Saturday, October 26, 2013

Great Value Tuscan Red


~ Sunlight Streaming over Sangiovese at Monte Antico ~

Years ago when a good friend and retailer of mine whisked me to the "back room" of his store, I had an idea what was going on.  "Psst...I wanted to show you this before we stocked it on the floor."  The vintage was 1990, and my friend was about to introduce me to Monte Antico. 

Admittedly, I was a bit skeptical.  "This is 100% Sangiovese, but listen, the only thing that sets this wine apart from being grown in Brunello is a 12 foot creek.  The vineyards are right on the other side of the banks. What's more, Franco Bernabei makes the wine!"   That's all I needed to hear, I was a buyer. 

All these years later, some things have changed, but Monte Antico continues to be one of the best Sangiovese values in Tuscany.  Now with the addition of 10% Cabernet and 5% Merlot, the wine has a bit darker color and a slight sense of brooding under the lift of Sangiovese.  Still made by Bernabei (Fontodi, Felsina) and still under $10, this is an amazing value in the 2009 vintage. 

Deep ruby in the glass, the wine exhibits wonderful aromas of red fruits, plums, flowers, earth and soft spices.  It's fresh and lively on the palate with pretty fruit flavors accented by warmed clay and dried herbs. Medium bodied and balanced very well, this has more tannic grip than many previous vintages, perhaps a factor contributed by the Cabernet in the blend.  No matter.  This is $10 after case discount and with the wine being bottled with a screw cap, you can have the confidence to stock it by the case and not worry about corked wines.  This drinks great now and will continue to do so for 3-5 years.  Wonderful with simple pasta or Pizza. One of the best Tuscan values I've tasted in a long time.  90 points.  $10 

~ The 2009 Monte Antico blends Cabernet & Merlot with Sangiovese ~ 

E vero!

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