This 25th Anniversary bottling is a blend of 50% Merlot and 50% Sangiovese. The Sangiovese vineyards for Luce are just south of the village of Montalcino planted at high elevations in soils rich in marl.The Merlot appears to dominate this seamless wine in a positive way, yet the energy of the Sangiovese comes shining through. A concentrated opaque color opens to a bouquet of violets and rose petals supported by a core of fresh black currants. Within this modern framework are layers of spices knit together with graphite, star anise and hint of minerality on the finish. In some ways, the richness of this wine is reminiscent of an Oakville Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. A very memorable and youthful wine at this early stage of its development.
Brunello di Montalcino
Sourced from high elevation plantings of Sangiovese near the town of Montalcino, this is one of the Frescobaldi’s flagship wines. From the much heralded 2015 vintage, this deep ruby wine offers a wealth of macerated black fruits and dark toffee undertones. Within the core is a liqueur-like texture and richness to the wine that lasts for minutes. There is a savory character and enough delicate acidity to keep it all together and in balance. The finish is long and persistent. I am certain this wine will evolve nicely into the next decade.
Guado Al Tasso
The vineyards for this Antinori estate are situated near the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea and encompassed by rolling hills referred to as the “Bolgheri Amphitheatre.” This opaque Super Tuscan beauty is 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot and 20% Cabernet Franc. Beneath the aromas of fresh roasted coffee and brown spices is an underlying sweetness supported by wild blackberries, chocolate shavings and juicy tannins. There is so much packed into this exotic bottling that you may get lost tasting through the endless layers. An impressive achievement. Some may describe it as almost breathtaking, but you may just want to describe it as yummy.
Badia A Passignano
This wine is produced exclusively from Sangiovese grapes harvested from vineyards located in the area of San Casciano Val di Pesa. Since 1000 A.D., it has been in the heart of the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany. The vineyards grow at an altitude of 984 feet above sea level in soils rich in limestone and clay. The wines age in cellars that date back to the 10th century.
The color is dark red with outlines of purple. The nose opens with wild cherry, violets and notes of garrigue. This Tuscan wine has a classic expression of the Sangiovese grape. The palate is rich and layered with lively flavors of coffee and chocolate along with savory spices and stone. The tannins are silky and polished. I sensed a dusty element that added to the complexity of this wonderfully crafted Chianti Classico. It remains impeccably balanced. The finish has vibrant acidity ending with a long and lingering aftertaste. The wine belongs on the table with your favorite pasta and Sunday gravy. Delicioso!
By Perry Miroballi
Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Poliziano is located on the slopes between Montepulciano near the village of Gracciano. On these ridges, at the best altitudes and positions are the vineyards of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The Poliziano Estate was founded in 1961 when Frederico Carletti’s father Dino, purchased 55 acres. Frederico thinks of himself as a farmer because he is “convinced that fine wines originate in the vineyard.” Today the estate consists of over 500 acres.
This wine is mostly Sangiovese with a color that is deep ruby. The nose opens with red plum and a floral bouquet along with notes of spice and toasty oak. I picked up a hint of licorice in the background. The palate is medium bodied and the tannins are chewy, but still juicy. This classic Tuscan beauty has a creamy, silky textured core that is balanced and finishes with a touch of fresh acidity.
By Perry Miroballi
Chianti Rufina Riserva
The origin of Fattoria Selvapiana dates back to 1827. Michele Giuntini, the ancestor of Francesco Giuntini, is the current owner and fifth generation to run the property from 1957 to 1997. Francesco was among the first Tuscan producers to craft the Riserva wines made only from Sangiovese grapes. Additionally, he was the first to produce their flagship wine Selvapiana from a single vineyard, Bucerchiale. The hills where the Rufina vineyards are situated at the foothills of the Apennines; the chain of mountains divides Tuscany from Emilia Romagna. This location strongly influences the microclimate of the area with its cooler summers and temperature swings between day and night.
This wine elevates your senses to another level. The color is dark cherry with a nose that opens with an expression of power. There are nuances of sweet pipe tobacco, licorice, mint, dark chocolate and baking spices that give the wine its distinctive character. The palate continues to take you on an amazing journey with tannins that are round, silky and polished. There is a creamy richness that is wonderfully balanced with fresh acidity and a long aftertaste. Delicious to drink on its own, but will pair wonderfully with Northern Italian dishes like Veal Bolognese with Paccheri pasta.
By Perry Miroballi