Thursday, March 28, 2013

The King of Cortona

Genesis.
 
In 1967, the d'Alessandro family relocated from Rome to Tuscany and purchased the Manzano farm near Cortona.  At the time, the vineyards in and around Cortona produced grapes mostly destined to be sold in bulk or blended with other wines.  

However, Massimo d'Alessandro recognized the potential of the area, and in 1988 commissioned a studyof the soils and the climate that ultimately revealed that the microclimate was ideal for Syrah to thrive.  From 1993 to 2002, the vineyards were replanted and the Tenimenti Luigi d'Alessandro estate was born.  Early successes put Cortona on the map and as other producers followed, most notably Antinori, Cortona received DOC status in 1999.
 

Syrah Grapes Hanging in the Bosco Vineyard
 
Today's wine is the recently awarded "Tre Bicchieri"  the 2009 Il Bosco Syrah.   First produced in 1992, this wine is 100% Syrah from estate grown vineyards planted in 1988.  The first vintage I ever tasted was the 1994, however, with the release of the 1997, it was clear that this winery had found a winner.
 
The dry and warm Cortona climate lends ripeness to the grapes, while the cooler nights allow the freshness of the acidity to remain in the grapes.  The resulting wines are balanced and exhibit more ripeness than there French counterparts and more balance than their overdone Australian cousins. 
 
The 2009 is dark, blackish purple in the glass.  There is already a slight sediment forming in the bottle. The aromas are persistent and classy. Dark, smokey, meaty plums mix with leather and peppery spice. Perfumed.  On the palate, the wine is packed with full bodied velvety black plum fruit, with a notable peppery accent.  The vineyard contributes leather and earth flavors.  This is balanced and long, with velvety integrated tannins.  The acidity gives the fruit lift.  This is great right now and hard to resist.  However, I think 2-3 years in the cellar will allow this wonderful wine to develop even more complexity.  Tre Bicchieri indeed!  95 points.  About $40.
 

Il Bosco Syrah - Cortona DOC

Tenimenti Luigi d'Alessandro will be the subject of a future winemaker interview here at TuscanVines.  Saluti!

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