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2000 Abbazia di Novacella Lagrein Riserva Praepositus

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94 Points | Stephen Tanzer's IWC - July/August 2004

($46) Dark, dense, ruby-garnet. Very focused, razor-sharp aromas of blackberry and cumin. In the mouth, bittersweet chocolate, coffee, clove, white pepper and graphite. Multilayered and precise, conveying a wonderful sense of freshness. The flavors become sweet on the back end, suggesting marzipan, and a tarry undercurrent carries through to the sustained aftertaste. Finishes with pliant tannins and noticeable acid grip. A wonderfully complex and compelling interpretation of this underappreciated grape, at once elegant and sensuous.

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Italy, like France, offers a world of wine styles within a single country: dry Italian white wines ranging from lively and minerally to powerful and full-bodied; cheap and cheerful Italian red wines in both a cooler, northern style and a richer, warmer southern style; structured, powerful reds capable of long aging in bottle; sparkling wines; sweet wines and dessert wines.
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