the finish, where a touch of oak spice shines through. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot. Best from 2018 through 2030.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (2017)

WA 92, WS 92

The 2006 Chianti Classico La Tradizione flows onto the palate with masses of rich dark fruit, mocha, chocolate and French oak. The Tradizione is anything but, as it is an extroverted, loaded Chianti Classico far out on the spectrum in terms of its sheer density. Of course, Poggiopiano excels with this style and the Tradizione is another in a line of fine efforts from this property. The generous French oak adds considerable volume, texture, along with scents of mocha, chocolate and spices. A warm, resonating finish rounds this full-throttle Chianti out nicely. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2010)

WA 94

The 2006 Quantum L’Autoctono (100% Pignolo) is an absolutely delicious, huge red that explodes from the glass with dark fruit, leather, licorice, anise and French oak. This large-scaled, exuberant wine exhibits remarkable depth and plenty of textural richness. Hints of mocha and espresso frame the huge finish. This is the finest wine I have tasted from Sant’Elena. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2011)

V 94, WE 94

This elegant Barolo from Verduno’s famed Monvigliero hill shows plenty of character. It has layers of dark cherry, white pepper, mint, spice and chocolate. This has a wonderful creamy, silky texture and is just loaded with finesse. It’s already very enjoyable.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Sept, 2013)
JS 91, WE 90

A fresh, clean red with strawberry, cherry and lemon-rind aromas and flavors. Medium to full body, firm tannins and a crisp finish. Lots of bright acidity gives this backbone. Better in 2016.

- James Suckling (Nov, 2015)
WE 89

This round, structured Syrah opens with aromas of ripe black fruit, tilled soil and ground black pepper. The palate shows mature blackberry and raspberry together with notes of spice and clove. Velvety tannins provide the framework.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (May, 2016)
JS 93, V 92, WA 91, WE 91

Newly promoted to Grand Selezione status, the 2009 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Badia a Passignano shows evolved tones of charred earth, dried cherry, chewing tobacco, tar, black olive and toasted hazelnut. Dusty spice and crushed mineral appear as the wine warms in the glass. The wine stills needs time to fully blossom and soften the remaining tannic sharpness.

Summer heat in 2011, resulting from drying winds that caused spots of heat stress across the Italian peninsula, shows its mark in the grand wines of Italy’s flagship estate. I was especially interested to see how Tignanello and Solaia would perform this year. No doubt, these are standout wines, but there’s no denying the ripe tones packed deep within the flesh of these two vino italiano protagonists. They do not reach the grand heights of recent years.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WS 92

A broad, ripe style, bursting with plum, black cherry and blackberry flavors. Accents of violet, graphite and spice add interest, while dusty tannins line the finish. Enjoyable now when paired with braised meats and stews. Drink now through 2020.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (May, 2017)
WA 94+, WS 93, WE 92

The Argiano 2012 Brunello di Montalcino does a great job of interpreting the vintage and of showcasing its special microclimate on the southern flank of the Montalcino appellation. Both these elements point to warm-climate Sangiovese. and Argiano accepts that challenge with creativity and expertise. This is a proud expression of the grape with thick texture, determination and a succulent approach. Aromas of dark cherry, moist earth, tobacco and grilled herb lift from the bouquet. Bright acidity marks the close. The wine still carries its baby fat and needs a few more years of cellar aging in order to fully express itself.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2017)
JS 93, WS 92

A silky, finely textured red with blueberry, vanilla and violet character. Full body with lightly chewy tannins and a light chocolate, ripe-strawberry and citrus aftertaste. This fantastic single-vineyard wine has been upgraded to a Gran Selezione. "Colledilà - the land which has been part of the Brolio estate for centuries - is the cru of this Chianti Classico DOCG that stands out due to its complex structure and great modern elegance.

- James Suckling
WE 93, WA 92, WS 93

The 2010 Barolo Cascina Nuova is great example of the elegant wines crafted in the Novello township of Barolo. The wine offers deep layers of bold fruit and cherry, but it also shows delicate highlights of mint and wild sage that add an extra sense of depth and dimension. Its texture is rich and supple and that plush concentration goes a long way on the finish. Drink: 2016-2026.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2014)
JS 92

A very ripe red that verges on raisiny, with loads of vanilla and chocolate. Full body, soft tannins and a rich finish. Lots of toasted oak, too. Drink in 2016.

- James Suckling (Oct, 2014)
WS 88

Baked black cherry and plum fruit flavors are layered with a streak of smoky minerality, and red licorice and grilled herb notes in this fresh, light- to medium-bodied red. Well-balanced, with spice and tar accents on the finish. Drink now through 2018.

- Allison Napjus, Wine Spectator (2015)
WA 94

The 2005 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico La Chimera opens to a dark amber color and thick layers of glycerin that move in thick streaks down the side of the glass. It shows tertiary tones of burnt butter, toasted almond and candied fruit. This Vin Santo is very caramelized in personality with a chewy thickness that makes it a meal on its own, or an ideal pairing partner to an after-dinner cigar.

The wines made at Castello di Monsanto are some of the most consistent in the entire Chianti Classico appellation. Year in and year out, they offer an impeccably clean perspective that is always characterized by varietal and vintage. This set of new releases follows faithfully in the tradition set forth by this winery.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WS 91

Ample cherry and strawberry flavors are matched by savory elements of wild herbs, leather and tobacco in this firmly structured red. Still firm, but has all the components. Drink now through 2020.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (2015)
WE 90

Packaged in an elegant square-bottomed bottle, this opens with fragrances of peach blossom, stone fruit and citrus. Showing its 100% Chardonnay pedigree, the creamy palate delivers mature yellow apple, white peach and lemon zest alongside bright acidity. White almond and mineral note back up the finish.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2014)
WA 96, JS 95

I am always such a big fan of Andrea Cortonesi's work. Like his previous releases, the 2012 Brunello di Montalcino shows an uncanny sense of continuity and consistency with past releases. This steady stylistic focus is one of the best reasons to buy Uccelliera Brunello. The wine is dark and rich in appearance. Fruit from this vintage was smaller than usual and Andrea jokes that during the 2012 growing season you could hardly call it "Sangiovese Grosso," the name of the Sangiovese clone used in Montalcino. It is normally characterized by larger berry size, but not in this warm and dry vintage. Fruit was concentrated and smaller instead. The wine's explosive flavor profile demonstrates this fact. Blackberry and dark fruit segues to spice, tobacco and balsam herb.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2017)
WA 90

The 2011 Franciacorta Rosé Brut (100% Pinot Nero) is on the informal side of the Franciacorta sparkling wine spectrum, but it also delivers loads of delicious fruit freshness. This attractive rosé sparkler offers a food-friendly personality that would pair with seafood, grilled tuna or sushi. The wine is fresh, forthcoming and versatile. Crisp acidity and silky perlage appears on the close. This wine sees 36 months of sur lies aging.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Sept, 2015)
WS 93

Refined and creamy, with sweet hints of chocolate pudding and baking spice underscoring the flavors of cherry clafoutis and herbes de Provence, accented by a streak of tarry mineral. Elegant overall, but sculpted tannins lend this weight and definition. Offers a lasting, smoky finish. Drink now through 2031.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2016)
WS 88

A dark, licorice- and tar-flavored version, with dense tannins and a spicy finish. Tightens up on the finish, which leaves a woolly feel on the gums. Best from 2017 through 2026.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (2014)
JS 94, WE 94, WA 93

The 2012 Giusto di Notri is an IGT Toscana blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It opens with rich, impenetrable concentration and luminous ruby highlights that shine bright against the inner darkness of this beautiful wine. Dark fruit, leather, spice, moist chewing tobacco and dark chocolate lift from the glass. The wine shows firm structure with silky tannins that render a polished texture on the finish.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Sept, 2015)
WA 95

Il Poggione has done a terrific job with its 2011 Brunello di Montalcino. The wine is soft, yielding and charged with a velvety and smooth texture. It is deeply redolent of dark berry, black cherry, spice, leather and tobacco. The wine's sunny personality never feels flat or too dense. In fact, the wine offers a very tight and steely backbone that gives the wine stature and strength. This is one of my favorite Brunellos from the 2011 vintage.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)

