Stellina continues its current series of Italian Wine Tastings on Thursday, March 9 at 6:30 with an evening devoted exclusively to the category known as SUPER-TUSCANS.
SUPER TUSCANS are the newest and most creative genre of Italian wines. It’s a combination of old-school winemaking ability, the fertile soil of Tuscany and a variety of both Italian and imported French grape types.
Breaking the shackles of traditional Tuscan styling, a number of Italy’s most adventurous winemakers, including such powerhouses as the House of Antinori, have joined hands with French winemakers, such as the staff of Chateau Lafite Rothschild, in an attempt to inject new life into Italian wines.
The results are amazing, with flavors that combine the best of both Italian and French worlds.
We’ll try five of the best SUPER TUSCANS that Tuscany has to offer, made from 8 grape varieties, accompanied by selected antipasti and professional commentary from an industry representative.
Cost for this exclusive event is $35 per person. Reservations are required. Call 617-924-9475 or click the reservation key on this website.
WINE TASTING NOTES FOR THE WINES BEING PRESENTED
ROCCA di FRASSINELLO, MAREMMA
The top label, Rocca di Frassinello is the highest expression of this Italian-French project. A wine able to mix strength, intensity and elegance with delicate tannins which express its fullness. This wine was created from a collaboration between Christian Le Sommer, enologist of Les Domaines Baron de Rothschild-Lafite, and Alessandro Cellai.
Owner: Paolo Panerai
Winemaker: Alessandro Cellai
Type: Red wine
Varietals: 60% Sangioveto, 20% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Color: Intense ruby red
Bouquet: Sweet red berries, roses and licorice are among the aromas and flavors that emerge from this great red
Flavor: Polish and supremely elegant personality. Great structure with a pleasant long finish
TREFIANO CARMIGNANO, CAPEZZANA
Estate grown composition of 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo. Opulent and persistent with notes of blackberry, dried plum and balsamic notes with a lengthy finish. An Italian Classic.
- GRAPES: 80% Sangiovese, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Canaiolo
- COLOR: Ruby red, with intense purple highlights
- AROMA: Elegant, and persistent with notes of dark fruit with sweet and spicy nuances
- PALATE: Complex and elegant, with flavors of ripe red fruits and a pleasant acidity. Fine and well balanced, with a lengthy finish
GUADO al TASSO, BOLGHERI DOC SUPERIORE
GUADO al TASSO ESTATE, MARCHESI ANTINORI
This is the prestigious flagship wine of the Tenuta Guado al Tasso, and fully expresses the Bolgheri terroir in all its structure, elegance and complexity. It is made with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Petit Verdot grapes and aged from about 14 months in new French oak barriques. It then matures for a further 10 months in the bottles.
- Wine Enthusiast: 90 Points.
Wine Enthusiast – “This bright red opens with aromas of red berry, blue flower and a whiff of baking spice. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, the linear palate offers juicy black cherry, clove, vanilla and coffee alongside assertive yet fine-grained tannins and fresh acidity. A licorice note signals the close.
To paraphrase an old advertisement one could day: ‘Antinori means quality’. And this would be nothing more than the absolute truth, as made evident by this wine that is not top shelf, not heralded and yet not classifiable simply as a minor wine. A blend of international grapes and the product of reliable techniques and wine-making skill. This wine is very enjoyable, a true Bolgheri to the last DR0P, perfect and balanced, as is often the case for certain Tuscans. For sure a little more depth and complexity would not have hurt, but at this price who could ask for more.
The 2014 Guado al Tasso is a less structured wine than usual but one with a crisp, savory finish and a balanced and complex fragrance. The nose shows notes of cherries under spirits, tobacco, candied oranges, and spices. The palate is vibrant, supple, and persistent with a spicy finish and aftertaste. In this vintage it was decided to use a larger percentage of Merlot and to eliminate the Petit Verdot, giving a final wine which differs from previous years: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, and 20% Cabernet Franc.
Guado al Tasso was produced for the first time in 1990. It takes its name from a curious fact: at the Guado al Tasso estate it happens quite frequently that badgers, shy animals, can be seen fording the various streams which flow through the property and this inspired the name of the property and its top wine. The estate is located some 50 miles (80 kilometers) to the southwest of the city of Florence near the medieval hamlet of Bolgheri in Tuscany’s upper Maremma. The property, 2500 total acres (1000 hectares) in size, extends from the coast to the hillsides where the vineyards are cultivated on rocky and lightly calcareous soils.
