Monday, May 12, 2008

Tuscany wine bridges Old World and New World

(c)2008 SmellsLikeGrape
Poggio alle Sughere Morellino de Scansano D.O.C. is a wine that we picked up at The Vineyard in North Andover earlier this year at their large Italian wine tasting. It is always fun to see what happens when you get a bottle home.

Scansano is in the Southern end of Tuscany and is a new region opened up in the last ten years. This region is being compared to California because of the explosion around this town. This wine has stepped in to be the quality wine to fill the void left by the quality Chianti wines when they shot up in price.

Our label is straight forward for Italian. The Poggio alle Sughere estate in Magliano, Toscana in the heart of the Maremma zone. This Morellino di Scansano is a blend of 90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. This warm environment with perfect rainfall means that Morellino di Scansano give this great fruit flavors, wonderful savory herb notes and just the right pizzazz.

Morellino di Scansano D.O.C. is Sangiovese (Morellino), 85% to 100%. Other red grapes may be used to a maximum of 15%. Aging is two years minimum for Rosso Riserva with a minimum of 1 year in wood. (Note that this is not a riserva wine.)

(c)2008 SmellsLikeGrape
Morellino di Scansano
Poggio alle Sugghere
Maremma area of Tuscany
Vintage: 2003
Alcohol: 13.0%
Price: $16.99

Color: Brick
Intensity: Medium
Aromas: Cherry, jam, raisin, olive, earth, with a hint of vanilla
Flavors: Strawberry, black cherry, pomegranate, prune, cassis, olive, earth, tar, coffee, chocolate, rosemary, sage with slight spiciness of allspice and anise.
Body: Full
Acidity: Moderate
Sweetness: Dry
Tannins: Silk
Finish: Long

Summary: Think of this wine as a good bridge between the New World from the Old World. It shows the restrained use of wood aging with herbal notes and well developed fruit flavors. The dark red fruit flavors are tempered by the dried fruit flavors and earth, tar, chocolate and coffee. Nothing about this wine is overbearing.

We enjoyed this wine with a pizza topped with artichoke, roasted banana pepper, fresh mozzarella, and thin sliced fresh tomato. The wine stood up to the saltiness of the cheese and the acidity of the tomato.

The Poddio alla Sughere is a well crafted wine and quite a treat. We will enjoy this with another meal. We are just delighted that it bridges the styles of three of our favorite regions, Côtes du Rhône, Sonoma and Tuscany. The wine region was established without a long standing tradition of having a regional wine style. Therefore, when the D.O.C. was established in 1997, it was not restrained and could make Super Tuscan style wines. The result in this case is a wine with the character of Côtes du Rhône with the courage to be modern.

A final note: If you are in the North East Massachusetts area, get yourself on The Vineyard’s email list. They have quality tastings and a very good selection.


Taster B said...

This is a good sipping wine with lots of fun aromas/flavors like black cherry, olive, currant, & thyme but it's also good with food thus bridging the ol' tasting vs. drinking with meal gap.

Anonymous said...

I tried the Santa Cristina as my first exposure to
Sangiovese (aside from "chianti"). I LOVE this wine!!
Even though it is a 90% Sangiovese/10% Merlot blend,
it is just so good!!
I had a glass of it to accompany a slice of Black Forest
cake (from a French bakery), Wow!! Endorphins were
through the roof!!
What a great pairing. I highly recommend Santa Cristina and have gotten a few of my friends addicted
to it too.