WA 96, V 94

Ending on a sweet note, both figuratively and literally, the 2004 Vinsanto del Chianti Classico is a pure incarnation of vinous opulence and beauty. The wine is absolutely stunning, from start to finish. It shows bright amber highlights against the same shade of dark brown you see on a polished chestnut shell. Its thick, viscous consistency glides over the smooth surfaces of the glass with the soft, slow motion movements of maple syrup. The bouquet is impossible to forget as it leaves notes of honey, brown sugar, roasted nut, rum cake, vanilla, white truffle, candied apricot and moist pipe tobacco firmly etched in your memory. The blend is 50-50 Sangiovese and Malvasia. You don’t drink this wine. You slurp it down instead, savoring each tiny drop. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2040.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2013)
JS 95, WA 93

Simone Bilorsi's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino exhibits a dark garnet color and little light penetration. Fornacina has been using organic farming methods since 2004 and the pureness of the fruit does come through in this classic vintage. Ash, smoke and dried fruit lift from the glass to reveal softer tones of spice, licorice and grilled herb at the back. This wine already shows signs of tar and black tar that hint at the beginnings of bottle evolution. Otherwise, the delivers is very smooth and silky and the wine boasts fresh acidity to keep it lively. The finish is long and rich.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2015)
WA 93, V 92

The 2010 Corbaia is tight and streamlined, with thorny aromas of forest berry and bramble that give the wine an interesting prickly or nervous energy. It keeps you on its toes on the palate as well, where Sangiovese’s fresh acidity is paired nicely against the firm tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon. That pretty duality gives the wine persistency and power as well as the ability to evolve over time. In fact, I would set off drinking this wine for at least another four to five years.

Castello di Bossi made a terrific showing in 2009 with wines that are bursting with lively fruit, momentum and balanced structure. In contrast, this set of 2010 super Tuscans shows less consistent results. Cooler vintage characteristics played out very differently among the three grapes (Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) used in these two wines.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
JS 93

This acclaimed Chardonnay, first crafted in 1987, is dedicated to U2’s 1987 album “The Joshua Tree” and the song “Where the Streets Have No Name.” Loads of aromas of candied lemons, peach skin and a touch of camembert. Light toffee, too. Full body, lots of fruit and an oily texture. Lively acidity on the finish.

- James Suckling
JS 94

A wine with terrific texture and balance. Very polished tannins that are etheral and harmonious. Full-bodied, yet fresh, this is about combining elegance with power. It's so Latour in style. Excellent depth.

- James Suckling (Aug, 2015)
94 Tasting Panel

Woodsy cherry orchards on chalky hallowed ground. Mature wild berries are mates with espresso beans that seem to emerge from chocolate-flavored-flavored soils. Sour cherry and lavender greet the palate on the finish.

- Tasting Panel (June, 2015)

WS 89

Round and juicy, this balanced red shows light tannins and expressive notes of raspberry preserves, dried thyme, mocha and smoke. Chewy. Drink now through 2020.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (2016)
WE 91

Ripe, black-skinned fruit, dark spice and chopped herbs abound on this structured red. The big, bold palate offers ripe black cherry, blackberry extract, mocha and licorice while round tannins envelop the palate.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2015)
WA 95

San Leonardo was not produced in 2009. The 2010 San Leonardo (Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère and Merlot) is a seamless and polished wine that shows the best of this estate and this vintage. This is a profound and lasting wine with a bouquet that opens to dark fruit tones backed by spice, leather, tobacco and polished river stone. It tastes very young now but offers good material (in terms of richness, acidity and structure) to promise a steady aging evolution ahead. This edition of San Leonardo is gorgeous with a capital G.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (May, 2016)
WS 93

An alluring, fruity style, boasting black cherry, raspberry and menthol flavors, backed by chalky tannins. Elegant and firm, this loses some rusticity with air on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2032. 350 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2016)
JS 96, WA 93

Barone Ricasoli’s flagship wine, the 2010 Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio flaunts its pedigree and beauty right from the start. The bouquet is balanced and intense with a charming mixture of bright berry fruit and oak-driven tones of spice and tobacco. The fabric of the wine is firm, fresh and perfectly streamlined. Menthol highlights and grilled herbs are fitting endnotes. The best part is that this wine never strays far from tradition. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2013)
JS 94, WS 92, V 92

A modern style, yet beautiful in its execution. Black cherry and blackberry flavors are pure and tinged with violet, toast and oak spice notes. A beam of acidity keeps this fresh, lingering with a spice, berry and mineral aftertaste. Best from 2012 through 2020.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2011)
WA 92

I have always been a big fan of this wine. The 2013 Bolgheri Rosso Le Serre Nuove is a generous blend of Merlot (32%), Cabernet Sauvignon (36%), Cabernet Franc (20%) and Petit Verdot (12%). The wine presents an intensely drinkable style with soft fruit nuances of cherry, spice, grilled herb and leather. The integration of those aromas is absolutely seamless. In the mouth, Le Serra Nuove is soft, lush and beautifully persistent.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
WS 93

Dark-colored, with loads of ripe berry, vanilla, coffee and blackberry aromas that follow through to a full-bodied palate, with big, juicy tannins and a long, rich finish. A very New World style. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

- James Suckling, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2008)
WA 92

Satta’s 2005 Cavaliere is an unqualified success in this vintage. Dark wild cherries, herbs, tobacco and underbrush are some of the nuances that emerge from this rich, weighty Sangiovese. In 2005 the Cavaliere shows wonderful depth and persistence on the plate that only a few wines were able to achieve, all while preserving the warmth and expansiveness typical of the wines of Bolgheri. Even better, the Cavaliere should come around sooner than some of Satta’s other wines. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2010)
WS 89

Firm and chewy, this offers flavors of black cherry coulis, singed orange peel, date and fragrant dried herb. Juicy, well-spiced finish. Drink now through 2021.

- Alison Napjus, WIne Spectator (2016)
WS 91, WE 91

A well-knit red, featuring dense tannins married to flavors of crushed black cherry, cured tobacco, smoke and Asian five-spice powder. Sleek and balanced, with a chewy finish. Drink now through 2025.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2016)
V 92

Gaja's 2013 Rossj-Bass is quite expressive and nuanced. Scents of apricot pit, peach, mint, flowers and white pepper meld together effortlessly, while lightly honeyed notes add richness and texture through to the finish. All the elements fall into place in this effortless, gracious white from Gaja.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Dec, 2015)
WS 92

There's fine balance to the rich flavors of dried cherry, fig cake, grilled herb and smoky mineral in this rich red, bolstered by burly tannins and juicy acidity. Shows fine length and depth, with ripe fruit and spice echoing on the finish. Drink now through 2030.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2016)
JS 93, WS 91

Harmonious and fresh, this linear white is framed by mouthwatering acidity. A subtle, smoky base note underscores the flavors of star fruit, chopped almond, apple tart and clover. Offers a lingering, fleur de sel–tinged finish. Friulano, Pinot Bianco and Sauvignon. Drink now through 2025. 600 cases made

- Allison Napjus, Wine Spectator (2015)
WE 92, JS 91

This opens with aromas of menthol, chopped mint, ripe berry, leather, underbrush and a hint of toasted oak. On the firm palate, tightly wound tannins weave through Morello cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and a balsamic note. Drink after 2020.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Oct, 2016)
WA 93

The 2011 Barolo Cerequio is a balanced and beautiful wine from one of the most panoramic vineyard sites in the appellation. It ages for two slow years in botte grande and rests in bottle for an additional year before its commercial release. The bouquet reveals delicate nuances with a degree of the menthol and chopped herb characteristics you sometimes get with Nebbiolo from Cerequio. The finish is extra smooth and silky. This wine will age soundly for a decade or more.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2015)
WE 93

Crushed blue flower, ripe plum and a whiff of exotic spice emerge on this bold wine. On the concentrated palate, ground pepper, cocoa and licorice notes accent ripe black cherry and baked plum. Velvety tannins lend elegance and support.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2015)
WS 92

A juicy, vibrant style, this offers cherry, strawberry, spice and tea flavors, backed by a firm structure. Stays tight and compact on the finish, with enough complexity to show potential. Best from 2019 through 2030. 333 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (2017)
WA 93+

The 2009 Barolo Parej is a slow to evolve wine that grows in careful increments and measured intensity with each swirl of the glass. The aromas veer over to the dark side with licorice, tar, asphalt, plum, dark berry and wet earth. It’s well worth waiting to see where it will go. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2030.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
WS 95, WA 92

Dark and brooding, featuring saturated black currant, wild herb and mineral aromas and flavors, just hinting at animal. This is backward and tightly structured with tannins, yet also concentrated and long, with sweetness prevailing in the end. Nebbiolo and Barbera. Best from 2015 through 2040. 780 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Nov, 2010)
WS 94

Macerated cherry, plum and spice flavors are shaded by leather, tar and tobacco accents in this dense, beefy red. The aromas are beginning to open up. Balanced, with a long way to go. Best from 2019 through 2035.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (March, 2017)
JS 95

Dark violet color. Aromas of roasted beets, citrus rind and dusty chocolate. Hot stone. Violets. A generous red with lots of fruit. Nicely crafted. Full-bodied. Made from 70% Syrah and 30% Grenache.