POLLIZIANO MADRONE di LHOSA, TOSCANA
Lohsa is the Maremma project of Montepulciano’s Poliziano winery, nestled up against the sea in a perfect place to grow Bordeaux varietals. This, their top wine, blends Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot plus a touch of Alicante Bouschet for extra complexity aged 18 months in French oak. Richly textured and flavored by a bit of time in bottle, there’s good freshness here and a fine, food-friendly, finish.
.”Wine Spectator 92 points “Black currant, black cherry, violet, rosemary and spice aromas and flavors are allied to a vibrant structure and firm tannins. This is balanced and lingers on the finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Alicante. Best from 2016 through 2024
Powerful yet elegant, smooth yet well structured – Mandrone is obtained primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon, with small but vital additions of Alicante, Petit Verdot and Carignano. These last two are essential in giving Mandrone the distinctive Mediterranean character – sunny, clean and definite – that renders it unique and unmistakable.
- Robert Parker: 92 points
- Wine Spectator: 92 points
From the website Opening A Bottle:
The 2008 Terre Del Poliziano Mandrone di Lohsa pretty much embodies all of that. Made by the well-regarded Poliziano estate (based almost 50 miles away from Maremma in Montepulciano), it packs a wallop of black raspberry fruit and invigorating, oaky tannins.
Ten percent of this wine is Petit Verdot, which I think lent it a distinct backbone to counterbalance the jammy quality of the Cabernet Sauvignon. I couldn’t help but think of Napa as I drank it.
Bold, brash, explosive and reminiscent of California: yep, that’s a blockbuster alright!
Tasting notes: An explosively aromatic Cabernet Sauvignon blend that shows great swaths of black raspberry, walnuts and graphite on the nose. In its eighth year, the wine is aging nicely, with an even touch on the palate that is bold but not astringent. Quite oaky, drying finish.
TENUTA DI TRINORO “LA CUPOLE”, VINI FRANCHETTI
Of all his wines, the flagship Tenuta di Trinoro provides the greatest insight into Andrea Franchetti’s approach to winemaking. The proprietary blend of cabernet franc, merlot, cabernet sauvignon, and petit verdot grown on soils of limestone and clay changes each year based simply upon which grapes are the best from that vintage, wed not to any predetermined recipe, formula, or even flavor profile. This Super Tuscan wine showcases the distinct terroir and grapes from this remote estate at the furthest confines of viticulture in Tuscany. Franchetti’s distinct style is apparent throughout each wine and each vintage. Richness and structure, depth of flavor and complexity — these are the hallmarks of his wines.
Harvest Report: Tenuta di Trinoro 2014
From December on in 2014 we had a rainy and warm winter. In spring, budding came early, on April 9th, and very early flowering started extending uniformly through the vineyards from May 15th. This, later, would put some of our pickings at a record-breaking 140 days after flowering.
Fast coloring of berries in all the vineyards during the last days of July confirmed to us how the plants were full of energy. We dropped a third of the grape load from our plants, and because of repeating rains, we hired more people to work in the vineyard throughout the summer. Other forces in the plants worked away the water, and the fruit remained firm and healthy to the end.
We had a sunny second half of September, during which heard bad stories of rot in the vineyards north of Trinoro. We started picking Merlot from early-ripening blocks on the September 29thto October 2nd; the other tracts came a few days later, on the October 6th, 7th, and 8th. It was all good fruit that, because of the cool growing season, showed noticeably different flavors between each patch. On October 10th, 11th, and 12th we picked the first Cabernet Franc parcels. On the 13th, a storm broke on the farm, and rain fell hard for two days. The grapes’ health in the valley’s bottom was getting bad, and we had to organize a hurried picking there with lots of people working in the rain on the 15th.
The weather turned and became quite good, and two days later we were finding very good grapes in the vineyards on the mountain’s side. Here we picked the best Cabernet Francs of the year on October 17th, 18th, and 21st. In the winery we could again notice different flavors in the pickings coming from different vineyards. The weather held for another week, then we picked the Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot on October 28th.