Monday, January 14, 2008

Monte Antico Toscana IGT, 2004

This Super Tuscan caught my eye because I’m trying to learn what the Super Tuscan hubbub is all about. The tag said it was a rated as a best value by one of the magazines, which I promptly forgot as soon a I got half way home. I thought it would be a good one to try and see how Taster B would like it.

What I like about this wine is that it has the nice Italian Sangiovese floral characteristics with the support of the Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It has fruit, acid, structure, mouth feel and for a wine in this price point, it is a great introducer to wines of this style in a higher price.

Researching this wine, I learned that the fermentation was at approx. 77° F, followed by maceration for 15-20 days followed by Malolactic Fermentation in stainless steel vats for 7 days. The wine was aged 1 year in oak (80% in Slavonian barrels, 20% in barrique) and at least 6 months in the bottle.

Click to Enlarge. (c)2008 SmellsLikeGrapeThe label on this wine is fairly straight forward, produced for the English market, so not much to learn here, Monte Antico meaning Ancient Mountain, Toscana IGT and the blend.

Tasting Notes:
Toscono IGT
Monte Antico
Vintage: 2004
Blend: 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon.
Alcohol: 12.5%
Price: $8.99
Source: Discount Wine Store

Color: Ruby Red
Intensity: Moderate
Aromas: Cherry, prune, rose, lavender, anise, vanilla, oak, smoky, tobacco, chocolate
Flavors: Raspberry, blackberry, cherry, rose, olive, mint, anise, allspice, cedar
Body: Full
Acidity: Crisp
Sweetness: Dry
Tannins: Suede
Finish: Long

Summary: This was uncorked and poured, fruit forward, slightly astringent. Nice floral notes, good tannin structure. Slight olive, mint, spice, cedar like mouth feel. The Sangiovese is the dominant contributor with the Cabernet Sauvignon adding some extra structure and complexity. The dominate floral notes are pleasing. The oak is interesting, but makes me think that they are targeting the Americans. This wine goes for $11.00, I paid $8.99 at a larger discount liquor store. This is a very good value and a nice drinking wine. Yup, I’d buy another bottle!

We enjoyed this with spinach and cheese ravioli with a vegetarian red sauce.

And how did Taster B like it? She did! I think I'm about ready to bring her into to the Chianti Classico fold. Saturday she highly encouraged me to buy a $33 bottle of 2003 Barbaresco DOCG at a high-end wine shop. (She’s a keeper!)


john witherspoon said...

Hi taster A and B
Wow what a value for a Super Tuscan. The bad part about all the hub bub around S.T.'s is that the price is through the roof. It sounds like it brought a little of each of the positive characteristics each varietal has to offer. I will have to seek it out as it would probably be a good wine list option (conisdering the 300% mark up on a wine of that price to around $30).

Taster A said...

The Importer is Empson (USA), Inc of Alexandria, VA.

I hope your patrons will enjoy it.
Best regards.
Taster A

Anonymous said...

great notes!

i picked up a bottle of this a few weeks ago and dragged it out last night to have with some leftover italian--perfect combo!

i agree--great value to the price!

Kerry said...

I was turned on to this wine about 5 years ago and continue to gravitate to it. In the price range it's hard to beat for a wine that offers many levels of flavors. My first experience was cooking a rustic Italian sauce and good fresh, crusty bread. I sat down to watch Roman Holiday with a glass and a slice of bread with butter. I ate a whole loaf of bread and drank the entire bottle and that was dinner. Still one of my price point favorites. Also a big fan of the Masi Campofiorin repasso.

Taster A said...

Hi Kerry, In this economy, wines with exceptional value are important. Unfortunately, I've never seen the Masi Camporiorin Repasso. But then that is the fun of exploring around wine shops!

Kerry said...

Here isa link to the label for the Masi. The repasso is considered a cousin or "baby brother" to Amorone. THis is a nicely structured wine that has intensity yet is very approachable. Can be cellared for a few years or enjoyed immeadiately.