Among the more than 3,500 Italian wines tasted and rated by James Suckling and his team in 2017, the 2015 vintage from Tuscany shone. The Italian wine of the year is Tua Rita Redigaffi 2015, a pure merlot wonder from the Tuscan coast near the city of Grosseto. The only Italian wine rated 100 points in 2017, it is a benchmark for its intensity, structure, pedigree and balance. The Tuscans are so strong that six number among the top 10 Italian wines of 2017.

Tua Rita Toscana Redigaffi 2015

 This is an extraordinary merlot with purity and focus. Flowers such as violet and hints of orange peel. It is full-bodied yet incredibly energetic and structured. The finish goes on for minutes. Seamless texture. Fresh yet dense. Contrasty. Best Redigaffi ever. Hard not to drink now but a wine for decades. 100 points

Poderi Aldo Conterno Barolo Cicala 2013

The aromas of flowers, blackberry and white truffle are superb. Full to medium body and ultra-fine tannins. The finish lasts for minutes. An amazing Cicala. Don’t miss this. Drink in 2022. 99 points

Petrolo Valdarno di Sopra Galatrona 2015

Terrific aromas of violet, rose and raspberry, with hints of strawberry and brown sugar. Full body. Phenomenal layers of focused fruit and polished velvety tannins. This is the Galatrona that everyone has been waiting for. It is the vintage that shows depth and power yet wonderful finesse and focus. Best ever. Drink from 2023 but already electrifying. 99 points

Fattoria Le Pupille Maremma Toscana Saffredi 2015

I love the currant and rosemary character of this wine. Some sage, too. Complex aromas that draw you in. Full body, extremely tight and chewy with a long and intense finish. The tannins are fantastic—so polished. Focused and beautiful. Mineral undertone with ash and hot stone highlighting the dark fruit. It goes on for minutes. Needs three or four years to come together. But a serious red all the way. 99 points

Bibi Graetz Toscana Testamatta 2015

A stunning wine. This is the best Testamatta ever made. Fascinating aromas of red fruit, tea, bark and wet soil, as well as fresh leather. Full body, silky tannins and a juicy finish. I love the tension and texture of this great red. So gorgeous to taste now but better in 2021. 99 points

Sette Ponti Toscana Oreno 2015

Plenty of blackcurrant, blackberry and dark chocolate character with oyster shell and walnut undertones. Full body, extremely tight and structured with blueberry and light vanilla and coffee highlights. A gorgeous Oreno. Give this wine two or three years to come together. 98 points

Livio Sassetti Brunello di Montalcino 2012

Complex aromas of dried fig, dark fruit and hints of walnut and dried meat. Full body, dense and polished palate. Velvety and poised tannins and a flavourful finish. Yet always refined and beautiful. You want to drink it now and can, but it has a beautiful future. 98 points

Damilano Barolo Cannubi Riserva 1752 2009

Lots of ripe berry character from the 2009 vintage with chocolate and cedar. Tobacco too. Full body, round and soft tannins, and a light raisin and prune aftertaste. A big and juicy style. Decadent and sexy. Pretty crazy. One of the best 2009s. Drink now. 98 points

Montevetrano Colli di Salerno 2015

I love the polish and complexity to this red. It delivers subtle currant, dried herb and spice character as well as a full body that is tight and focused. Such polished tannins. It goes on for minutes. One of the best vintages in years. 98 points

Schiopetto Friulano Collio M 2016

This is extremely smoky on the nose with flint and gunpowder. Dried apple, lemon and pear character. Full body, dense and powerful. Yet always lively and dancing on the palate. Crazy finish. One of Italy’s top whites. Made from vines planted in 1954. Drink now. 98 points