As a wine writer, it’s easy to find highly rated $50 Brunello and post about how delicious it is. This isn’t a bad thing; wine lovers always appreciate as many data points as they can get. However, what’s additionally valuable, is finding and reviewing wines that currently “over perform”. Wines that cost $10, but taste as though they could cost $30 or more. The two “Tuscan Twins” below fall into this category easily. These are every day wines that you can buy by the case, stock your cellar with, and have ready to enjoy. What’s more, they are incredibly food friendly and will pair well with many different types of food.
The first is the 2007 Poggio alla Badiola by F. Mazzei. The Mazzei family has made wine in Tuscany for generations. In fact, Filippo Mazzei was a personal friend of Thomas Jefferson, and the two of them endeavoured to plant vines together at Jefferson’s Monticello estate. Mazzei’s Super Tuscan “Siepi” which is marketed under their Fonterutoli estate, is one of the finest Sangiovese-Merlot blends in Tuscany. The Poggio alla Badiola is a baby Siepi. It’s 60% Sangiovese and 40% Merlot. The color is a dark, ruby red. Aromas are varied and with some swirling, release sweet cherry, berry, floral, spice and herb notes. This youthful wine is dominated at the moment by the fruit in the mouth, but there is a spicy floral component to it as well. It’s balanced and delicious. And the best part, just under $11 bucks. Solid 90 points.
The second is a Sangiovese based wine from Montalcino called “Rubio”. The 2009 San Polo Rubio is mostly Sangiovese with a small portion of undisclosed grapes in the blend. From the Brunello producer San Polo, it’s got find pedigree behind it and it’s a great harbinger of the fine 2009 vintage to come. The color is dark ruby, and the nose, though somewhat muted at first, becomes more expressive with some coaxing to reveal crushed fruit and flowers. In the mouth the wine is medium bodied with fruit and earth nuances. I sense a bit more complexity lurking here, than in the Badiola, so this may benefit from a year in the cellar. Another solid score of 90 points and another excellent value around $13.
|Tuscan “Twins”: 2007 Badiola, 2009 Rubio