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2007 Ruffino Tenuta Lodola Nuova Vino Nobile di Montepulciano 

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Tuscany, Italy / $17-$22 Retail

This revered wine of Montepulciano's noble families was produced from 30- to 40-year-old vineyards on an estate dating to the mid-13th century. The blend of 90 percent Sangiovese and 5 percent each Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot is aged in French oak for 18 months. The medium-bodied wine exhibits aromas of dark berry fruit, spice, coffee, hints of leather and oaky notes. On the palate, taste cassis, ripe plum and dark chocolate flavors. Drink it with hearty dishes like osso buco, lamb with rosemary and roast game. Buy it at: Breaux Mart in Uptown, Dorignac's, Langenstein's in Metarie and Acquistapace's Covington Supermarket. Drink it at: Pascal's Manale, Italian Barrel and Vincent's Italian Cuisine. — Brenda Maitland


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