Mazzei Castello di Fonterutoli Badiola 2010

Niepoort Dialogo Branco Douro 2011

Italy, $20

Like everyone else, I go through wine phases where I get hooked on a certain grape or region and ride it until I get bored. Well, I’ve been on a Chianti kick for about 16 months and every time I think it’s time to switch gears I run into a wine like this smoking deal for Mazzei that has me fall in love all over again.

It’s the Manny Pacquiao of wines, powerful without being overly heavy, with waves of dark cherry and dried cranberry. At 70% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon it is technically a super-Tuscan, not a Chianti, so maybe I am expanding my horizons a bit—though its big brother, the Fonterutoli Chianti Classico, is also amazing. And if you love the point scores, our pals at the Wine Spectator gave it 92 of ‘em.

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