In Tuscany, only a few producers work with the Pugnitello grape, which was practically extinct until recently. Named "small fist" because of its tight grape bunches, Pugnitello is not only rare, its yields also are very low, so producers have to be dedicated to make the wine at all. A deep, full-bodied red with a big spicy perfume and a character reminiscent of Brunello or Vino Nobile, this is a wine to break out for a chilly evening. It's a great bottle to bring out for friends who know and enjoy Italian wines.
Drink it with a winter roast or stew, with porchetta or arista alla Fiorentina (Tuscan pork roast). I love it with a dish of sautéed mushrooms too. Or a rustic bean soup. Woodland Hills Wine Co. still has some of the 2010, on sale now for $27.
Price: $27 to $32
Style: Spicy and full-bodied
What it goes with: Roasts, stews, porchetta, sautéed mushrooms, bean soup
Where to find it: Lincoln Fine Wines in Venice, (310) 392-7816, www.lincolnfinewines.com; the Wine Country in Signal Hill, (562) 597-8303, www.thewinecountry.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (800) 76WINEX, www.winex.com; and the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, www.winehouse.com.
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