Brunello di Montalcino, Italy - beautiful area, fantastic wine
Brunello di Montalcino is perhaps Tuscany's greatest wine. It is dark red, full-bodied, and tannic, with an aroma of black currants and licorice. It has an alcoholic content of 12.5% to 13.5%. This wine matures for a minimum of four years in oak casks. The Riserva, in case a regular Brunello isn't good enough for you, is aged for an additional year. Food pairing suggestions include Osso Buco, Veal Piccata, and Wild Boar.
Brunello di Montalcino may be relatively inexpensive, given its quality. Depending on the vintage, the Solaria Brunello di Montalcino may be available for $35 or $40. Its tastes include black licorice, black currant, blackberry, and spices. The Poggio Antico Brunello di Montalcino Riserva is highly recommended and is sometimes available in the $55-60 price range. It's made in a modern style which doesn't stop it from being an elegant powerhouse. It may taste of blackberries, chocolate, leather, mushrooms, and game. The Biondi-Santi family were the original producers of this wine when they found and developed the Brunello clone of the Sangiovese grape back in the 1870s. So you may want to give their offerings a try. That will run you from $80 to several hundred dollars. This extremely powerful, complex wine tastes of fruits, spices, and bramble berries.