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)

  • Cellar Selection
  • 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)

  • Cellar Selection
  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

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

  • Cellar Selection
  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)

  • Cellar Selection
  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)

  • Cellar Selection
  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

Gaja 2007 Sorì San Lorenzo Nebbiolo (Langhe)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $440
Always a standout among Gaja’s five single-vineyard wines, Sorì San Lorenzo benefits from an excellent vintage to produce what will surely become a must-have bottle for collectors of Italian wine. There’s enormous beauty and elegance here, backed by power and intensity with ripe fruit, spice, toasted nut and cola. It also shows impressive linearity and focus. Hold…  — M.L.  (5/1/2011)
99
points

Gaja 2007 Sorì Tildin Nebbiolo (Langhe)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $440
This is an elegant Nebbiolo-based wine and arguably the most feminine of Gaja’s newest releases. There’s extreme balance and sophistication evident in the focused aromas of wild berry, white licorice, pressed violets and polished stone. The mouthfeel is tight, firm and those tannins need at least 10 more years to soften in your cellar. Beautiful.  — M.L.  (5/1/2011)
99
points

Le Macchiole 2007 Messorio Merlot (Toscana)

  • Cellar Selection
  1. $320
Here’s a “wow” wine you won’t easily forget. Messorio is all Merlot, and happily delivers the softness, richness and overall opulence that we love in this noble grape variety. What elevates this particular expression and vintage is the true elegance and sophistication evident here. This is a huge wine, but it’s not exaggerated and the finish is as long and smooth…  — M.L.  (12/15/2010)
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