Also recommended: 2005 Chianti (86), 2004 Sangiovese (85), 2001 Vin Santo (86). (Marc de Grazia; importers include Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY; Vin Divino, Chicago, IL; and Estate Wines Ltd., San Rafael, CA)
($15; 95% sangiovese with 5% colorino) Medium ruby. Slightly underripe, delicate strawberry and smoke on the nose, then sweet and savory in the mouth, with flavors dominated by strawberry and redcurrant fruit. Finishes fresh and a bit salty, with moderate length and fine tannins. From a selection of the estate's best grapes grown in a vineyard with several different types of soil.
($23) Medium-deep red. Slightly smoky aromas of sweet black cherry and spicy plum. Smoother and finer-grained than the regular Chianti, this also has a richer mouth feel, with greater persistence to its red and black fruit flavors.
($28) Inky ruby. Enticing, varietally accurate nose speaks of violet, dark cherry, black pepper and smoked meat. Surprisingly tart on entry, with somewhat disjointed acidity, this syrah also shows a little too much alcohol. Though there is some ripe black fruit present, the combination of high acidity and mounting dusty tannins gives this an impression of austerity at present.