La Grande Beauté: wine tasting with Florence in your eyes

The second edition of The great beautywhere those present were able to taste interesting wines while appreciating the beauty of the monuments of the center of Florence.

Organized by WinesCritic.com. The 28 producers present, originally from Tuscany but with a small representative of Langhe wines, presented the new vintages. Special guests are Syrah from Cortona, a wine region that is becoming more and more interesting. About fifty labels highly appreciated by experts in the sector and wine lovers. FUL has selected a few labels from Syrah.

Fabrizio Dionisio – Cortona. At the beginning of the 1970s, Sergio Dionisio, Fabrizio’s father, bought a small estate of about seven hectares in the locality “The Castagno” located on the hills overlooking Cortona. In 1992, a second piece of land was purchased in the locality Poggio del Sole. Both farms are located on the ancient hills of Cortona “Closed from the Valdichiana” (300 meters above sea level), in “Il Castagno” are today, in addition to the old family house and part of the vineyards, the winery and the barrel cellar. Really interesting Tuscany IGT “Rose del Castagno” 2021, a rosé wine made from Syrah, fresh and drinkable to taste especially in spring and summer (but not only). The grapes are harvested manually beforehand at the beginning of September, to preserve the freshness and the acidity, and are vinified “in white” after a soft pressing. The must is transferred to steel where it ferments for 15 days at a controlled temperature and then bottled after a short maturation on noble lees. Pale pink in color with amber reflections, the nose reveals notes of peach and wild strawberry and delicate floral notes. The taste is very fresh, with good sapidity and well balanced with good persistence. To combine with fresh cheeses and fried foods and why not, with a pizza.

La Grande Beauté: wine tasting with Florence in your eyes

Awesome “The Castagno” Syrah Cortona Doc 2018, a 100% Syrah produced for the first time since the 2003 harvest and which is the emblematic wine of this house. The grapes come from vineyards with low yields and are selected throughout the year, especially before and during the harvest and harvested manually from mid-September. After extremely gentle crushing and destemming, alcoholic fermentation takes place (usually spontaneously, thanks to indigenous yeasts) in temperature-controlled steel tanks for around 15 days. Maceration of the skins then takes place for about three weeks. After a spontaneous malolactic fermentation, the wine ages in French oak barrels. Chestnut it is a complex wine with a beautiful structure but supple and elegant and balanced. On the nose there are notes of ripe red and black fruits, spices, coffee, chocolate and tobacco and balsamic notes. On the palate the wine shows all its complexity and body: soft enveloping with velvety tannins but also with good freshness and acidity. Good persistence and a pleasant finish where we find the fruity and balsamic notes. To combine with important dishes of Tuscan cuisine.

Wine Baldetti – Cortona. The company has been linked to Cortona for four generations. The love for the vines and for their wines brings with it the passion and quality obtained through the care of the vines and the attention paid to the production in the cellar. We have tasted Arenite Igt Tuscany Rosso 2017. A wine produced only in the best vintages with 100% Syrah and in a few bottles (about 3000) that demonstrates the level of quality you want to achieve. The grapes come from Petraia and are harvested at the end of September or the beginning of October. Refined for 2 years in barrels followed by 6 months in concrete, to finish with 2 years in bottle before being put on the market. Red in color with purple reflections, the perfume already shows its complexity and richness: we perceive notes of flowers but above all of ripe red and black fruits, spicy notes, in particular of pepper, coffee, chocolate and leather. The taste appears not only complex but also soft and well balanced with silky tannins, also balanced by the freshness. The finish is persistent where we find red and black fruits. A very interesting wine to combine with meat dishes and typical Tuscan cuisine.

Then it was the turn of “Crano” Cortona Syrah Doc 2018, the first pure Syrah produced by Baldetti since 2008 and is the most representative of the company. The grapes still come from the vineyards of Petraia and are harvested manually. After the soft pressing, the fermentation takes place in steel then the refining is done in barrels for about 12 months. Before bottling, the wine rests in concrete to spread out further. It stays in the bottle for at least 9 to 12 months before being released. Intense ruby ​​red in color, its complexity can already be perceived on the nose, notes of ripe red and black fruits such as blackberry, blueberry and plum, notes of sweet spices, tobacco, caramel, wood and light herbaceous and mineral notes. The mouth appears full-bodied, soft enveloping but with a nice balance between velvety tannins and freshness. With an excellent structure, it has a lingering finish. To be combined with cold cuts and typical Tuscan meat dishes.

La Rasina – Montalcino. The La Rasina farm was born in the 70s thanks to Santi Mantengoli, but it was not until the second half of the 80s, with the successor Vasco, that the work turned to the wine trade. Since 1997, the management has passed to Marco Mantengoli, wine technician, who combines his new ideas and modern technology with the traditional and decade-long experience of his father. The company covers approximately 45 hectares, 11 of which are planted with vines between 2 and 30 years old, and extends over the northeast slope of the Montalcino hill at a height of 350 meters above sea level. At the event, La Rasina brought two Brunellos for tasting and we were impressed with the Brunello of Montalcino permanent Document 2017, dedicated to Santi Mantengoli, made from pure Sangiovese. The selected grapes, from plots historically dedicated to the vine, are harvested manually and the wine ages 24 months in wooden vats of different capacities then 4 months in the bottle. Intense ruby ​​red in color, the nose presents notes of red flowers and ripe red and black fruits, sweet spices, and notes of tobacco, coffee and wood. On the palate, it appears a complex wine, rather soft and of great structure, with powerful but not intrusive, almost velvety tannins, contrasted by a beautiful freshness. Persistence in the final. It could also be a meditation wine but excellent in combination with red meats, game, cold cuts and aged cheeses.

Orma – Bolghéri. The Moretti family began to devote themselves to producing quality wines in the 1950s when the architect Alberto Moretti Cuseri created the Seven Ponti estate in Valdarno di Sopra. His son Antonio, the current owner of the company, decided to produce wines also in other regions and in 2004 he was struck by the Bolgheri region and decided here to create a company, Orma precisely, which is now run by the third generation: his children Antonio, Alberto and Amedeo. FOR The great beauty was present at the tasting No OrmaBolgheri Rosso Doc 2019. The wine comes from vineyards located in the Livorno municipality of Castagneto Carducci and is produced with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes, fermented for 18 days in steel, with maceration on the skins, at controlled temperature. It is then aged for 6 months in French oak barrels and another 6 months in glass before being put on the market. Intense ruby ​​red color with purple reflections, the nose is full of notes of ripe blackberry and blueberry, hints of roasted coffee and licorice. On the palate, it is soft and balanced, supported by a good tannic structure and persistent on the finish. To combine with starters, red meats, game and aged cheeses.

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