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The very concept of Italian wine is so vast and varied and distinctive, it’s like a world unto itself within the world of wine. And, given its vast array of unique indigenous varieties, the appreciation of fine Italian wine is an undertaking that could well keep one occupied for a lifetime.

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2011 Chianti Classico Isole e Olena
Sweet raspberry, rose petal and spice notes wrap around the palate in the 2011 Chianti Classico. Soft and enveloping, the 2011 is highly typical of the vintage. In 2011 proprietor Paolo De Marchi used about 10% Syrah to give the wine a little more freshness. Savory herbs, tobacco and licorice add nuance on the finish. The 2011 is an outstanding wine. I would drink the 2011 now and give the 2010 another year in bottle. Drink 2013-2019. Rated 90. ‑ Antonio Galloni,
$24.99 the bottle  $254.88 the case

2010 Barbaresco Produttori del Barbaresco

The 2010 Barbaresco is a pretty, slender wine endowed with lovely energy and class. Sweet red berries, flowers, mint and spice inform this high-toned, fragrant Barbaresco. The mid-weight personality of the vintage at the Produttori is evident. I would give the 2010 a few years in bottle and drink it to age 20. This is the kind of wine that can surprise on the upside. Rated 90. ‑ Antonio Galloni,

The sweet cherry, tar and menthol flavors quickly concede to stiff tannins in this beefy red, which is lively, with a mouthwatering finish of savory, minerally accents. Best from 2017 through 2027. 23,000 cases made. Rated 90. ‑ Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator October 31, 2014

$35.00 the bottle  $357.00 the case

2008 Brunello di Montalcino Fuligni 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Fuligni
It is often stated that Piedmont is like Italy's Burgundy with it's tiny production wines and single vineyard emphasis, while Tuscany is more akin to Bordeaux, with it's larger estates and wines which lean more towards mass appeal rather than esoteric offerings. If true, then for purposes of comparison, Fuligni Brunello is like a fine Margaux — the essence of elegance, refinement and great terroir. The nose here is truly gorgeous, with classic dried cherry, herbs and hints of cola, stone and new leather. On the palate, the wine is seamless- deep, rich fruit is in perfect harmony with the supple tannin and supporting acidity. The texture is viscous without being cloying. Complex flavors linger on the finish with out any trace of alcohol heat or wood to interfere. This is as thoroughly pleasing an example of textbook Brunello as you are likely to find. Drink it now or put some bottles away in the cellar but don't miss this gem. ‑ Dean Schlabowske, The Austin Wine Merchant. Regularly $70.00 the bottle, on sale now at:
$52.50 the bottle  $630.00 the case

2009 Brunello di Montalcino Il Poggione

Il Poggione's 2009 Brunello di Montalcino is a bit of a bruiser today, but it is also one of the few 2009s that is built for the cellar. Smoke, new leather, licorice, spices, scorched earth all wrap around the palate in a dark, voluptuous Brunello with plenty of intrigue. This is one of the richer, more intense wines of the year, but all the elements are very nicely balanced. Drink: 2016-2029. Rated 92. ‑ Antonio Galloni, May 2014.

Bright red. Aromas of ripe red cherry, aromatic herbs and licorice. At once fat and juicy, with soft, ripe red cherry, strawberry jam and mocha flavors dominating. Thick, broad and full, with harmonious acidity giving the wine shape and providing necessary lift. Finishes long and a little oaky, with plenty of easy sweetness, soft tannins and a note of balsamic chocolate. This 2009 from Il Poggione strikes me as bigger and richer than usual for this wine, and is very emblematic of the Brunellos made in the southwestern sector of the Montalcino hill in 2009. Rated 90. ‑ Ian D'Agata, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, July/August 2014

$67.50 the bottle  $344.28 the case of six

2012 Rosso di Montalcino Il Poggione
A younger and more accessible Tuscan red from one of our favorite producers of Brunello di Montalcino, Il Poggione Rosso di Montalcino is produced from 100% Sangiovese grapes handpicked from younger vines on the estate — a baby Brunello, if you will. Bright ruby red in color and decidedly red-fruited on the nose with aromas suggestive of red berry, tart cherry, saddle leather, sun-drenched underbrush and dusty earth; medium-full in body (fuller still with some air), almost velvety in texture with fine and gentle, crisp dusty tannins and red-fruit flavors that burst with a kind of Mediterranean warmth toward the mouthwatering finish. Baby Brunello? Sure! But this Il Poggione Rosso is in and of itself an absolutely delicious Tuscan red wine!
$22.50 the bottle  $229.56 the case

2009 Barolo Monprivato Giuseppe Mascarello e Figlio

The 2009 Barolo Monprivato impresses for its sheer balance. Nothing really stands out, instead it is the wine's overall harmony that speaks most clearly. This is going to be a fascinating vintage of Monprivato to follow. What will emerge over time? Will it be the personality of the year, or the pedigree of these poor, white soils? Time will tell. Tasted: May, 2013. Drink 2019-2039. Rated (93-95). ‑ Antonio Galloni,

Moderately saturated medium red. Compelling early perfume of strawberry, black cherry, licorice and brown spices. Silky and seamless on entry, then perfumed and light on its feet in the middle, with captivating complexity to the flavors of sweet red berries, earth and minerals. Harmonious acidity gives shape to the middle palate and extends the flavors through the long, subtle, vibrant finish. This very young wine is evolving slowly and probably needs seven or eight years to shine, and yet the tannins are quite suave today. Rated 92(+?). ‑ Stephen Tanzer, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, November/December 2013

$125.00 the bottle  $1275.00 the case

2010 Valpolicella Superiore Ripassa ZENATO
This splendid Veronese red wine from Zenato is long a favorite here in the greater beautiful downtown Austin, Texas area. Produce of 80% Corvina Veronese, 10% Rondinella and 10% Sangiovese grown in the southeast-facing hillsides of the commune of Sant’Ambrogio, the wine takes its name from the method in which it is produced, after the old fashion of the greatest red wine of the Veneto region, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, wherein selected lots of Valpolicella are "repassed" over the lees of Amarone, initiating a second fermentation, increasing the volume, breadth and depth of flavor in the wine, taking it from something really good to something more approaching greatness. Deep ruby red in color with inviting aromas suggestive of dried cherries and raisined grapes with hints of rose petal and white pepper; smooth and velvety-textured on the tongue with gentle but firm grip of ripe, rounded fruity tannins and a lingering warm and flavorful finish.
$27.50 the bottle  $280.56 the case

2011 Valpolicella Classico Superiore ZENATO
A blend of 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella and 10% Croatina and Oseleta from the Valpolicella Classico area. Ruby-red in color to garnet at the rim; fleshy aromas of wild berries, currant, black cherry and spice, with hints of chocolate; robust, full and dry on the tongue with characteristic velvety texture.
$14.99 the bottle  $152.74 the case

512 West Sixth Street Austin, Texas 78701-2806 USA
(an easy right turn between San Antonio and Nueces streets)