Last week, City Vino was dreaming of a red (wine) Christmas, and we continue that thought for our weekly tasting on Friday, December 10, and Saturday, December 11, with red wines from around the globe. Join us on a quick tasting jaunt to Italy, France, Spain, and Virginia.
One of this week’s featured wines comes from Tuscany, in Italy, and is the 2016 Cacciata Toscana IGT. The wine is considered a Super Tuscan, which means it is a blend of traditional Italian grapes with “international varieties.” In this case, the Cacciata is a blend of 85 percent Sangiovese, and 15 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, and the wine is full-bodied. There is a leaping wild boar on the label that the winery says is their symbol of their guardianship of the “precious and unspoiled land.” The Toscana is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels to add complexity. Aromas and flavors of red fruit, violets, chocolate, and cinnamon abound. Of course. the traditional way to pair wine is with food from where the wine is made, so we’d suggest leaning towards Tuscan dishes featuring tomato sauces and Italian cheeses like Mozzarella, Parmesan, Pecorino, Provolone, Romano, or Taleggio.
Another featured wine is the 2015 Atelier Prestige Foncalieu L’Apogee from Saint-Chinian, which is in the Languedoc region in the south of France. Being to the south of the Rhone region, it is not surprising to find that this is a blend of 85 percent Syrah and 15 percent Grenache, which are key to the southern Rhone region. The wine spends 12 months in French oak, 70 percent of which is new barrels and 30 percent second-fill barrels. The color is deep and dense red, from the Syrah. The wine had aromatics of ripe red fruit and black berries, eucalyptus, and something known as garrigue. Garrigue is a term used for aromatics and flavors of herbs like thyme and rosemary. On the palate, this wine is fruity and powerful with a long and spicy finish. For pairing, we suggest grilled or roasted meats or even some southern barbeque.
Our next offering is the 2019 Dominio de Pingus PSI from the Ribera del Duero in Spain. While the wine is labelled Tempranillo, it has 10 percent Grenache blended in with the 90 percent Tempranillo. For those who are interested in wine reviewers and points, this wine scored 95 points from James Suckling and 94 points from Robert Parker. This wine is fermented using ambient yeast in the winery, and aged mostly in large used oak vats, though 20 percent was aged in used French barrels for 18 months. For aromatics, the wine shows dark ripe fruit with hints of lavender, tobacco, chocolate, leather, and earth. On the palate the wine has a medium-plus body and fine tannins, and a lovely finish with flavors of black fruit, vanilla, caramel, smoke, nutmeg, and mushrooms. Consider pairing this wine with big red meats and strong cheeses.
The stop in Virginia features the 2020 Gabriele Rausse Malbec. The wine is 100 percent Malbec from Turk Mountain Vineyards, which is located in Afton, Virginia. Gabriele Rausse is a historic figure in Virginia wine and his sons, Tim and Peter, continue his legacy making outstanding wines that show what Virginia wines can be. The Malbec was aged for 10 months in neutral French oak barrels. Malbec is a grape that sometimes is in a Bordeaux blend in small percentages, but is best known in the region of southwest France known as Cahors, and in Argentina. Expect some earthiness along with dark fruit and tartness.
We hope you enjoyed our jaunt featuring reds from around the globe. Hope to see you soon and cheers to all!