- James Suckling (Oct, 2014)
WE 95, WS 93, WA 93, JS 93

Fragrant blue flower, perfumed berry, leather, cake spice and a balsamic note are some of the scents you'll find on this gorgeous, forward Barolo. The delicious palate offers raspberry, wild cherry, cinnamon, white pepper clove and tobacco. Ripe, polished tannins make this already accessible but it will also age well for a decade or more. Enjoy 2016–2023.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2015)
JS 93, WA 93, IWC 91

The 2007 Barbaresco Bernardot is a highly attractive, soft wine redolent of crushed flowers, spices, licorice, tobacco and tar. Everything comes together beautifully in this textured, yet mid-weight, expressive Barbaresco. Spices, menthol and licorice linger on the impeccable, harmonious finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2027.
V 94, WA 92

Given the personality of the year, I am not surprised to find the 2010 Long Now closed down. Over time some of the wine’s inner silkiness and perfume begins to emerge, but only slightly. There is plenty of energy and focus in the glass, but like all of Pelissero’s 2010s, the Long Now needs time. The superb energy and precision of the finish is promising for the future. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

Pelissero is without question one of the top-tier estates in Barbaresco. Every wine in this lineup is solid and well worth seeking out. In particular, the 2009 Barbareschi are some of the very finest wines I have ever tasted here. The management of the tannins – such a problem at other estates – was expertly handled. Pelissero’s 2010 Barbareschi had been bottled just before my visit and were too closed down to properly evaluate.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2012)
JS 96, V 93

The 2012 Barolo Sorì Ginestra is one of the more understated wines I have tasted here in some time. Silky, pliant and expressive, the 2012 boasts considerable aromatic presence to match its overall weight and intensity on the palate. A host of lavender, smoke, mint, plum, spice and savory herb overtones add the closing shades of nuance.

- Vinous
WS 93, JS 93, WE 92

The 2005 Brunello di Montalcino from Castello Romitorio is a fresh, juicy offering endowed with gorgeous dark fruit. Expressive aromatics are woven throughout, adding complexity. This mid-weight, understated Brunello reveals outstanding length and tons of class, with a round, caressing finish that begs for a second taste. It is a terrific effort in this vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (April, 2010)
WS 94, IWC 93, WA 92+

The Barbaresco Gaiun has long been the estate’s most fruit-driven, supple Barbaresco. The 2006 possesses exceptional balance, particularly in the integration of the French oak. Initially bright, the wine turns darker in the glass as the fruit begins to emerge. This shows an attractive roundness on the palate, but with a touch less extraction and a bit more freshness than is often the case. Signature floral, spiced notes linger on the impeccable finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2021.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2010)
WS 91

A dense, savory red, with rich, smoky minerality underscoring the flavors of cherry compote, graphite, herbed black olive and star anise. The supple tannins form a firm, well-knit frame. Spicy and chewy on the lasting finish. Best from 2017 through 2029.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Sept, 2015)

WA 93, Tre Bicchieri

Moschioni’s 2004 Rosso Celtico (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 50% Merlot) naturally comes across as more international than his other blend, Rosso Real. It presents a heady combination of roasted coffee beans, sweet toasted oak, licorice, black pepper and jammy fruit with stunning purity and structure in a style that is less expressive aromatically but more generous texturally.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2007)

V 95, WS 91, WE 91

Well-knit and silky in texture, with refined tannins framing the layers of dried cherry and black currant fruit. Aromatic notes of herb and spice show a deep accent of rich wood smoke that builds through to the lasting finish. Drink now through 2023.

- Allison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Dec, 2013)
The big, big brother of the Grassi Valpolicella, this is delicious & refined with rich ripe plums, bing cherries, oven-baked blackberry jam, with cloves, nutmeg, a hint of cardamom, and pleasing acidity. The finish is endless.

There are only 800 cases made of this wonderful Amarone, and I'm lucky to get any to share. You might find a few dubious bottles of this elsewhere online, but the provenance doesn't get any better than this (we fly it over, straight from Roccolo Grassi's cantina).
WE 91, WA 91

The 2007 Barolo Riserva La Volta is aged in oak cask (50 hectoliters) with a strange floral presence makes me think of pressed violets with some petrol nuances. This still needs much more time to unwind. With its very distinct personality, I wonder if I should lower the scores, as it is pungent, a bit rustic and raw. It is powerful. Drink: 2015-2023.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (July, 2014)
WA 91

The 2007 Barolo Riserva Bricco delle Viole also shows aged tones of cured meat and seems drying more ash driven than the previous. No fresh fruit and the oak barrel used here makes the traditional imprint clear. Drink: 2015-2025.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (July, 2014)
WE 94, WA 93

The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigneto Poggio Doria shows tight contours and pretty delineation. There is a point of softness and extra fleshiness that underlines the fruit's ripeness. Back cherry, pressed raspberry and blackberry preserves play prominent roles. Nuanced tones of smoke, balsam herb and crushed mineral appear at the back and add more complexity. In the mouth, however, the wine is more stripped down and sports a mid-weight style. This Riserva ends on an elegant note.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)
JS 90

An alluring red, this offers perfumed aromas of flowers, cherry and tar followed by juicy cherry, raspberry, licorice and spice flavors. Flesh covers the structure well, but could benefit from aging. Best from 2014 through 2030.

- James Suckling
JS 98

The violets and blackberries show wonderfully on the nose here, yet this remains subtle and complete with hints of walnuts. Full body, ultra-fine and firm tannins and a beautiful fruit and mineral undertone. Tight and substantial. So layered. Another example of finesse and beauty here with this pure merlot.

- James Suckling (Oct, 2015)
WE 90

Intense aromas of mature black cherry, licorice, leather and a balsamic note lead the nose and follow over to the palate along with cranberry and a note of pipe tobacco. Tightly packed, rather austere tannins provide firm support and need time to unwind.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2017)
WE 94, WA 93

The 2011 Barolo Cerequio is another spectacular offering from Michele Chiarlo, a producer who has a knack for making faithfully consistent wines no matter what the vintage conditions. What stands out here is the balance and the intensity of the fruit. Fragrant tones of dark fruit, dried cherry, liquid smoke, cola and licorice emerge from the bouquet in a steady stream. That continuous and unbroken flow of goodness segues to the palate.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2016)
JS 92, WS 91

An aromatic and spicy version, with white pepper, cinnamon and vanilla notes framing the cherry and berry flavors. Firm and lean, offering complexity and length. Sangiovese with Canaiolo and Colorino. Best from 2015 through 2020.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (April, 2014)
WS 93, WA 92

The 2007 Barolo Parej emerges from the glass with spices, freshly cut flowers, licorice and sweet red cherries. It is a relatively mid-weight wine for the year, but the bright red fruit nevertheless shows considerable depth. Sweet floral notes wrap around the finish. The Parej is a supple, fruit-driven Barolo but I find myself drawn in by the wine's exuberant, sexy personality. Silky tannins frame the long finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2011)
WA 92, IWC 92

The 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a standout expression with long and polished notes of dried fruit and tobacco presented in a smooth and seamless fashion. It shows good structure and balance but an even prettier nose with ethereal balsam herbs, tar, licorice and pressed violets that emerge as the wine evolves in the glass. The wine hints at a greater evolution to come. Drink: 2017-2022.

Only a few brief moments into my winery visit with Francesco Ripaccioli, it was evident that I was looking the future of Brunello di Montalcino squarely in the eyes. This young man is the personification of a new generation of vintners and proprietors who will soon inherit this storied winemaking legacy. Francesco's confidence with languages, his clear understanding of his family's patrimony, and his deep commitment to the winemaking process makes him, like many others in his age group, an encouraging symbol of what will come.


- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2014)
WA 94, WE 93

The excellent 2013 Barolo Conca breaks away from past editions in terms of intensity and elegance. This classic vintage has produced a wine of power, heft and concentration. Yet that determination is delivered with polite manners. The base of the wine consists of ample structure and depth. The multilayered aromas on top peel back to reveal dark cherry, licorice and white truffle. This wine is endowed with generous heft and substance that should carry it steadily through its bottle evolution.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2017)
WA 95, WE 95

The Barolo Marcenasco is aged in large casks, whereas the 2013 Barolo Rocche dell'Annunziata sees a mix of smaller wood and barrique instead for a more robust and opulent style. This approach works very nicely across from the hearty intensity and austerity displayed by the Rocche dell'Annunziata fruit. This wine is beautifully redolent of dark cherry and spice with lingering notes of balsam and medical herb that add focus to the wine's already fragrant bouquet. This vintage will require patience. The wine is hard-headed and stubborn now. It needs time to relax with age.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2017)
WA 94

Here is a beautiful wine from Cesari. The 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva Bosan shows a darkly rich and concentrated appearance. The wine follows two distinct themes. First, it shows an overtly fruity side with dark tones of plum, blackberry and dried cherry. This is a balanced vintage that exhibits heft, heat and determination. The wine is thick and textured in terms of mouthfeel. Despite the wine's power (the alcohol is 15.9%), it ends on a beautifully elegant note. The blend is 80% Corvina and 20% Rondinella. Some 29,500 bottles were produced.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (May, 2017)
JS 95, V 95, WA 94+

The 2009 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo is impressive. The overtness of the year is nicely balanced by the inherent freshness and acidity of Sangiovese. Hints of tobacco, cedar, licorice and spices are layered into the insistent finish. This is a terrific showing. I very much like the energy, length and focus of the fruit. I can’t wait to see how this develops over the coming years. The Vigna del Sorbo is a bit overlooked in the Fontodi stable, but it is often striking, especially after a few years in bottle. This historic vineyard is planted to 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The Sorbo has an element of freshness that the Flaccianello doesn’t have. I will not be surprised if over time it enjoys a more gradual and finessed evolution in bottle. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2012)
WS 91

An intense and enticing mix of fresh and spicy dried fig, date and raisin on the nose. Full-bodied, with big, silky tannins that coat the mouth and provide for a long finish of spice and mineral.

- Wine Spectator (Sept, 2006)
V 96, JS 94, WA 93

The 2008 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo is beautiful in this vintage. It shows gorgeous mid-palate depth and pliancy, with wonderful richness in its sweet dark fruit, smoke, licorice and grilled herbs. The 10% Cabernet Sauvignon works particularly well in this vintage, as it seems to give the wine a measure of depth and delineation that is less obvious in the Flaccianello. Higher toned floral notes add lift on the finish. The Vigna del Sorbo is a touch restrained in 2008, as are most wines, yet it shows fabulous balance and tons of personality. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2028.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Aug 2011)
V 96-98, WA 94+

The 2011 Sammarco is so youthful it almost tastes like a barrel sample! Dark, rich and inviting, the 2011 possesses notable concentration and depth, with round yet powerful tannins and a surprising level of freshness for the year. A host of black cherry, graphite, smoke, plum and lavender notes accompany the powerful finish.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Oct, 2015)
V 94

The 1995 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is all about harmony. This isn’t the biggest or most complex Rancia, but rather a wine that impresses for its sense of proportion and harmony. Fine, silky tannins and a kick of Sangiovese acidity frame the long, vibrant finish. This is another dazzling wine that has stood the test of time, and then some. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

I will never forget this once in a lifetime tasting of Felsina’s flagship Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia. What started out as a casual survey of a few older vintages turned into a complete vertical as proprietor Giuseppe Mazzocolin and long-time oenologist Franco Bernabei surprised me with bottle after bottle of fabulous Rancias going back to the inaugural 1983. A few days after this tasting I received a complete lab analysis of all the wines, one of the most valuable pieces of data I have ever seen, and a presentation worthy of serious wine scholarship. The single biggest takeaway from this tasting is the amazing consistency of the wines across all vintages. Considering its modest price, Rancia remains one the most fairly priced, cellar worthy wines in the world. As great as Rancia can be, the straight Riserva makes a fine substitute at about half the price. I learned that lesson again recently at Maialino in New York City, where Wine Director Liz Nicholson served me a fabulous bottle of the 1995.I have to say there is something about the wines of the 1980s and mid-1990s that goes straight to the heart. Giuseppe Mazzocolin describes his early wines from the 1980s as huge challenges to make because he constantly had to convince his vineyard workers to drop fruit, something that was a culture shock and that seemed like an enormous waste of money given the mindset of the time. If present-day vintages develop only half as well readers will be in for a treat as those wines mature. Readers will notice that the early wines from the 1980s were called Vigneto Rancia, rather than simply Rancia, which became the norm beginning in 1990. The wine has been made from the same parcel since the first year.

Felsina Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia Key Points:

1. 100% Sangiovese aged in French oak barrels

2. Made from the Rancia vineyard, a high-altitude site in the south of the Chianti Classico appellation

3. Combines power and elegance

4. Aging potential: 20-30 years

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (June, 2012)
WA 93, JS 92

The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino is fabulous. An exciting melange of dark cherries, plums, tobacco, licorice, mocha and herbs take shape in the glass. Powerful, rich and structured, the 2008 wraps around the palate with serious depth. The Canalicchio Brunellos often have an element of wildness to them, as does the 2008, but the wine also has a track record of aging very well. This is an intriguing Brunello, to say the least. The 2008 has more than enough depth to stand up to 36 months in cask. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2028.

Canalicchio di Sopra is one of my favorite properties in Montalcino. The wines are consistently outstanding, have plenty of personality and also age beautifully.


- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
JS 97, WS 92

Baked currant and fig cake notes are laced with tea leaf, wood smoke and citrus peel accents in this bright, tightly meshed red. Dense tannins provide firm structure. The lasting finish echoes a streak of spicy minerality. Drink now through 2027.

- Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2017)
WE 94, WA 93, WS 93

The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino reveals a dark, brooding expression of black cherries, menthol, licorice and flowers. The wine possesses lovely detail and clarity, in a somewhat compact, firm style. With air the wine fleshes out nicely. A final floral note gives the wine a sense of lift on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2009)

Named for the winery’s matriarch, Mara Cesari, thiswine is produced in the extended Valpolicella region near the city of Verona in the Veneto region. Following fermentation in stainless steel, the wine was refermented on the dried grape skins (“the Ripasso technique”). The wine is then racked off for a few months and undergoes malolactic fermentation. Aging takes place for 12 months in Slavonian oak barrels and French tonneaux and 6 months in bottle. A smooth, elegant wine with an aromatic bouquet of ripe fruit and cherries, Cesari Mara Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso boasts a persistent, warm finish.
WA 92, IWC 91

The cask-aged 2003 Brunello di Montalcino from Canalicchio di Sopra is a big, full-bodied wine packed with vibrant dark fruit. It coats the palate with gorgeous depth and persistence, showing terrific energy and notable overall balance. This is a great effort from Canalicchio di Sopra and one of the estate's best wines in recent memory. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2016.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (April, 2008)
WA 91+

The 2004 Franciacorta Francesco Iacono Dosaggio Zero Riserva (the bottle was disgorged in 2012) shows warm aromas of butter croissant, apricot, caramel, baking spice and roasted nuts. The classic 2004 vintage is one of finesse and staying power. A persistent vein of minerality frames the wine’s medium, creamy finish. Despite its many years in the making, this elegantly aged Franciacorta tastes much younger than it really is. Drink: 2014-2018.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2013)
WS 92

A silky, elegant style, offering cherry, spice, tobacco and mineral flavors. Balanced and gaining composure with air, so decant now or cellar for two to three years. Fine length. Best from 2018 through 2029.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Feb, 2016)
V 95+, IWC 92

