What We Say 2004 Rosso di Toscana - Super Tuscan
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
Today’s wine from Tennuta della Luia is a truly exceptional example of the Super Tuscan style. If you are a fan of great Italian wines, this one belongs in your cellar – or better yet your table.
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Mission Codename: Roman Holiday Redux
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Follow Up on Agent Baco’s Italian Escapades
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Tenuta della Luia
Wine Subject: 2003 Rosso di Toscana – Super Tuscan
Winemaker: Fabrizio Moltard
In just the last decade, Super Tuscans became the latest rage in Italian wine in the United States, however, their story goes back to the late 1940s when the famed Sassicaia wine was reportedly made by Incisa della Rochetta using Cabernet Sauvignon vines from Chateau Lafite-Rothschild, or so the legend goes. Now Super Tuscans are the ‘Bordeaux’ of West-Central Italy, expertly blended with Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and often Merlot, Colorino and other local grape varietals.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark garnet purple with ruby red reflections through its dark but clear core. Along the edges the color lightens slightly to ruby and then pink. When swirled, widely spaced thin legs streak down the glass followed by slower fatter legs that hang showing hints of this wine’s color.
Smell – Medium in intensity with aromas of dark black and red fruit including black cherry and black berry. Complex notes of exotic spice, herbal bramble black peppercorn and oak are interlaced with subtle hints of fennel and vanilla caramel.
Feel – This full-bodied wine is warm, smooth and dry with bright but balanced acidity and finely grained mouth gripping and textured masculine tannins. (Do let this wine open up prior to service as it shows tightly initially.)
Taste – Rich and intense red and black fruit including Italian cherry, black cherry and other bramble berries with herbal and earthy notes. Exotic spice, licorice and black pepper layered over subtle toasted oak and hints of vanilla and zesty tar adds to the overall appeal of this wine.
Finish – Long and clean with rich red fruit and spice framed by this wine’s distinct Italian textured feel that continues to show its warmth and invite another sip.
Conclusion – Quite simply, this is one of the most delicious Super Tuscans we have tasted this year. It shows all of the varietal characteristics of the component grapes as well as the synergy of the blend. It is warm, rich, smooth, well balanced and integrated in flavor, texture and finish. If you are fan of Italian wine, this is one to get as Tenuta della Luia will soon be the highlight of many a wine-list in the top restaurants.
Here is a recap of the mission report presented when we first discovered Tenuta della Luia.
The last time I was in Italy, it was to check up on Agent Baco. HQ had thought she had been compromised. How could it that Baco could consistently find us great wine after great wine. She had to be on the take. She had been on paid administrative leave ever since.
While the investigation is still pending, word has it that she will be reinstated shortly. I wanted to deliver the news personally, so while passing through Rome, I took the short train trip to Florence where I new I could find her. She was known to frequent the Acquo ai Due on the Piazza San Firenze in the old city.
As expected, she was there, not sipping an espresso but with a bottle of wine on the table. (May I say, it was nearly empty – but I am glad to have arrived when I did so I could taste the last glass). The wine happened to be the 2003 Tenuta della Luia Rosso di Toscana. After taking my first sip, I knew why Baco had that sly smile on her face.
“I was wondering when you would show up,” she said, passing a piece of paper with some notes scribbled on it, “I almost polished this off without you.” “How did you know?” I asked. “Agent Blush told me you had some news for me, and I know you well enough that you like to personally deliver messages.” So much for keeping covert cover. “You’d better go soon, Alessandro (Alessandro Gori, the owner of Tenuta della Luia) is waiting for you. I figured you’d like to meet him.”
With that, Baco got up, fixed her sunglasses and skirt and walked off towards the Palazzo…
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Tenita della Luia Winery can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Tenuta della Luia
Rare Wine Alert:
Tenuta della Luia is relatively new to the American market and our allocation is among a very small allocation that was imported into the US market. It is an exceptional Super Tuscan that will rival any Ornellaia or Sassacaia.
Awards & Accolades:
92 Points / 3 Blue Stars – Gold Guide from Veronelli
Two Glasses – Gambero Rosso
About This Wine:
Red color steals intense and concentrated. Scents that recall balsamic confection of red fruits with thin spicy notes and accents of laurel and ginestra. It is elegant and vigorous in the mouth with fine, sweet tannins; body, alcohol and acidities are all obvious and in balance. The persistence is long, decided and resolute.
Tenuta della Luia is a typical vineyard, located in Chianti Val d’Elsa between Florence and Siena. It is comprised of 100 hectares (just under 250 acres), 60 percent of wich are dedicated to our vineyards, 30% to our olive groves, remaining is wood.
The vineyards themselves surround the wine cellar, and undergo constant renovation in order to adapt them to modern viticulture and equipment but only when it’s indeed an improvement. We do not, for example, eliminate the manual labor in vineyards themselves, all executed by us, in person, in traditional manner…and with great passion and devotion.
The minerals which permeate the soil in this area of Tuscany include volcanic tuff stone, limestone, sand, and clay with minimal skeleton, in concentrations that vary even from one vine to the next.
About The Winery:
For three generations, the Gori family has developed the family estate, now available for you to enjoy as well. Acquired in 1966, they first began to develop the acreage with vineyards and olive groves, not only producing wine, but bottling it themselves.
In the `90s, competition on Chianti wine begin to increase, and the family decided to close the bottling portion of the enterprise, and concentrate instead on the re-constuction of the vineyards to produce the highest quality wine possible.
With the advent of the third generation Gianni and Duccio Gori under the expert supervision of their father Alessandro, it became apparent that the demands to produce the quality and quantity of wine they intend, and then to make it available to as many comsumers as possible, they would need to expand. Therefore, they have incorporated the indispensable aid of the wine steward Dr. Fabrizio Moltard, and created two new wines: LUIA and CILESTRO.
To determine whether we have succeeded in our aims, we will await your personal judgment.
Consultant: Dott. Fabrizio Moltard
Vineyards: 5 ha with 5000/6000 vines/ha
Appelation: IGT Fiane-Certaldo (Florence) existing since 1996
Varietals: Merlot 60%, Cabernet Sauvignon 20%, Colorino 20%
Alcohol: 14.5% by vol.
Fermentation: in steel
Aging: in barriques 16 months
Bottles produced: 5000