|~ A little Testamatta anyone? ~|
In the hills Northeast of Florence lies the charming town of Fiesole. Despite it’s relatively small size, Fiesole is well traveled for it boasts some of the most amazing views of Firenze one could imagine. It’s a gem.
From these hills, Bibi Graetz farms approximately 6 hectares of vineyards around the Tuscan town of Fiesole. The vineyards are old and many of the vines are 60-75 years of age. Graetz insists that the flavors in the wines are more intense as a result of the vine age and he has been called a “freak for old vines” by many. Each of his vineyards are organically farmed and only natural methods are used to care for the grapes and the vines.
|~ Some of Graetz’s Old Vines ~|
Testamatta is 100% Sangiovese from clay and galestro vineyards that are at least 35 years old. The wine is fermented in open topped wooden casks and then aged in French oak for 18 months. According to Graetz, “everything is natural from the vineyards to the cellars. Native yeasts, no added sulfites, a pure natural expression of Sangiovese.” Graetz adds that the hallmark of Testamatta is that it “retains a wonderful balance between fruit and structure but is still very elegant with lots of finesse.” We agree. In fact, the 2006 was the “other Sangiovese” we referenced in this article.
|~ The view of Firenze from Fiesole ~|
The 2006 Testamatta is refined, sleek, racy, and filled with finesse. It is at once, powerful, graceful and elegant. It’s savory, juicy and intense. It seemingly wants to command attention on the table and it does just that. Whether alone or with food, it proclaims “You will like me”. And we do.
In the glass, it’s a blackish ruby red. You’re not wrong in assuming the intensity to come in both aroma and flavor. Crushed wild berries, sweet leather, mushroom, spice and vanilla aromas pour from the glass in harmony. They are echoed on the nose with persistence, polish, and class. As I said in my other review, it’s almost “sleek”. It’s the Maserati Ghibli of Sangiovese. And we’re impressed.
Drinking incredibly well right now, with integrated tannins, this is throwing a large chunky sediment as it steams toward its 10th birthday. Will it get better? It’s tough to say, but it’s certainly in no danger of fading any time soon. 96 points. Retail around $75.
|~ 100% Sangiovese ~|
September 2, 2015