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Uccelliera Uccelliera 1997 Rosso di Montalcino ($19.99)
Dark ruby in color, this wine breathes delicious spicy black-cherry aromas. On the palate it's full and ripe, appetizing tart-cherry fruit and lemony acidity. It's fruity and appealing for quaffing, but with structure and subtlety sufficient for contemplation. The price seemed high for a Rosso di Montalcino at first, but the wine's quality justifies the toll; you could call it "a Chianti with a college education." U.S. importer: Vintner Select, Cincinnati; a Marc de Grazia Selection. (Sept. 20, 1999)

FOOD MATCH: What kind of wine matches baloney and cheese sandwiches? This one does, if the bologna sausage is pistachio-studded mortadella and the cheese is sharp provolone. A great match, in short, with Italian-style picnic fare.

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All my wine-tasting reports are consumer-oriented. In order to maintain objectivity and avoid conflicts of interest, I purchase all the wines I rate at my own expense in retail stores.

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