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Italian - Tuscany and North      Mar. 9, 2002
Italy is 3/4 the size of California but makes more wine in most years - which leads to its being taken for granded. Most of the finest wines come from the four regions shown on the map. Native grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Aglianico, and Barbera. Some of the wines produced are:
(mostly red)
- Barolo
- Barbaresco
(mostly red)
- Chianti (Classico)
- Montepulciano
(red & white)
- Valpolicella
- Bardolino
- Soave
Trentino-Alto Adige
- Pinot Grigio
Friuli-Venezia Giulia
- Tocai Friulano
From Dirck & Larry's announcement.
From the Bottle Label
1 2000 Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie Good clean taste
2 1999 Morelliano Di Scansano Erik Bant
Grapes: 85% sangeovese, 15% grenache
3 1998 Avignonesi Rosso Tuscany $8.99 Okay
4 1999 Nugola Vecchia $5.99 at Trader Joe
Grapes: 90% sangeovese, 10% merlot
More acidy, okay
5 1999 Rossi Di Tocana Bottled by Renzo Massi Erta e China $7.99
Grapes: 50% sangeovese, 50% cabernet sauvignon
Nicely balanced. A favorite of Larry
6 1999 Monte Antico Soscano $9.99 Grapes: sangeovese  
7 1999 Rosso di Montalcino by Ferinand Rossi Tuscany Price unknown, guess $15-20. Robert Parker called it a Best Buy 1999. Very good, balanced, nice finish. Much praise for this one.
8 1994 Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico $14.99 Some liked this. Had almost no finish. Maybe too old?
9 1998 Ruffino Riserva Ducale $19.99 Good body, good finish. Generally highly praised. A favorite of Larry.
10 1996 Villa Di Capezzano Carmignano
Grapes: 90% sangeovese, 10% cabernet sauvignon
Opinions vary from very good to flat. Seemed to have no tanin and no acid. "Cab finish"?
11 1999 Villa Cafagggio Chianti Classico Vendemmia $11.99
Grapes: mostly sangeovese
12 1995 Masciarelle Montepulciano d'Abruzzo Grapes: montepulciano Medium body, mild tanin, well-balanced.
13 1999 Sandrone Dolcetto d'Alba $15.99 Grapes: dolcetto Touches of cherry or almond.