Posts Tagged ‘Colline Lucchesi’

I enjoy Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Petit Verdot in Italian wine

January 28, 2015 Leave a comment

This winter I have been interested in Italian wines that are made from non-native grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah.  Tim has walked me through his selections and there is quite a range of these wines available for under $30 with vintages going back to 2007.  Of the five wines featured in this post the two younger vintages could stand with further aging.  The 2012 Le Macchiole, Bolgheri Rosso and 2011 Tenuta Di Valgiano, Palistorti di Valgiano, Colline Lucchesi Rosso are completely different wines.  The former has no Sangiovese but that is not missed due to the lifted nose, minerally black fruit, and tension in the mouth. The later is mostly Sangiovese and while it comes across as young it has great cut and just the right amount of greenhouse notes.  I recommend you purchase both of these.  Of the older bottles the 2009 Arcanum, Il Fauno di Arcanum, Toscana is my clear favorite.  It only has a splash of Sangiovese so now that it is entering maturity, the cedar box infused darker fruit and structure clearly speak to a Bordeaux blend.  It is a great price and in a great state so you should drink many bottles of this while the younger wines age.  The 2010 Umberto Cesari, Liano, Rubicone was too hedonistic and showy for me but it is tasty and should have many fans.  Finally, the 2009 Guado al Melo, Bolgheri Rosso was almost too earthy for me on the nose.  It did clean up but it ultimately proved soft in flavor.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2012 Le Macchiole, Bolgheri Rosso – $26
Imported by Vintus.  This wine is a blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 20% Syrah.  Alcohol 14%.  There was a fresh nose of lifted aromas.  In the mouth were dense flavors of blue and black fruit with powdery tannins and good tension.  Minerally black flavors developed along with grippy cola, juicy acidity, and a good aftertaste.  With air more tart black fruit and salivating acidity came out.  Young.  **(*) 2017-2022.


2011 Tenuta Di Valgiano, Palistorti di Valgiano, Colline Lucchesi Rosso- $28
Imported by Cantiniere Imports and Distributing.  This wine is a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 20% Merlot and 10% Syrah sourced from vines averaging 14 years of age.  The wine was aged for 12 months in 5% new French oak barrels followed by 6 months in cement vat.  Alcohol 14%.  This bore a young nose followed by rounded, powdery ripe black cherry flavors.  It showed an attractive hint of greenhouse flavors, almost juicy acidity, and a little woodsy tannins.  Though a bit forward and approachable this really is a short-term ager.  With extended air the flavors turned towards the blacker side with a hint of tar, good acidity, good cut, and a citric and mineral infused finish.  *** 2017-2023.


2010 Umberto Cesari, Liano, Rubicone – $33
Imported by Opici Wines.  This wine is a blend of 70% Sangiovese and 30% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from vines averaging 15 years of age.  It was fermented in stainless steel, aged for 18 months in a variety of oak sizes.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This had a light, attractive nose.  In the mouth were forward, hedonistic flavors of chocolate infused fruit.  The wine had some weight, ripe, chocolate tannins, and robustness before the drier finish.  This young, showy wine is lavish with its oak flavors.  The wine was quite filling and clearly needs time to integrate but remains completely drinkable. **(*) 2017-2023.


2009 Arcanum, Il Fauno di Arcanum, Toscana – $26
Imported by Sovereign Wine Imports.  This wine is a blend of 61% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 16% Cabernet Franc, 2% Sangiovese, and 1% Petit Verdot.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There were maturing, claret-like flavors of cedar box mixed with ripe, tight blue and black fruit,  that had a greenhouse hint.  The finish brought ripe and billowy flavors that filled the mouth and left tannins on the gums.  This tasty and flavorful wine became a little spicy and earthy with air.  **** Now – 2020.


2009 Guado al Melo, Bolgheri Rosso – $26
Imported by Artisan Wines.  This wine is a blend of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot that was aged for 12 months in oak barrels.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose was quite earthy at first but it cleaned up to reveal mushrooms.  In the mouth was a black foundation of fruit that was soft at first.  Some acidity was there but the powdery roundness lacked definition.  The wine did tighten up in the finish to reveal some subtle tannins.  Not my style.  ** Now-2019.


