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2008 Ripa delle Mandorle Toscana 

Tuscany, Italy

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$26 Retail

In the heart of Tuscany in the revered Chianti Classico district, the Castello Vicchiomaggio estate produces some of the region's most acclaimed wines. Vineyards are maintained to produce a maximum of six bunches of grapes per vine, and harvesting practices ensure even ripening. The resulting low production yields optimum-quality grapes for the vintage. A Super Tuscan, this wine is a blend of predominantly sangiovese matured in stainless steel tanks with 20 percent to 25 percent cabernet sauvignon aged separately in oak. In the glass, it offers aromas of red and black berries, sour cherry, earthy notes and a touch of vanilla spice. Dry on the palate, the medium-bodied wine is balanced with ripe berry, plum, black currants, herbal notes, good acidity and gentle tannins. Decant 30 minutes before serving. Drink it with grilled chops and tenderloin, roasted game, truffled risotto, pasta dishes, osso buco, fried or baked eggplant, stuffed peppers, pizza and spicy stews. Buy it at: Cork & Bottle.

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