2018 was a great vintage in Italy, and this wine really shows the picture perfect growing season. The wine is 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Merlot, from vineyards averaging 15-20 years of age. The Sangiovese grapes provide their charisma as well as an intense scent of purple plums, the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, harvested late, give it softness and class, while the Merlot grapes add sweet and grassy notes. Soft to the palate, it ends with a well-blended flavour.
Antinori La Braccesca Vino Nobile di Montepulciano
Today, the historic site is owned by the Antinori Family – whose family has made wines since the 14th century. They had previously not had any land around the town of Montepulciano and when the magnificent property became available, they acquired it in 1990 and spared no expense renovating and replanting the vineyards to become what it is today – a modern winery in a historic setting with one foot in the past and one in the future.
La Braccesca has quickly become one of my favorite Italian wines in the store. It is an absolute stunning example of how good Sangiovese can be, without breaking the bank! This Nobile is 100% Sangiovese, and spends 12 months in new oak, and rests a full year in bottle before release. This is one of the rare Italian wines that is outstanding to taste now, and will gracefully age for many years to come – 5 to 10 years in a good cellar! This wine is an intense ruby red in color, and offers fruity aromas with notes of violets and vanilla. The palate is ripe, supple, balanced and with tannins supported by a pleasurable vein of acidity, which brings out the flavors of blackberries and cherries. This wine finishes very long on the palate and has a great aftertaste that just makes you want more! This wine is great with all sorts of food – not just Italian pastas and cheese, but also steaks, prime rib, or burgers and pizza!
Mazzei Ser Lapo Chianti Classico Riserva
For 26 generations, the Mazzei family has been producing benchmark Italian wines from their historic Castello di Fonterutoli estate in Tuscany and more recently in the Maremma, Sicily and the Veneto. The passion, commitment and expertise that goes into these expressive wines is a reflection of the Mazzei’s spirit of innovation and respect for each property’s unique terroir. Since the 1400’s the Mazzei’s have been producing wine; making it one of the oldest running Italian companies – of any kind! Their ancestry is closely woven not only into Tuscany’s winemaking history, but as well as to this venerated region’s political and cultural past.
The Ser Lapo Chianti is a ruby red color with violet nuances. On the nose, bright aromas of fresh cherries mingle with notes of thyme and a subtle smoky character. Bright acid structure providing a lively quality. Cranberry, raspberry, and red cherry dominate with hints of leather, cedar, and cocoa powder. Some earthiness in the finish and ripe soft tannins.
San Felice Chianti Classico
This wine impressed us from the get go and is an incredible example of what Chianti Classico is all about. It is deep ruby red in color with aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and sweet violets. Medium in body with moderate acidity and silky tannins, this red offers flavors of black cherry, blackberry and plum, with well-integrated sweet oak. This wine drinks great now with a half hour to one hour decant and will cellar up to 2036! I will include Wine Spectator’s tasting note which accompanied their incredible 94 point rating:
“Expressive and smooth, this hits all the right notes, with pure black cherry, black currant and violet flavors. Touches of earth, iron and tobacco add complexity. Shows fine harmony and length. ”