What We Say 2004 Armonia
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Mission Codename: House of God
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Track down “Viticulturist to the Stars”, Stefano Casadei and bring back his best wines
Mission Status: Accomplished
Current Winery: Casadei Winery
Wine Subject: Armonia
Winemaker: Stefano Casadei
World famous winemaker Stefano Casadei is widely acknowledged to be one of Italy’s best winemakers. His informal title of “Viticulturist to the Stars” was earned through years of working with some of Italy’s biggest and best wine brands to plant some of the best-producing vineyards in Italy. These include those owned by such renowned producers as Antinori and Gaja, and Chianti Rufina.
After years of working with other producers, he finally realized his dream of owning his own vineyards with his purchase of 35 acres in Suvareto, in Tuscany’s coastal Maremma region.
Today he is producing wines of exceptional quality, balance and structure by allowing nature to do its work without chemical pesticides or synthetic substances.
It was a hot but gorgeous Tuscan day. Just the type of day I had come to expect from my favorite Italian region during my favorite time of year. Stefano is a spry man, with a jovial yet very serious demeanor. This is a man that seems to embody the world Italian wine and he seems equally at home discussing and making both old world and newer styles of Italian wines.
While Stefano brought his interpreter along with us during our tour of his estate, he spoke to me most of the time in beautifully Tuscan-accented English. Tuscan people tend to have a more raucous warmth than their more northerly neighbors and Stefano was no exception.
Our tour of the vineyards taught me many things about the man, his methods and his wines. Stefano is a man in tune with the earth and with his grapes. His philosophy of “First the vineyards, then the wine” is one which drives his passion. Tightly spaced vine rows with grapes that are grown in harmony with nature rule this vineyard. The fact that all of his grapes are grown without pesticides reinforces his belief that nature is the best shepherd for his grapes.
After a thorough tour, we went inside to taste wines and talk business. The wines flowed freely and we tasted his entire range, including some that were not to be released for some time. The Armonia struck me as one of his finest offerings and we drank and ate and joked and negotiated until everyone was feeling great… and I had come away with a few cases for our Operatives.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep plum
Smell – Berry, cherry, leather and spice, with a hint of aromatic oak and a hint of extra virgin olive oil
Feel – Medium bodied with smooth front of mouth and mid-palate tannins that don’t overwhelm
Taste – Exploding with fruit and flavor. Deliciously inviting, this is a complex wine that exhibits ever-changing flavors of strawberry, casis, blackberry, oak, subtle pipe tobacco and grapeskin.
Finish – Long and lingering with a big mouth feel that lasts, with fruit and very subtle tobacco and leather
Conclusion – This is the best Italian wine that I have tried this year! Need I say more?
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
While the location of the Casadei vineyards is Top Secret, the town of Suvereto, where the Casadei grapes are grown, can be seen in this satellite photo
Pairing: A fantastic wine to enjoy on its own or with fish, shellfish (especially oysters) or even pork and chicken
Wine Spies Technical Wine Analysis
Grapes: Sangiovese 50%, Alicante 50%
What the Winery Says
Casa Dei - Suvereto, Tuscany
Casa Dei is a dream realized by Stefano and his wife Anna in 1996 with the purchase of 35 acres of property in the exceptional area of Suvereto, Tuscany’s coastal Maremma region. Stefano lived up to his motto of “first the vineyards, then the wine” when he planted 25 acres of high-density vineyards with Sangiovese, Alicante, Srah, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot varietals. His goal is to produce excellent wines of balance and structure by allowing nature to do its work without chemical pesticides or synthetic substances. Historically, “casa dei”, meaning “house of God”, was the surname given to babies left at orphanages.
• Armonia, IGT 2004 – Medium-bodied with flavors of crushed wild berries, cherries and leathery notes, this wine will whet your appetite for food. Sangiovese 50%, Alicante 50%