There was a lot of controversy (at least for the Italians) years ago about wineries slipping grapes not allowed by the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot into their Brunello di Montalcino. The theory was that it would add some heft to the wine and garner higher scores from high profile wine reviewers, eventually bringing in more fame and higher prices for their wines. Over time much of the problem has been dealt with, and one of the happier accidents to come from it has been the spotlight brought to some of the Tuscan appellations that actually allow and encourage those grapes to be used. The Sant'Antimo D.O.C. essentially surrounds the borders of Brunello along with some vineyard areas on the outskirts, and with well regarded wineries like Ciacci Piccolomini using the name more frequently on tasty wines like this it is sure to become a more household name.
Built from a higher percentage of Merlot than Cabernet Sauvignon, the wine sports an inky purple color and initial aromas of classic Bordeaux wines like dark currants and plums. As it opens up the aromas start to give off some of the dried Tuscan earth that comes through in the better Chiantis and Rossos/Brunellos, showing the sense of place above the grapes used. On the palate the fruit is fairly plush and modern, not a lot of oak coming through and loaded with hearty flavors and just a touch of savory Tuscan herbs to the finish. This is a wine that both Italian fans and those just learning the ropes will enjoy, perfect with hearty meats and cold weather dishes.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!