2016 Tenuta Sette Ponti “Crognolo”, Tuscany, Italy (Alcohol 14%, Residual Sugar 7 g/L) LCBO Vintages $34.95 (750ml bottle)
Last week we interviewed Alberto Moretti Cuseri of Tenuta Sette Ponti, and this week we turn to the subject of his rather excellent Crognolo wine, currently available through LCBO Vintages.
Whilst I am often of the mindset that the whole concept of “Super Tuscan” wines is more than a little passé, with so many tasting like relics from steakhouses in the 80s and 90s, every now and then one comes along that really turns my head. And such was the case with this excellent wine from Tenuta Sette Ponti.
Whether I’d call this, in fact, a true Super Tuscan or not is a matter for debate, as the wine is composed of some 90% of the native Sangiovese, with only 10% of the interloping Merlot making up the mix, but one thing is for sure… this wine is pure Tuscany, through and through, the Merlot component gloriously softening out the inherently astringent Sangiovese. The wine sees some barrique, my least favourite part of the whole Super Tuscan phenomenon, but these are all neutral cooperage and much of the wine ages 14 months in the larger tonneaux, and is all the all for the better for it in my opinion.
As is the way with good contemporary Tuscan reds, the fruit is rich and ripe, but there’s a slickness, polish, and complexity present here that lifts it well above the everyday. This punches waaaaay above its weight at its $34.95 price tag.
A bouquet of black cherries, brambles, brown cooking spices, and a hint of oak give way to a gloriously mouth-filling palate. The tannins are dusty and leathery, complementing all that plush dark berry fruit. There a great mineral thread running throughout here, leading to a decidedly tannin/mineral finish that although most appealing today, will only soften and round out the wine with some time.
A great bottle to pick up and bring around for a dinner party at a friend’s this festive season. I don’t think that anyone will be turning these noses up at this.
(Four and a half apples out of a possible five)
Tenuta Sette Ponti are represented in Ontario by Noble Estates.
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Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that was rather good, but he wishes he could have cellared it!