Awarded 94 points by Decanter in their February 2019 tasting of Ornellaia(s) (see blue link below).
NB: the label in the review differs from ours; that in the review is on the "art" edition - see here - but the wine in the bottle is the same!
For 700 years, the Frescobaldi family who own Ornellaia have combined tradition, experience and innovation with creativity and the pursuit of excellence. The family has always looked to develop and celebrate the diversity of Tuscany’s terroir, being proud owners of some of the greatest vineyards in this region. The production philosophy at Ornellaia revolves around their obsession with excellence – at all levels. Every choice they make is of absolute importance and implies an all-consuming attention to detail. At no point in the production process are shortcuts allowed or tolerated, and this is how they succeed in harvesting grapes that are of the very highest quality irrespective of the climatic conditions in any particular year.
56% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc, 7% Petit Verdot.
To see Ornellaia's excellent information and tasting sheet for this wine, please click on the blue link below.
Ornellaia 2012 appears a deep ruby, and a remarkably beguiling bouquet boasts rich fruit and spices notes. The palate shows well-rounded, full, and generous, with glossy tannins and a complete absence of any roughness. The 2012 lacks none of the proverbial concentration that distinguishes Ornellaia’s, great vintages, but this vintage adroitly masks that richness behind an expansive, magisterial structure, then concludes with a near-endless finish.
ABV = 14.5%.
** PLENTY MORE STOCK, BUT THIS IS NOW THE LAST OF THIS AWARD-WINNING VINTAGE! **
Awarded a Platinum medal and 97 points at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards (click link for details).
The 2014 vintage was also awarded 95 points and Outstanding status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2018 edition review of the top tiers of Chianti Classico (see blue link below).
The forthcoming 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their May 2020 edition panel tasting of top-end Chianti Classico (see blue link below).
Documents in the archives of the abbey of Badia a Passignano, which owned Poggio al Sole until the 1960s, show that olives and wine were grown there as early as the 12th century. The Davaz family, which acquired Poggio al Sole in 1990, has grown wine in the Bündner Herrschaft in Switzerland since the 1970s. The eighteen contigous hectares of sloping schistose-clay vineyards are among the very highest in Chianti, and are perfectly sheltered from the Tramontane wind by the surrounding oak forest. Alessandro Masnaghetti, the brilliant taster, journalist, and publisher of Enogea, believes that Poggio al Sole is one of the top three vineyard sites in all Chianti Classico.
The Casasilia - Poggio al Sole's premium Chianti Classico from the top-tier Gran Selezione classification - is ample testament to that.
Here's Poggio al Sole's own data sheet/fiche technique on the Casasilia.
Additionally, the wine is matured in French oak barrels/barriques of 225 litres, 30% of which are made of new oak, the remainder being one-year old barrels. Ageing period is 18 months in barrel + 12 month bottle rest.
"This wine gushes with aromas of black and red fruits, mint, chalk, dried herbs and the vanilla and spice of high quality oak, which lead on to a full-bodied, yet velvety, palate with finely detailed tannins. It really pulsates with its energy, mesmerising your palate as it swoops by, culminating in a long and elegant finish" (DWWA19 tasting note).
This wine is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
ABV = 14.5%.
Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their April 2020 edition expert tasting of Global Bordeaux blends (see blue link below).
One of the most exciting estates to have emerged from Italy in recent years, Poggio al Tesoro is a 70-hectare property in Bolgheri acquired in 2002 by the Allegrini family. The first vineyard they bought, Le Sondraia, is next door to Ornellaia and was previously rented by them. It is 12 hectares in size and is planted with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon.
‘Seggio’ is the name of the creek that runs through Bolgheri - its course from above is represented on the label. This wine is produced from different plots of vineyards in the Poggio al Tesoro estate. The Cabernet Sauvignon is grown in the Via Bolgherese vineyards, at 53 meters above sea level. Here soils are deep, with coarse-grained red sand, that is gravelly and well-drained with a layer of clay at 120 centimetre below the surface. The other varieties are grown on the Le Sondraia vineyard, at 35 meters above sea level. Its soils are clayey with well-drained sandy silt and high concentrations of magnesium and iron. The average age of the vines is 17 years and they are spur-pruned and cordon-trained.