Impresses for its crystalline purity. Bright veins of chalky salinity support the fruit in a drip-dead gorgeous, vibrant Barbaresco built on energy and nuance. An exotic finish laced with hints of tangerine peel, rose petal, anise and spices rounds things out beautifully. This is one of the most polished, graceful wines I have ever tasted from Giorgio Pelissero.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Oct, 2014)
WS 91

Sweet cherry, plum, licorice and tobacco flavors pick up hints of eucalyptus and spice in this luscious, well-balanced red. There are ample tannins, but they are easily matched by sweet fruit on the lingering aftertaste. Best from 2019 through 2032.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (2017)
WA 89

The 2003 Barbaresco Tulin presents a dark expression of Nebbiolo in its deep, penetrating aromatics as well as its backward super-ripe fruit, earthy smoke and tar flavors. It is a big, full-bodied effort, with notable concentration as well as length, and an imposing tannic structure. Anticipated maturity: 2008-2017.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2006)
JS 94, WS 91

Rich and fleshy, this red exudes black currant, blackberry and sweet baking spice flavors, with a layer of dense, refined tannins underneath. Fresh and elegant overall, with fine harmony and a lingering aftertaste. Merlot and Sangiovese. Best from 2017 through 2024.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2015)
V 98, WA 95, JS 95

The 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo is a timeless expression that embraces all the canons of great winemaking. This vineyard-designate expression (Sangiovese and a small part of Cabernet Sauvignon are planted here) boasts a delicately floral side in 2010 with dried violets and blue flower that gracefully lift the bouquet. Beyond the floral tones are shadings of cassis, wet earth, anisette and tobacco. Like the other wines of Fontodi, Vigna del Sorbo shows an ethereal side and inner elegance that is impossible to repeat elsewhere. It’s sure to develop bottle complexity over the years. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2013)
V 93, IWC 91

The deepest and most voluptous of Pelissero's 2011s., the Barbaresco Vanotu possess notable depth and textural volume. Dark red and black stone fruits, spices, mint, wild flowers and new leather blossom in the glass. As always, Vanotu is a rich, powerful Barbaresco. Ideally, readers will be able to let the wine sit in the cellar for a few years to allow some of the baby fat to melt away.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Oct, 2014)
WE 93, WS 92, WA 91, JS 91

Forest floor, rosemary, ripe berry, new leather and a whiff of earth are just some of the aromas in this structured red. The full-bodied, chewy palate flexes muscle and restraint, offering ripe black cherry, licorice, clove and dried aromatic herb while firm, ripe tannins provide the framework. While it won't need many years to become accessible, it also has some staying power. Drink 2019–2026.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (May, 2016)
JS 95, WS 92

This red is supple, with bright cherry fruit offsetting the firm tannins. Tobacco and leather flavors, with a hint of tar, add complexity as this persists through the lingering aftertaste of tobacco and spice. Sangiovese. Drink now through 2021.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (April, 2013)
WE 95, WS 94, JS 93

Artist Sandro Chia and his team have delivered a lush, modern, approachable and opulent riserva with aromas of spice, ripe fruit, chocolate fudge and red cherry. This is a round and supple wine, with a soft, generous mouthfeel backed by firm structure and bright acidity. Best from 2015 through 2032.
WS 91

Open-knit and accessible, this red offers layered flavors of blackberry coulis, spiced plum, licorice and spice box. Lightly juicy throughout, with a chewy finish and a lasting hint of dried herb. Drink now through 2020. 120 cases imported.

- Allison Napjus, Wine Spectator (June, 2013)
WA 93

Canalicchio di Sopra’s 2004 Brunello di Montalcino is an intense, full-bodied red that is simply captivating for its seamless dark fruit and superb depth. Rich, round and delicious, this racy Brunello offers plenty of dark fruit with sweet scents of licorice, leather and spices that linger on the long, refined finish. Clean notes of minerality give the wine superb balance. This is easily the most elegant, refined Brunello I have tasted yet from Canalicchio di Sopra and is one of the highlights in 2004. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2022.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (April, 2008)
WA 96, WS 94

Truly drop-dead gorgeous is the 2007 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Mazzano. I think the 2007 vintage is one of the best expressions of Mazzano ever made. This is a finely elaborate and intriguing vinous creation that shines bright like a piece of classic marble sculpture. There is a subtle gloss and patina to the wine that gives it extra smoothness and silkiness to the touch. Likewise, its aromas of white mineral, spice, blackcurrant and licorice are finely etched and defined. Timeless Mazzano will keep in your cellar for ten years or more.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Nov, 2014)
WS 96, Top 100: 2012, Rank: 25
JS 95, WA 94, IWC 94

The first impression of this red is purity and finesse, as black currant, raspberry and violet aromas and flavors stay focused and persistent. An earthy leather element and mineral notes chime in on the finish, backed by a vibrant structure. Sangiovese. Best from 2015 through 2032.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2012)
WA 95, WS 95, IWC 94, V 94

The 2011 Flaccianello della Pieve is 100% Sangiovese aged 24 months in new French oak and two months in large oak cask. I’m not sure how Fontodi does it, but this edition of Flaccianello is simply beautiful. It is a seamless expression with lingering tones of red cherry, coffee, spice, truffle and red rose that flow harmoniously into unison. In the mouth, the wine shows great opulence and textural richness that is pushed forward by the stylistic softness of the tannins and the wine’s inner freshness. Pretty menthol tones appear on the finish. Drink: 2015-2030.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WE 95, WA 95, WS 95

No matter the vintage - hot or cold - this special wine always stays true to itself. The 2011 Barolo Monprivato is not as precise or polished as the excellent 2010 vintage, but the wine offers abundant elegance and generosity nonetheless. Dark fruit is followed by pipe tobacco, licorice and cola. These elements achieve a beautiful level of balance, depth and unity. Some tartness appears on the close. This wine demonstrates that you can't beat an excellent vineyard site when it comes to making iconic wines.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2016)
IWC 93+, WA 93+

Higher-pitched on the nose than the Nubiola and Tulin, offering scents of black fruits, violet and dried rose. Juicy and energetic in a calcaire way, combining attractive sweetness with excellent definition. This is every bit as sweet as the 2008 Vanotu, with even more floral character in the mouth. The superb mounting back end features firm-edged tannins and noteworthy verve. In style, this really transcends the vintage.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Oct, 2012)
WA 92, WE 91

The 2005 Serpico is a marvelous wine that is also in a beautiful place right now. The fruit and aromatics are still impressively vibrant and fresh, but gorgeous varietal notes have begun to develop, rounding out the wine beautifully. Smoke, game, ash, violets and blackberries are some of the nuances that emerge from this medium to full-bodied Serpico. Sweetness from the French oak lingers on the finish, but it is quite subtle and should continue to fade over time. The 2005 has developed beautifully since I last tasted it two years ago. This is a fabulous effort from Feudi. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2020+.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2010)
IWC 92, WA 91

This family-run estate makes an excellent Brunello from its 15 hectares of vineyards in the Canalicchio zone of Montalcino. I recently had the opportunity to taste several vintages of the Brunello, which was a great opportunity to assess recent vintages as well as glean some insights into how the wine ages. From vintage to vintage the wine showed its characteristic notes of scorched earth and ripe dark fruit. With a few years of bottle age the wines often begin to display attractive, heady white truffle overtones. The house favors cask-aging for its Brunello and the wines are made in a fairly traditional style. The medium- to full-bodied 2001 Brunello di Montalcino is rich, plump, and bursting with flavor, showing subtle, delicately woven notes of earthiness, tobacco, smoke, minerals and plenty of dark cherry fruit supported by firm yet fine tannins. It is sure to improve with a few years of cellaring but it is quite impressive even today. Anticipated maturity: 2011-2021.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2006)
WA 94

The 2012 Brunello di Montalcino La Cerbaiola is a beautiful expression with delicate berry flavors that wrap over the palate with polished perfection. The house style at Salvioni prizes ethereal elegance in a manner that few others can achieve within the Brunello appellation. These wines present a new facet each time you return to contemplate the fluid and ever-changing bouquet. Spicy tar, clove and toasted nut appear as almost indistinguishable afterthoughts on the long-lasting finish.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (May, 2017)
JS 96, WS 94, WA 94

The 2012 Barolo Ravera is a beautiful wine and a fully-loaded Nebbiolo. The wine offers thick lines and deep concentration with seamless integration even at this very young stage in its evolution. The bouquet is redolent of dried cherry, spice, tar and tilled earth. This is a wine of utmost elegance, grace and nobility. Past vintages have appeared firmly closed when tasted too young, but the 2012 vintage is more relaxed and un-clenched than expected.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2016)

WA 92

The estate’s 2004 Pignolo is a massive, powerful and tannic effort packed with dark jammy fruit, tobacco, scorched earth, herbs and new leather flavors. Patience is clearly required and if this wine settles down it may very well merit a higher score. Today it remains somewhat of an enigma. In 2004 5% of the fruit was dried slightly to give this wine additional richness. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019.

