Tony, good post. I'm in your neck of the woods (see my post on the previous page).
If you are interested in trying some good Italian reds, remember the three holiest of Italian oenophile words: Brunello di Montalcino! Most Brunelli are very good. Some are excellent. Others may be the best red you've had.
But they are not for the faint of heart (or wallet, in some cases) as they are very astringent and very very intense.
A baby Brunello for typically half the cost is called a Rosso di Montalcino. Aged two less years in the barrel so typically less dry and intense, and not as dark. Still a very nice dinner wine.