Italian Editor

Italian Wines

With vineyards established by the Greek settlers as early as 800 BC, Italy is one of the oldest and largest wine producing regions in the world. The Italian Wine Region is diverse and can be quite complex, especially to novice wine consumers. Because the wines of Italy can be labeled by either region or grape variety, and in some cases both, if you’re unfamiliar with the appellation system or names of the grape varieties, it can prove confusing. That’s why our Italian Wine Guide helps with properly identifying Italian wines. Due to the size and unusual shape of Italy, the climate and soil type varies greatly in each sub-region. This explains Italy’s abundantly diverse wine styles. One of the most notable sub-regions is Piedmont, home to the Barolo and Barberesco DOCGs, where the Nebbiolo grape reigns supreme. Other top Italian Wine Regions include Tuscany, where you will find the wines of Chianti and other various Sangiovese-based wines, and Veneto, which is Italy’s largest wine producing sub-region. Veneto is home to the Amarone and Valpolicella wines—some of the top-rated wines in our Italian Wine Reviews—which are renowned for their use of dried out grapes or passito.

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100
points

Avignonesi 1995 Occhio di Pernice Prugnolo Gentile (Vin Santo di Montepulciano)

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  • Online Exclusive
  1. $210
Thick as molasses and dark as caramelized brown sugar, the wine oozes out of the bottle releasing concentrated aromas of butterscotch, toffee, honey, licorice, coffee, resin and maple syrup. Grapes from the Montepulciano area are dried in a ventilated room and the wine ages over 10 years in tiny oak barrels resulting in thick, dark concentration. Don’t pair it with…  — M.L.  (3/1/2008)
100
points

Tenuta dell'Ornellaia 2007 Masseto Merlot (Toscana)

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  1. $460
A perfect wine from a classic vintage, the 2007 Masseto (100% Merlot from a 17-acre vineyard of the same name) opens with an unabashedly opulent bouquet of delicious blackberry, cherry, chocolate, vanilla, exotic spice and cinnamon. Masseto excels both in terms of quality of fruit and winemaking and delivers plush, velvety tannins and an extra long, supple finish…  — M.L.  (12/15/2010)
100
points

Paolo Scavino 2010 Bric dël Fiasc Nebbiolo (Barolo)

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  1. $100
If a wine can truly be perfect, this is it. Displaying power, grace, depth and complexity, this Barolo delivers sublime Nebbiolo sensations including rose, underbrush, red cherry, leather, licorice, baking spices, clove, white pepper and balsamic notes. The intense flavors are balanced by velvety tannins and fantastic energy. Drink 2018–2038.  — K.O.  (10/1/2014)
100
points

Giuseppe Rinaldi 2010 Brunate Nebbiolo (Barolo)

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  1. $126
The 2010 Brunate is one of the greatest expressions of this fabulous vintage. Polished and structured, it seamlessly combines layers of rose, violet, perfumed red berries, juicy black cherry, leather, spice and eucalyptus sensations that convey a Nebbiolo purity of compelling depth and finesse. It’s already gorgeous, but will become one of the legendary bottlings…  — K.O.  (10/1/2014)
100
points

Casanova di Neri 2007 Cerretalto Sangiovese Grosso (Brunello di Montalcino)

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  1. $270
It takes only a few moments before you appreciate the enormity, intensity and overall beauty of this landmark wine. Cerretalto is always a high scoring expression of Brunello, but the ideal conditions of the 2007 vintage elevate it to earthly perfection. Dark and fleshy, the wine delivers ever-evolving aromas of dark fruit, chocolate, spice and tobacco. The acidity…  — M.L.  (5/1/2013)
100
points

Giovanni Chiappini 2009 Guado de’ Gemoli Red (Bolgheri Superiore)

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  1. $195
This small, family-run estate in the heart of Bolgheri has delivered a wine so beautiful and elegant, it is catapulted to the level of landmark vintages of its celebrated neighbors, Sassicaia and Ornellaia. Inky concentration sets the stage for generous, but perfectly integrated, aromas of spice, chocolate and dark fruit. There’s firm roundness in the mouth…  — M.L.  (4/1/2013)
99
points

Avignonesi 1997 Occhio di Pernice Prugnolo Gentile (Vin Santo di Montepulciano)

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  1. $237
This sweet wine from Italy is guaranteed to blow your socks off. Its thickness and density resembles concentrated maple syrup or molasses. It is made with Prugnolo Gentile (Sangiovese) grapes that are air-dried and then aged in small wood containers for many careful years. The gorgeous aromas include roasted chestnuts, brown sugar, prunes and sweet figs and you can…  — M.L.  (7/1/2010)
99
points

Massolino 2010 Parafada Nebbiolo (Barolo)

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  1. $95
Powerfully structured yet surprisingly graceful, this is one of the stars of the vintage. It seamlessly weaves together tobacco, underbrush, leather and intense balsamic sensations with succulent black cherry, raspberry and licorice flavors. It’s all supported by a backbone of lively acidity and noble tannins. This will age and evolve for decades. Drink 2020–2050.  — K.O.  (10/1/2014)
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