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2007/2009 Volpaiole Classico

The ’09 is not yet released, but is an absolute stunner. Tasted at a lunch with several of Olivier’s wines, so used the ’07 (an exceptional year in many regions of Italy) as a comparison benchmark. The ’07 was made just before Olivier took over, but the ’09 is wholly his own. The 2009 exhibited a youthful nose, but undertones of forest and mushrooms. Silken on the palate, it is a teaser of what may come as the fruit remains somewhat hidden. Luxurious finish. Can’t wait for this to be released. The ’07 is more developed and more complex at this stage than its younger brother, with a less perfumed nose but great blackberry and peppery notes on the end. I highly recommend both, but that ’09 strikes me as a potential classic. (The ’06, also lovely, is available through its importer, Lyaeus Imports in Washington D.C.) GT
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2008 Selvapiana Chianti Rufina DOCG

A cheerful bright cherry aroma wafts up from the glass at first. After the wine opens a bit, deeper cherry aromas and flavors carry an undertone of tobacco and earth. Tannins are moderately woody, in a pleasant way. This wine is good to sip on its own; it also works well with pasta with a fresh tomato sauce, liberally sprinkled with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese.
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2008 Frescobaldi Rèmole

An everyday Tuscan Frescobaldi. Benefits from air, so open an hour before dinner, or swirl a lot in the glass at first. Pleasant, mild aroma with notes of cherry and caramelized fruit, opening to plumminess in the flavor. Not super-fruity—a touch restrained, with tannins adding structure. As the label says, best with stronger foods; I liked it with slivers of Romano cheese.
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2006 Capatosta Poggio Argentiera Morellino di Scansano DOC

This is not a wine: this is an icon of Maremma Toscana! The grapes are mainly from old Sangiovese clones, with high density planting and extremely limited production, which give the wine ruby coloration in the glass, and a bouquet of dark flowers (violet) and spice (pepper, cinnamon, cloves) but also with a nuance of chocolate. In the mouth it is fresh, with good acidity, still fruity, with smooth tannins. A very elegant and drinkable wine, perfect with grilled red meals.
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2005 Querciabella Chianti Classico

A lovely Chianti Classico from a difficult year, this shines with bright acidity and cherry flavors. A hint of raspberry along with the cherry at the attack blends smoothly into darker blackberry flavors through the mid-palate. Tannins are smooth but slightly drying, leaving a sensation of soft suede sprinkled with black pepper. It clearly has years of cellar life remaining, the acids and tannins still actively at play. This comes a bit more dear than a typical pizza Chianti and is worth holding for something else, but if it is all you have for pizza you will not be disappointed. Save it, if you can, for pork cops or real italian braciole (not the involtini misnamed in the U.S.).
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2009 Banfi Centine Rosé – Tuscany, Italy

An Italian blend of Sangiovese, Cabernet sauvignon, and Merlot would suggest a big bold rosé that might be too strong for some palates. The Centine is surprisingly fresh, balanced and delightful for rosé lovers. And, you can't beat a nice light summer rosé for just $11. This wine was surprisingly light and enjoyable.