Other wines tasted: 2004 Vitaroccia Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. (Vinifera Imports, Ronkonkoma, NY)

2005 Icario Rubi delle Pietrose

($18; sangiovese, merlot and teroldego) Medium-deep ruby. Wild, earthy aromas of dried herbs, red cherry and game, with a pretty peppery nuance adding focus. Supple, fresh and musky, with sage and rosemary flavors nicely complementing spicy black fruits. This displays a fresh saline quality on the fairly short but very pleasant finish. This atypical blend contains teroldego, a native variety typical of Trentino in Italy's north, whose herbaceous presence is immediately evident on the nose.

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2003 Icario Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

($30) Dark ruby. Overripe, very sweet and balsamic on the nose-the latter character a trademark of this estate's Nobiles; some may find this over the top. The flavors of prune, Bing cherry, blackberry liqueur, figs macerated in alcohol and grilled bacon are similar to the aromas and have a decidedly Amarone-like feel. Though it's not what I normally look for in a Nobile, this style of wine has many enthusiasts.

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