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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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2012 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Santo Spirito

Though medium-bodied and elegant overall, there's a density to this spicy red. Sinewy tannins wrap around a juicy core of crushed black raspberry and rich loamy earth flavors, accented by hints of bergamot and mocha. Drink now through 2022. 1,400 cases made. Rated 90. ‑ Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator, September 30, 2014.

$50.00 the bottle  $255.00 the case of six

2011 Dolcetto di Dogliani Vigna Tecc Luigi EINAUDI

Dogliani Superiore is a new DOCG as of 2011 with more stringent minimum alcohol and maximum yield requirements): Bright ruby-red. Enticing aromas of blackberry, violet, licorice and bitter chocolate. Dense, sweet and seriously concentrated, showing serious weight but also good refreshing acidity to its black cherry and licorice. This very rich dolcetto is quite fresh for its vintage. Finishes ripely tannic and long. Einaudi made this wine in stainless steel until the 2009 vintage, but now matures it in wood. For that reason, they have discontinued their second Dogliani cru, I Filari, as that wine had been aged in oak. Tasted November 2014. Rated 90. ‑ Stephen Tanzer,, November, 2013

$24.99 the bottle  $254.88 the case

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

2008 Brunello di Montalcino FULIGNI

One of the clear highlights of the vintage, the 2008 Brunello di Montalcino emerges from the glass with black cherries, violets, cloves, menthol, licorice and tar. The 2008 stands out for its impeccable balance and layered, highly expressive personality. A translucent, mid-weight, silky finish is totally striking. Once again, Fuligni made one of the more refined wines of the village. In 2008 there is no Riserva. All the best of the lots made it into the straight bottling. If I had to bet on a 2008 Brunello that might surprise on the upside in a few years Fuligni would be near or at the top of my list. Tasted September, 2013. Drink: 2013-2023. Rated 92. ‑ Antonio Galloni,, September, 2013. Regularly $70.00 the bottle, on sale now at:

$50.00 the bottle  $600.00 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. Tasted February, 2014. Drink: 2016-2029. Rated 92. ‑ Antonio Galloni,, May, 2014. Regularly $67.50 the bottle, on sale now at:

$50.00 the bottle  $300.00 the case of six

2010 Barolo Serralunga Luigi PIRA

Bordeaux-like, revealing black currant, cedar, iron and olive flavors, supported by an iron spine. Though this is on the austere side now, the licorice, cherry and tar notes remain focused on the long aftertaste. Best from 2018 through 2032. 1,416 cases made. Rated 93. ‑ Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator, December 31, 2014.

Dark red berries, mint, flowers and spices are all laced together in the 2010 Barolo Serralunga. This is an especially floral, lifted Barolo, but the grippy Serralunga tannins come through on the finish. Although approachable today, there is a lot going on in the glass. Readers who can give the 2010 a few years in bottle will get a more complete drinking experience, but there is plenty to like already. Tasted July 2014. Drink: 2016-2025. Rated 90+. ‑ Antonio Galloni,, September, 2013. Regularly $70.00 the bottle, on sale now at:

$40.00 the bottle  $408.00 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

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