Michele Moschioni's tiny estate is located in Cividale. An afternoon spent in his cellar is a fascinating education in the purity of expression that Friuli's indigenous red varietals are capable of achieving in the hands of a serious, passionate producer. Moschioni credits Romano Dal Forno as an early inspiration for his wines. He is also very close to Gravner, Damijan and Zidarich, all small artisan producers who craft hand-made, natural wines. Moschioni favors late harvests which can stretch into mid-October or early November. Because fruit often struggles to ripen in this northerly microclimate, in some vintages Moschioni performs a slight drying or appassimento on a portion of his grapes. As Moschioni says, he likes fat wines and these are powerful, intense offerings with dry extract levels that are off the charts. The wines are fermented using only natural yeasts. For his top bottlings - Pignolo, Schiopettino and Rosso Reâl - Moschioni uses open-top wood fermenters without temperature control. The wines all do malolactic fermentation in French oak (Allier and Tronçais, roughly 80% new) where they age for about two and a half years. The SO2 levels are minuscule and the wines see no fining or filtration prior to being bottled in accordance with the lunar phases. In short, these wines are among the most natural, unmanipulated wines readers will encounter from anywhere in the world. Consumers who want to understand the potential of indigenous varieties like Pignolo and Schiopettino owe it to themselves to check out the stunning wines of Michele Moschioni.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2007)

WE 94, WA 92

Floral and refined, this opens with alluring scents of violet, iris, perfumed berry, earth and a whiff of pressed powder. The savory, elegant palate offers up juicy wild cherry, raspberry, truffle, anise and white pepper framed in a network of silky tannins. It's already extremely accessible and will offer fine drinking pleasure for the near and mid-term.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (May, 2016)
V 93, IWC 92

The 2007 Barbaresco Vanotu is an intense wine that expresses the warm, open quality of the vintage, but with a touch more gravitas. Sweet, sensual and totally inviting, the Vanotu swirls around in the glass with dark cherries, mocha, leather and grilled herbs. The French oak is nicely integrated, and there are virtually no hard edges to be found in this beauty, with the exception of the young Nebbiolo tannins that occasionally come through. A few additional years in bottle should help this exceptional Barbaresco find its center, although in truth it is already pretty striking. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

Pelissero is one of my favorite producers in Barbaresco. Year in, year out proprietor Giorgio Pelissero does a fabulous job with all of his wines, from top to bottom.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Dec, 2010)
WA 94, WS 93, WE 93

The 2010 Camartina offers many beautiful surprises. This blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Sangiovese is a structured and powerful wine, but it offers elegance and balance as well. This classic vintage has done its part to shape a wine that offers bright fruit intensity, delineated aromas of blueberry and spice, and a richly velvety sensation in the mouth. You can hold this wine for the next ten years.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Dec, 2016)
V 93, IWC 92

The 2005 Barbaresco Vanotu is the biggest and ripest of this trio of Barbarescos. An expansive, generous wine, it possesses remarkable density and richness in its dark fruit, mint and sweet toasted oak. The wine continues to grow in the glass, gradually revealing its superb pedigree. Floral notes on the long finish provide lift and give the wine an element of grace that hasn’t always been present in past vintages. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2018.

I was extremely impressed with these new releases from proprietor Giorgio Pelissero. Readers may also want to take a look at Issue 178 for notes on the estate’s value-priced wines.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Oct, 2008)
WE 92, WA 91, WS 91

Smoke, graphite, blue flower, cedar and black pepper aromas take center stage on this bold, structured wine. Velvety tannins support the dense black cherry, plum and blackberry flavors, while notes of freshly ground pepper and nutmeg add depth. Thanks to fresh acidity it's already surprisingly drinkable but it also displays aging potential. Drink through 2022.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2014)
WA 90

The 2006 Tato is 75% Cabernet Sauvignon and 25% Merlot. It shows plenty of black cherry, plum and grilled herb character. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2020. These are the most impressive wines across the board I have tasted from Sant’Elena.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (February, 2011)
IWC 94, WA 92

Sexy, expressive nose offers plum, redcurrant, mocha, coffee, spices and underbrush. Wonderfully silky and sweet but gripping, with the impression of decadence shown by Rinaldi's wines in ripe years. This has more mid-palate richness to support its big, building tannins than the San Lorenzo-Ravera bottling. Finishes with lovely energy and impressive length. A great success in the context of the year. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.
WE 96, WS 94

Multifaceted aromas of rose, iris, leather, cranberry, truffle and the barest hint of game lead the nose. The radiant palate offers creamy strawberry, ripe red cherry, orange zest, baking spice, dried herb and tobacco alongside firm but polished tannins. Fresh acidity provides balance while a mineral vein energizes the finish. With its smooth texture, it's already tempting but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2018–2026.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Sept, 2016)
WA 95

Il Poggione has done a terrific job with its 2011 Brunello di Montalcino. The wine is soft, yielding and charged with a velvety and smooth texture. It is deeply redolent of dark berry, black cherry, spice, leather and tobacco. The wine's sunny personality never feels flat or too dense. In fact, the wine offers a very tight and steely backbone that gives the wine stature and strength. This is one of my favorite Brunellos from the 2011 vintage.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)
WS 95, WA 94, IWC 92-94

A seductive red, drawing you in with its pure cherry and floral aromas and flavors, then capturing you with the silky texture and harmonious profile. Stays fresh and elegant, with a long, ethereal finish. Best from 2015 through 2030. 500 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator
(Nov, 2012)
WA 92, IWC 91

Rinaldi’s 2003 Barolo Brunate/Le Coste is deeply flavored and intense, with more than enough fruit to balance its tannic structure. The characteristic balsamic notes that are typical of this wine literally jump out of the glass. This seriously long and powerful Barolo is also remarkably accessible and is a great introduction to one of Piedmont’s great wines. When tasted separately the different qualities of the two vineyards are striking. Brunate provides the muscle and complexity, while Le Coste gives the wine a measure of softness. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2019.

- Antonio Galloni
WA 91, IWC 91

The 2003 Barolo Cannubi (San Lorenzo)/Ravera is sweet and ripe with the essence of perfumed sweet cherries and raspberries. It is made in a soft, seductive style that is unusual for this producer and which makes the wine very accessible even at this stage. Anticipated maturity: Now-2019.

- Antonio Galloni
WE 93, IWC 92, WA 91

Thisis a surprisingly, open, accessible Barolo from Giuseppe Rinaldi. Dried cherries, tobacco, spices and flowers come together in a round, sensual style. The wine reveals outstanding length and dusty tannins on the finish. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2009)
WE 95, WS 94

Mature dark berry, cake spice, baked earth, leather and a whiff of game are just some of the aromas you'll find on this impressive wine. The chewy palate offers ripe black cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon, white pepper and aromatic herb alongside a backbone of firm, ripe tannins and racy acidity. Drink 2019–2031.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Feb, 2016)
WE 95, V 94

Aged in cherry-wood casks, this opens with earthy aromas of tilled soil, blue flower, leather, black cherry and baking spices. The delicious palate offers plum cake, nutmeg, baked fruit, cocoa and cinnamon alongside velvety-smooth tannins. It’s both elegant and opulent, and while it’s extremely accessible now, it will also age well. Drink 2015–2027.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2014)

WS 95, WA 94, IWC 93

The wood initially lends a dill and sawdust quality to the cherry fruit. With air, this reveals greater purity to its strawberry and raspberry flavors. Very elegant, resonating on the long, red berry and mineral aftertaste. Ethereal and old-school. Best from 2013 through 2029. 450 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator
V 98, WA 95