2016 is/was another vintage to remember, defined by many as one of the earliest on record in Bolgheri. After a rather mild winter, albeit with heavy rainfall, the spring months enjoyed regular rainfall that fostered uniform bud development. The summer months were dry and breezy with some rain showers in early September and the pre-harvest period saw wide variations in day-night temperatures which encouraged phenolic and aromatic ripening while maintaining acidity levels. The resulting grapes were harvested in perfect health. Vintage 2016 promises intriguing wines with marked varietal personality, good structure and great ageing potential.
See blue link below for the excellent fiche technique / technical note from the winemakers at Poggio al Tesoro.
50% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Petit Verdot.
The grapes were destemmed and softly pressed. Fermentation took place in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks at 28-30°C for 12 days. Malolactic fermentation was carried out naturally in barriques in November. The wine was then aged for 15 months in 225-litre French oak barriques from Allier (30% new, 70% second use).
This wine has an intense ruby red colour, and there are red berry and cassis aromas with mineral and spicy notes on the nose. The palate is medium bodiedand the tannins are elegant and silky. The wine has a lively finish.
ABV = 14.5%.
The 2016 vintage was awarded 90 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their December 2018 edition sponsored guide of Rosso di Montalcino (see blue link below).
The winery was established in 1980, when Pierluigi Talenti decided to buy the fascinating property and grounds with which he had fallen in love in the fifties, when he had decided to leave the mountains of his native Romagna for the sweet and sunny hills of Montalcino. The Talenti estate is located south of Montalcino, close to the small medieval village of San Angelo in Colle. Ricardo Talenti has overseen plenty of improvements in both the vineyards and cellar since taking over from grandfather Pierluigi.
The Talenti vineyards are situated in the southern hills of Montalcino (220-400m above sea level).
This wine is made in a hands-off, traditional style. Temperature controlled maceration and alcoholic fermentation take place for 20-25 days in stainless steel tanks (24-26°C). After an ageing period of 8 months partially in French oak tonneau and Slavonian oak barrels, the wine spends an additional 4 months in bottle before release.
The Talenti Rosso di Montalcino is ruby red and intense in colour with a violet shimmer. It is medium-bodied with crisp red and black cherry fruit, savoury earthy notes and a sprinkling of spice. The tannins are ripe and firm with fresh acidity.
ABV = 14.5%.
Awarded 94 points by Decanter in their October 2016 vertical tasting of Sassicaia(s) (see blue link below).
Within the estate of Tenuta San Guido, in the hills close to the Tuscan coast, between Livorno and Grosseto, are some beautiful, historical buildings, including the Castiglioncello di Bolgheri, a retreat which dates back to AD 780, and the Oratorio di San Guido, the 1803 church at the end of a classic Tuscan avenue of tall cypresses. However, it was in the early 20th century that even more historic foundations were established on the Tenuta San Guido estate.
When he acquired the property in the 1930s, the Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta noted the similarity between the stony ground of his land, as well as the sea breezes coming in off the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the terroir of Graves. When planting began in the 1940s, he opted primarily for Cabernet Sauvignon, rather than the province’s dominant Sangiovese grape. For several decades, the Bordeaux-style wine produced from that Cabernet Sauvignon, with some Cabernet Franc, was a strictly private treat. But when, in 1968, Sassicaia wine was finally released to the world, it revolutionised Italian wine, creating a new genre: the Super-Tuscan. It was the Marchese’s son, Nicolò, who pushed for the move to commercial production, along with his cousin and nephew Piero Antinori (who also happened to be a member of a longer established winemaking family). They called on the expertise of the late Giacomo Tachis, who introduced innovations such as a switch to fermentation in steel but ageing en barrique. Soon, Sassicaia wine established the region’s reputation and led to the 1994 declaration of the DOC Bolgheri.
Cabernet Sauvignon 85%, Cabernet Franc 15%.
To see Tenuta San Guido's excellent information and tasting sheet for this wine, please click on the blue link below.
The Original Super Tuscan in the millenial vintage. Medium to full body. A dominance of rich red fruits is heightened by fine peppery spices. Drinking well but will keep.
ABV = 13.5%