Posts Tagged With: Tuscany

Exploring Super Tuscans with the 2006 Aia Vecchia Lagone

Whether you call them a Super Tuscan or an IGT blend, rich red blends from Tuscany provide everything from great values to high priced cult legends. The 2006 Aia Vecchia Lagone falls into the value category at $18 and is a blend of mostly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon with 5% Cabernet Franc.

So what is a “Super Tuscan?”

Originally Super Tuscan’s were declassified Chiantis because they failed to follow the DOC (and then DOCG) requirements for grape blends and aging. Many winemakers at the time (1970’s) felt that Chianti wines were becoming too watered down and not showing the true class and structure that the region could provide. This philosophy brought in new non typical grapes into the blends such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc to provide increased structure and complexity. Although many of the wines were still of superior quality, not following the rules brought these wines down to Vini da Tavola status or basic table wine. In 1992 to give some status and classification to these wine the Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) was formed. Although still not carrying the same status as DOC or DOCG wines, it was better than being called table wine. Funny enough current DOCG rules for Chianti and the sub regions of Chianti allow for up to 15% of these grapes that 30 years ago were not allowed.

My tasting notes for the 2006 Aia Vecchia Lagone

Nose: fig newton, leather, black currant, sun-dried tomatoes
Taste: black currant, fig, pie dough, black cherry, prune, crayon
Mouthfeel: full bodied but tight, strong leathery tannins
Finish: long with lots of depth and flavor

A very delicious wine, but kind of all over the place. It is still a young wine in many ways and needs some time to pull itself together at which time it will definitely shine. That being said it tastes great now and will delight most non-discriminating drinkers early, but given another year or two I feel it’ll show much better.


Categories: $10-$20, wine review | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Taking a trip to Tuscany – 2004 Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

vinonobiledimontepulciano_mapFrom the land of Tuscany comes the 2004 Corte alla Flora Vino Nobile di Montepulciano DOCG. The name for the wine comes not from the nobility of the grape, but from the nobility of the people who drank it– popes, poets and other noblemen. The main grape for the wine is Prugnolo Gentile, another name/clone of the Sangiovese grape. Prugnolo, translating roughly to “prune,” refers to the color, shape and smell of the grape at harvest. This particular wine is made up of 90% Prugnolo, with the remaining 10% being comprised of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. According to the spec sheet on the winery’s website, it saw 18 months in Allier Oak casks and another 10 months aging in bottles before release. I was a little surprised at this because DOCG requirements for Vino Nobile prescribe a minimum 2 years in oak. Upon further reading, I found that DOCG does allow for 18 months of oak aging as long as bottle/vessel aging exceeds 2 years.  Prior to aging, this wine was macerated for 20 days with repeated stirring and Malolactic Fermentation.

2004corteallafloraMy Tasting Notes –

Nose – raspberry, red currant, mushroom, slightly “barny”

Taste – raspberry, truffle oil, green bell pepper

Mouthfeel – medium bodied, with slightly sharp acidity and leathery tannins

Finish – long with lingering red fruit flavors

In recent years Vino Nobile di Montepulciano has lost a bit of its “Nobile” status by failing to offer the quality it was once known for. I haven’t had very many of these wines but I thought the quality of this one was fine, which exhibited solid fruit and earthy characteristics and classic old world mouthfeel. For around $15 it is a great value and introduction to the wine.


Categories: $10-$20, wine review | Tags: , | 2 Comments