The 2010 Chianti Classico Riserva Vigna del Sorbo is a timeless expression that embraces all the canons of great winemaking. This vineyard-designate expression (Sangiovese and a small part of Cabernet Sauvignon are planted here) boasts a delicately floral side in 2010 with dried violets and blue flower that gracefully lift the bouquet. Beyond the floral tones are shadings of cassis, wet earth, anisette and tobacco. Like the other wines of Fontodi, Vigna del Sorbo shows an ethereal side and inner elegance that is impossible to repeat elsewhere. It’s sure to develop bottle complexity over the years. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2030.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2013)
WE 97, JS 97, WA 95

This stunning expression of Solaia opens with ample aromas of exotic spices, tilled soil, mature black-skinned fruit and an underlying whiff of fragrant blue flowers. The vibrant, elegantly structured palate doles out high-toned black cherry, ripe blackberry, white pepper, cinnamon, clove and Mediterranean herbs alongside a backbone of firm, polished tannins and bright acidity. Drink 2017–2032.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Aug, 2015)
WA 96, V 94

Medium to deep garnet color. Pretty, fresh blackberry and warm cherry aromas on the nose with fragrant nuances of rose petals and Chinese five spice. The tannins are firm yet finely grained and accessible. A crisp backbone of acidity provides freshness and perfect balance to the rich, ripe fruit flavours. The style straddles that wonderfully fine line between elegance and decadence. Very long finish with lingering notes of black truffles. Drinking now but will certainly open and soften with 4-5 years more cellaring. Should continue to develop through 2020+. Tasted January 2009.

- Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate (March, 2009)
JS 94, WA 94

The 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Cerretalto comes from a more challenging vintage for Casanova di Neri with a cooler growing season and more moisture. In fact, the mouthfeel here is noticeably thinner compared to the stunning wines made from this vineyard in 2007 and 2006. Cerretalto is so immensely soft and luscious it is almost too much of a good thing. Rich spice, cherry, chocolate and crushed granite wrap thickly around the palate. Drink: 2017-2026.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2014)
WA 93

Icardi’s 2010 Barbaresco Montubert opens with dark concentration and a tight aromatic embroidery of tar, cola, licorice, cedar, dried cherry and black currant. The personality here is steady, strong and smart. Firm Nebbiolo structure holds it together beautifully. There is an initial shyness or restraint that unwinds as the wine spends more time in the glass. You can count on the same softening to occur with more cellar aging. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
WA 95, WE 95

The 2011 D'Alceo is a stunning blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon with 15% Petit Verdot. The bouquet is perfumed and enticing with dark rose, cherry fruit, spice, leather, cola, grilled herb and so much more. Fruit comes from a six-hectare single vineyard (whereas fruit for the Sanmarco represents a special selection from various vineyards.) The intensity and purity is what sets this wine part. Both are impeccable. In the mouth, D'Alceo feels long, linear and meaningful. Castello dei Rampolla practices biodynamic farming.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
JS 94, WS 91

Rich and fleshy, this red exudes black currant, blackberry and sweet baking spice flavors, with a layer of dense, refined tannins underneath. Fresh and elegant overall, with fine harmony and a lingering aftertaste. Merlot and Sangiovese. Best from 2017 through 2024.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2015)
JS 98, V 98, WA 97, WE 97

The 2010 Solaia puts on an incredible show that hits all the senses and keeps your unyielding attention for as long as there is wine in the bottle. There are various ways to describe the bouquet. First, is the wine’s sweet side, as this beautiful 75-20-5 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese and Cabernet Franc delivers ripe cherry, black currant, baking spice and dark chocolate. After that, the wine becomes redolent of tobacco, balsam, bay leaf, rum cake and dark licorice. The bouquet is all encompassing and complete. A firmly structured backbone is padded generously by the fleshy richness of its consistency. This is a gorgeous wine that will age for decades. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2040.

The past 12 months mark one of the most exciting times in the long, long history of Antinori. Marchese Piero Antinori and his daughters inaugurated their monumental winery in Bargino, about 20 minutes from Florence in late 2012 after a series of last-minute preparations and sleepless nights. Winery doors officially opened to the public in 2013. It would be impossible to exaggerate to grandeur of this sprawling, multimillion-dollar underground edifice. Angelo Gaja told me at the opening that Antinori’s new winery is the most revolutionary event in modern Italian wine. I agree. With a museum, restaurant and tasting area, it represents Italy’s most ambitious effort yet to make wine the ultimate destination.


- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Aug, 2013)
V 94, WA 91

The 2010 Barbaresco Nubiola is a well-priced wine that delivers a beautiful and subdued appearance with bright garnet and ruby highlights. The feminine, but profound bouquet shows tones of pressed blue flower, cherry, wild berry and dark spice. The wine drinks young at this stage and promises a steady evolution thanks to the natural freshness of the acidity and the astringent youthfulness of the tannin. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2025.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
JS 100, WE 97, WA 96

With so many fantastic wines produced in 2010, it's hard to make a shortlist of your favorites. One expression that should definitely be included is the stunning 2010 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Vigna di Pianrosso Santa Caterina d'Oro. This is a graceful and super elegant wine with bold aromatic intensity that is followed by firm tannins and a polished, smooth texture. It offers power in the proverbial silken glove. But the wine is not simplistic by any stretch. The longer it warms in the glass, the more it delights and surprises. Delicate tones of wild berry, cassis, blanched almond and dried ginger work together in harmony.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (March, 2016)
WA 95

Forever the superstar, the 2011 Bolgheri Superiore Guado al Tasso is a delicious wine that never holds back in terms of intensity and seamless integration. Every detail has been finessed. The blend is 57% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Merlot, 15% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Each vineyard parcel is fermented separately to maintain varietal identity. The wine’s appearance is dark and luscious with thick extraction and a vibrant dark garnet hue. Generous aromas of dark fruit, tobacco and chocolate lift steadily from the glass. The mouthfeel is soft and yielding with a great sense of tannic persistency that holds up the finish, which can be counted in many long minutes. Give this wine five years or more to fully evolve.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2014)
WS 96, Top 100: 2012, Rank: 25
JS 95, WA 94, IWC 94

The first impression of this red is purity and finesse, as black currant, raspberry and violet aromas and flavors stay focused and persistent. An earthy leather element and mineral notes chime in on the finish, backed by a vibrant structure. Sangiovese. Best from 2015 through 2032.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2012)
JS 98, V 95

The 2007 Brunello di Montalcino is gorgeous. Dark red cherries, plums, spices, leather and tobacco wrap around the palate as this dense, powerful wine starts to open up. Expressive aromatics are woven throughout, giving the 2007 a measure of polish and sophistication that is not always present in this wine when it is young. Finessed, suave tannins reinforce an impression of elegance. The 2007 can be enjoyed with minimum cellaring, but it will also age gracefully for many years. Readers who want to try the 2007 today should give the wine plenty of air, as the more refined qualities only emerge over time. When tasted next to the 2006, the 2007 shows redder tonalities of fruit and less sheer muscle. Hints of tobacco, crushed flowers and spices wrap around the sensual finish. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2027.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (April, 2012)
WE 92, WS 91, WA 91

Smoke, graphite, blue flower, cedar and black pepper aromas take center stage on this bold, structured wine. Velvety tannins support the dense black cherry, plum and blackberry flavors, while notes of freshly ground pepper and nutmeg add depth. Thanks to fresh acidity it's already surprisingly drinkable but it also displays aging potential. Drink through 2022.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Dec, 2014)
JS 95, WA 93

The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is aged for 41 months in large oak casks to produce nicely evolved aromas of dried cherry, smoked ham, prune, plum, licorice and grilled herb. The wine shows well both in terms of intensity and purity of varietal fruit and that slow oxidative process in wood has allowed for extra aromatic depth and definition. After a few minutes in the glass, the wine warms to show fruit-heavy flavors of cherry and forest fruit. The is a Brunello of elegance and poise that should hold well for the next decade or longer.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Feb, 2015)

JS 98, WE 95, WS 94

Dal Forno delivers one of the world's most impossibly rich and concentrated red wines. Using grapes sourced from the high-density Monte Lodoletta vineyard, this inky, dark expression oozes with syrupy tones of maraschino, dark chocolate fudge, cinnamon spice, crushed clove and barbecue smoke. In keeping with the wine's legendary reputation for long aging potential, the tannins are rock solid at the moment.

