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2009 Dainero Toscana 

Tuscany, Italy

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$14 Retail

Bottled at Castiglion del Bosco, near Montalcino, Italy, which has been producing fine wines since the 1800s, this wine is a blend of 80 percent Merlot and 10 percent Sangiovese. It was fermented in stainless steel tanks, aged for six months in French oak barriques and bottle-aged for another six months. The wine offers a rich, ripe profile typical of Merlot, herbal and earthy notes on the nose and plum, cherry and blackberry flavors on the palate and spice and a bit of smoke on the finish. Aerate for 30 minutes or more before serving. Excellent with lamb dishes, pasta with marinara sauce, sausage, beef stew and aged cheeses. Buy it at: Faubourg Wines and in Slidell at Habano's and The Wine Market. Drink it at: Domenica, Bayona, Serendipity, Johnny V's, Loa, Basil Leaf, Bar Tonique and Pardo's in Covington.

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