Several Italian Wines Opened While Researching

July 8, 2013 1 comment

Here are several different Italian wines I have opened while researching and writing about the history of wine.  At the affordable end of things the 2011 Elena Walch, Lagrein is appealing for contemporary drinking.  My favorite of the lot were the 2005 Rocca di Frassinello, Poggio alla Guardia and the 2008 Ricci Curbastro, Vigna Santella del Grom.  Both of these are blends with Merlot and Cabernet.  The former is attractively mature right now.   The later is more youthful and surprisingly contains Carmenere! These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2011 Elena Walch, Lagrein, Alto Adige – $14
Imported by The Country Vintner.  This wine is 100% Lagrein which was fermented in stainless steel then underwent malolactic fermentation and aging in large French oak barrels.  Alcohol 12.5%.  The nose was black and grapey.  In the mouth the wine had lighter and cooler flavors of red and black fruit.  It tasted like a cool-climate wine.  It was a touch tart but moved forward with structure, some pepper, licorice, and a delicate core.  Attractive.  ** Now-2014.


2005 Rocca di Frassinello, Poggio alla Guardia, Maremma Tuscany – $16
Imported by Vias Imports.  This wine is a blend of 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 15% Sangioveto sourced from seven-year old vines which was fermented in stainless steel, underwent malolactic fermentation, then aged for four months in stainless steel and cement.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was a medium garnet mixed with brick.  The flavors were ripe and focused with black cherry that was lively on the center of the tongue.  There was gentle weight as the fruit coats the tongue then takes on texture with ripe, drying tannins on the tongue and lips.  there were some wood box flavors and structure with air.  There was a little coarse texture but the wine filled out with air and was supported by the structure.  *** Now-2018.


2004 Agricoltori del Geografico, Contessa di Radda, Chianti Classico – $16
Imported by Monarchia Matt International.  This wine is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Canaiolo Nero grape sourced from member vineyards total 480 acres.  Alcohol 13%.  The nose revealed a little roast and a hinted of stewed fruit.  In the mouth there was firm cherry fruit, a little roast, and firm acidity on the tongue tip.  With air there were some tea flavors, expansion in the mouth but not a lot of depth.  It was a little stemmy with a touch of salivating acidity.  It seems to be drying with its age.  ** Now.


2008 Corbera Vini, Nero d’Avola, ar Cera, Sicily – $13
Imported by Red Ink Imports.  Alcohol 14%.  In the mouth the flavors were very smooth with silky and smokey black/red fruit.  There were some strong tannins in the underlying structure which continues to emerge with air.  There was some acidity followed by a smoky, pervasive aftertaste.  ** Now-2017.


2008 Velenosi, Brecciarolo, Rosso Piceno- $11
Imported by Domaine Select Wine Estates.  This wine is a blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese which was destemmed, fermented in stainless steel then aged in used barriques.  Alcohol 13.5%.  This had flavors of black cherry and black fruit with some ripeness.  There were cinnamon-like spices to this softer but textured black fruited wine.  It was tart with integrated acidity, and a small amount of tannins. The finish was shorter.  No need to hold on to this.  ** Now-2014.


2009 Fattoria di Fubbiano, San Gennaro, Colline Lucchesi – $20
Imported by David Vincent Selection.  This wine is a blend of 70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo, and 15% Ciliegiolo.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose was light with a  little perfume, greenhouse, and stems.  The mouth followed the nose with a core of focused, ripe vintage perfume and black fruit.  There were flavors of tart red and black fruit then a textured middle, and acidity in the aftertaste.  The wine is a little rough at this point but has good, yet firmer black and red fruit flavors in the aftertaste. Needs a little age. **(*) 2014-2017.


2008 Ricci Curbastro, Vigna Santella del Grom, Curtefranca – $23
Imported by Grappoli Imports.  This wine is a blend of 30% Cabernet Franc, 28% Merlot, 12% Carmenere, and 10% Barbera sourced from the Santella del Grom vineyard planted in 1992.  It was fermented in stainless steel vats then aged for 18 months in oak barrels.  Alcohol 12%.  The nose bore some fresh, red berry fruit.  In the mouth there were focused raspberry flavors, a little ripe core, and acidity which moves things along like a wave.  The wine was red and tangy in the back of the mouth with a touch of weight behind the fruit.  Good quality.  This is a good youthful wine with cherry berry notes.  *** Now-2016.