- Wine Enthusiast (Nov, 2012)
WA 94

Sweet, rich, lush and layered, yet also remarkably light on its feet, the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino dazzles from start to finish. Sweet roses, red berries, flowers, mint and orange peel all take an appearance in this utterly impeccable polished Brunello. I imagine the 2008 will still be a special wine at age 30. The aromas are naturally still quite primary, so some cellaring is advisable. The brutal August hailstorm took with it a full 40% of the production, but left behind a strikingly beautiful Brunello endowed with seemingly endless layers of fruit and fabulous overall balance. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2038.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2013)
WA 94

The 1995 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is all about harmony. This isn’t the biggest or most complex Rancia, but rather a wine that impresses for its sense of proportion and harmony. Fine, silky tannins and a kick of Sangiovese acidity frame the long, vibrant finish. This is another dazzling wine that has stood the test of time, and then some. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2012)
WE 96, WS 94

Multifaceted aromas of rose, iris, leather, cranberry, truffle and the barest hint of game lead the nose. The radiant palate offers creamy strawberry, ripe red cherry, orange zest, baking spice, dried herb and tobacco alongside firm but polished tannins. Fresh acidity provides balance while a mineral vein energizes the finish. With its smooth texture, it's already tempting but hold for even more complexity. Drink 2018–2026.

- Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Sept, 2016)
WS 95, WA 94, IWC 93

The wood initially lends a dill and sawdust quality to the cherry fruit. With air, this reveals greater purity to its strawberry and raspberry flavors. Very elegant, resonating on the long, red berry and mineral aftertaste. Ethereal and old-school. Best from 2013 through 2029. 450 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (April, 2012)
WS 95, WA 94, IWC 92-94

A seductive red, drawing you in with its pure cherry and floral aromas and flavors, then capturing you with the silky texture and harmonious profile. Stays fresh and elegant, with a long, ethereal finish. Best from 2015 through 2030. 500 cases made.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator
(Nov, 2012)
JS 93, WE 93, WS 91, WA 91

A rich, generous red, this firms up on the finish, showing fine length. Sweet cherry, berry, spice and mineral notes mingle, then the layer of tannins emerges. Well-proportioned, just needs time. Best from 2013 through 2024.
JS 97, WA 94

The 2012 Bolgheri Superiore Ornellaia is very similar to the 2011 Ornellaia that precedes it. These were both hot vintages, but 2012 saw the heat towards the end of the growing season. In fact the harvest in 2012 came two weeks earlier than average. This seamless blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (56%), Merlot (27%), Cabernet Franc (10%) and Petit Verdot (7%) shows some of the roundness and softness of that summer heat. The wine's density and extraction are spot-on and the bouquet is beautifully shaped by dark cherry nuances with spice, leather and tobacco at the back. There is a gorgeous sense of richness and plushness here. Some 160,000 bottles were produced. This edition of Ornellaia is more immediate in character and less suited to the decades-long aging that cooler vintages can affront so successfully.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Oct, 2015)
WA 93

Tignanello has this amazing ability of always being, well, Tignanello. Its very DNA makes it among the most distinctive and recognizable wines in the world. I'm happy to report that this is also the case for the 2014 Tignanello that faced very different growing conditions compared to most. The wine is beautiful and balanced with sweet tannins and a supporting oak texture that is neatly folded at the back. The wine is all about measure and proportion, and it aspires to these goals with an impressive sense of natural harmony. This is not an overtly powerful or muscular expression. Instead, it shows a tasty, almost savory form of elegance. This vintage was made with 75% Sangiovese, which means that the Cabernet presence is a tad bigger than normal. Ultimately, this wine is more finessed and delicate, and I appreciate the careful tannic management on display here.

- Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (April, 2017)
V 94, IWC 91

The 2011 Barbaresco Nubiola is exceptionally beautiful and expressive. Spices, dark red stone fruits, mint and leather all meld together in a pliant, expressive Barbaresco that will drink well early. Sweet floral notes, anise and rose petal are laced throughout the finish. Ripe, silky tannins provide the backdrop for a gracious, understated Barbaresco. The 2011 brings together the freshness of the 2010 with the fruit density of the 2009, a pretty appealing combination in my book.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Oct, 2014)
V 94

The 2011 Barbaresco Nubiola is exceptionally beautiful and expressive. Spices, dark red stone fruits, mint and leather all meld together in a pliant, expressive Barbaresco that will drink well early. Sweet floral notes, anise and rose petal are laced throughout the finish. Ripe, silky tannins provide the backdrop for a gracious, understated Barbaresco. The 2011 brings together the freshness of the 2010 with the fruit density of the 2009, a pretty appealing combination in my book.

- Antonio Galloni, Vinous (Oct, 2014)
WA 94, WS 92

The 2006 Brunello di Montalcino comes across as tightly wound and inward at this stage. With time in the glass the wine’s inner perfume gradually comes to life, even if this remains a reticent Brunello within the context of the vintage. Still, it is impossible not to admire the inner sweetness of the fruit and the impeccable polish of the tannins. All this needs is time, maybe a little more than usual in this vintage. Anticipated maturity: 2016-2026.

This is another solid set of wines from Canalicchio di Sopra – Ripaccioli, an estate that continues to ratchet up quality in a meaningful way.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (May, 2011)
WA 93, WS 92, IWC 91

Canalicchio di Sopra’s 2004 Brunello di Montalcino is an intense, full-bodied red that is simply captivating for its seamless dark fruit and superb depth. Rich, round and delicious, this racy Brunello offers plenty of dark fruit with sweet scents of licorice, leather and spices that linger on the long, refined finish. Clean notes of minerality give the wine superb balance. This is easily the most elegant, refined Brunello I have tasted yet from Canalicchio di Sopra and is one of the highlights in 2004. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2022.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2009)
WA 94

The 1995 Chianti Classico Riserva Rancia is all about harmony. This isn’t the biggest or most complex Rancia, but rather a wine that impresses for its sense of proportion and harmony. Fine, silky tannins and a kick of Sangiovese acidity frame the long, vibrant finish. This is another dazzling wine that has stood the test of time, and then some. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2022.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2012)
WS 96, Top 100: 2012, Rank: 25
JS 95, WA 94, IWC 94

The first impression of this red is purity and finesse, as black currant, raspberry and violet aromas and flavors stay focused and persistent. An earthy leather element and mineral notes chime in on the finish, backed by a vibrant structure. Sangiovese. Best from 2015 through 2032.

- Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator (Oct, 2012)
WS 95, WA 94, V 94

The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino is simply beautiful. Now that the wine is in bottle it is even better than when I tasted it from barrel. Firm but silky tannins frame a core of ripe dark fruit as this powerful yet elegant Brunello opens up in the glass. Smoke, cured meats, earthiness and graphite develop in the glass, adding further complexity. Sweet roses and spices linger on the long, refined finish. This is a big, structured Brunello, and like all of Abbruzzese’s wines, it needs at least a few years of bottle age before it offers its finest drinking. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2009)
WA 93, WS 92, IWC 91

Canalicchio di Sopra’s 2004 Brunello di Montalcino is an intense, full-bodied red that is simply captivating for its seamless dark fruit and superb depth. Rich, round and delicious, this racy Brunello offers plenty of dark fruit with sweet scents of licorice, leather and spices that linger on the long, refined finish. Clean notes of minerality give the wine superb balance. This is easily the most elegant, refined Brunello I have tasted yet from Canalicchio di Sopra and is one of the highlights in 2004. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2022.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (June, 2009)
JS 100, WE 98, WA 96

I tasted this about a year ago at the winery and I was blown away. This time I tasted it in a blind tasting in Tuscany and it stood above the rest. Amazing aromas of blueberries and flowers, with black truffles and pie. Foie gras, mushrooms and white truffles too. Powerful, with great depth of gorgeous fruit and ultra-fine tannins. It fills your mouth with fruit and ripe tannins. Complex and long. A breathtaking wine. Truly glorious. Better in 2015.

- James Suckling
WA 96+, WS 96, WE 95, Tre Bicchieri

The 2004 Brunello di Montalcino Riserva Madonna del Piano continues to develop very positively. This huge, concentrated Madonna del Piano dazzles for the richness of its fruit and the delineation of its aromas. The clean, vibrant finish suggests many years of cellaring potential. The Valdicava Brunellos are often misunderstood when young because they possess so much richness, but with time in bottle the wines turn more delicate and complete. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029.

- Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate (April, 2010)