Best New Releases From Italy

On the following pages are notes on my favorite new Italian wines tasted in recent months. Due to space constraints, I have included only wines that rated 87 points or higher. While a host of outstanding-and sometimes pricey-bottles are reviewed on the following pages, there are also many superb values in the under-$15 range. My coverage does not include Barolos or Barbarescos, which were covered in depth in Issue 81, nor does it include most wines that appeared in Joel Butler extensive report on Tuscany in Issue 79. Open-minded wine lovers willing to venture beyond the Piedmont and Tuscany will find that Italy still offers a wealth of extraordinary bargains.

A majority of the following wines come from seven important sources, which I'll identify here rather than repeat address information in the notes that follow: Winebow, Inc., New York, NY; Vias Imports, New York, NY; Vinifera Imports, Ronkonkoma, NY; superbroker Marc de Grazia, with numerous importers around the country; Empson U.S.A., Alexandria, VA; Vin Divino, Chicago, IL; and Villa Italia Imports, South San Francisco, CA.