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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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2014 Orvieto Classico Palazzone Terre Vineate

"Unquestionably the number one small estate of Orvieto" according to Stephen Tanzer, Palazzone produces delicious white wines from indigenous grape varietals of Umbria, balancing irresistable fruit aromas and flavors with an oh-so stony backdrop and nerve; 50% Procanico, 30% Grechetto and 20% of Verdello, Drupeggio and Malvasia, vinified in stainless steel to keep things fresh; medium-bodied, supremely-balanced white wine with aromas that speak clearly of cool of the morning harvest fresh grapes and notions of floral honey, beeswax and something like hazelnut and elderflower and, yet again, stone; at once, just ample and round, crisp and dusty, citrusy dry and alive with fresh grapey flavor; our Italian wine-loving pal Jerry Reid sez "slap and tickle." C'mon downtown 'n get yourself some of this delicious wine!

$13.75 the bottle  $140.28 the case

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

2012 Dogliani Superiore Vigna Tecc Luigi EINAUDI

Dogliani Superiore is a new DOCG which denotes highest quality wines produced from Dolcetto grapes in this cooler, higher elevation growing area in this southern part of Piemonte. Pronounced "TETCH" as in 'touch' (and Luigi Einaudi have it with Dolcetto). Produced from 100% Dolcetto fruit from select marl/calcareous and clay soils from 2 hectares of favored old hillside vineyards on the estate near the village of Dogliani, Einaudi Vigna Tecc is a Dolcetto of superb concentration and breed: deep ruby in color with glimmers of violet; suggestive aromas of fleshy berry fruit, underbrush, Alpine-informed Piemontese soils, truffle and liquirizia; ample, almost richly textured on the tongue, with gentle rounded tannins and tantalizing and intense berry fruit flavors and that telltale hint of bitter almond stretching out long on the finish. La Dolcetto Vita, indeed!

$24.99 the bottle  $254.88 the case

2013 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

2010 Brunello di Montalcino Il Poggione

Il Poggione's 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a remarkably beautiful wine. Rose petal, mint, cinnamon, sweet dark cherries and smoke lift from the glass in a translucent, wiry Brunello built on energy and power. This is an especially lifted, precise and nuanced Brunello from Il Poggione, with more emphasis on length and mid-weight structure rather than overt volume. In many ways, the 2010 comes across as a modern-day version of the 1982 Riserva. Readers who have tasted that wine know just how special that is. For the money, there is not a single better wine being made in Montalcino than Il Poggione's Brunello. Truth is, it is also better than many far more expensive offerings. There are two Brunellos I would buy confidently in any vintage. This is one of them. Tasted February, 2015. Drink: 2018-2030. Rated 94+. - Antonio Galloni,, February, 2015.

Rich, with excellent density, ripe cherry and plum fruit, and a well-integrated structure. Licorice, earth and tobacco notes add depth while this cruises to a long, tobacco- and mineral-tinged finish. Shows balance and grip. Best from 2018 through 2033. 18,000 cases made. Rated 95. - Bruce Sanderson, Wine Spectator.

Fabrizio Bindocci and his son Alessandro are the most accomplished father-son winemaking team I can think of today in Italy. Il Poggione is owned by Leopoldo and Livia Franceschi, but the phenomenal Bindocci duo are very much in the limelight. They excel in every aspect of winemaking, from vineyard management to wine marketing. Never have I encountered a Il Poggione Brunello as beautiful as the one released this year. This is one of the highest expression of Sangiovese you will ever taste. The 2010 Brunello di Montalcino is a striking wine that shows uncompromising varietal pureness, albeit in a most concentrated and elaborate form. This is what great Sangiovese is all about. There's so much happening on the nose and the wine brings you to cherry, spice, licorice, cured meat, pressed rose and grilled meat in equal measure. No one element overpowers the next. The mouthfeel is also tight and bright with the kind of fruit intensity that promises long cellar aging. This Brunello is only at the beginning of a long road ahead. The longer the wine stays in the glass, the more it offers in terms of complexity and intensity. This is a true standout that can be enjoyed for up to 20 years ahead. Drink: 2017-2035. Rated 98. - Monica Lamer, Wine Advocate, Issue 217, February, 2015.

$77.50 the bottle  $395.28 the case of 6/750ml bottles

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

2012 Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso Monti Garbi Tenuta Sant'Antonio

Produced by the four brothers of the Castagnedi family, custodians of quality over quantity, who expanded their father's winery in the late 1980s near Mezzane. A blend of 70% Corvina and Corvinone, 20% Rondinella as well as 10% Croatina and Oseleta. Fruit from these young 20 year-old vines is refermented in the Ripasso method on the lees of Amarone wine and vinified in new/one use large 500-liter oak barrels. The Monti Garbi Ripasso gives notes of green tobacco leaf reminiscent of Cabernet Franc with plum, rose petals and a hint of roasted coffee bean; sweet and plummy fruit on the palate; silken, almost velvety on entry, with good intensity of flavors that oh so well reprise those first delicious whiffs; finishes both crisp and round. Splendid value, too!

$17.50 the bottle  $178.56 the case

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