Also recommended: 2005 Montefortini Carmignano (86), 2000 Vin Santo di Carmignano (86). (Marc de Grazia; importers include Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY; Vin Divino, Chicago, IL; and Estate Wines Ltd., San Rafael, CA)

2006 Fattoria Ambra Barco Reale di Carmignano

($15; a blend of 70% sangiovese, 25% cabernet sauvignon and 5% canaiolo nero) Medium ruby. Delicious pomegranate, redcurrant and almond flower aromas are followed up on the palate by more crunchy redcurrant and sour cherry fruit flavors. Vibrant and pristine, with lots of juicy freshness and noteworthy finesse. This appealing and easy-to-drink wine is a steal as a house wine.


2004 Fattoria Ambra Carmignano Vigna di Santa Cristina in Pilli

($19; 75% sangiovese, 10% cabernet sauvignon, 10% canaiolo nero and 5% merlot) Very dark ruby. Reticent nose hints at greater depth of fruit than does the estate's Montefortini bottling, showing pleasant spicy black cherry, blackcurrant and bitter chocolate aromas. Nicely balanced and concentrated, with tightly wound flavors of ripe plum, mocha and tobacco. Finishes moderately long, with building tannins. Bottle age should add flesh and further complexity.

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2004 Fattoria Ambra Carmignano Riserva Le Vigna Alte Montalbiolo

($30; 75% sangiovese, 10% cabernet sauvignon, 10% canaiolo nero and 5% merlot) Full ruby. Dense, tightly packed sweet black cherry and blackcurrant aromas are fresh and lively. Hints of licorice and ripe inky plum coat the palate. A silky-smooth wine with a long, peppery finish, this eschews over-the-top concentration in favor of fruit/acid balance.


2004 Fattoria Ambra Carmignano Riserva Vigna Elzana

($30; a 90/10 blend of sangiovese and cabernet sauvignon) Medium saturated red. Deep but reticent nose shows more flint and vanillin oak than primary fruit flavors presently, but a taste tells you it's rich and densely packed, with distinctly backward flavors of black fruits, licorice and dark chocolate, all lifted by intriguing pepper and mineral notes. Fine acids give this surprisingly supple wine real appeal on the long finish, but this needs time to express all of its considerable potential.

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