~ Tenuta di Arceno ~


Founded in 2002, the Arcanum estate is the luxury, sister property to Tenuta di Arceno and sits in the Commune of Castelnuovo Berardenga.  Tracing its roots to the Etruscan era, the estate now encompasses approximately 200 acres of vines which are devoted primarily to the production of Bordelaise inspired wines. 

Sitting at altitudes of 1,000-1,500 feet above sea level, the estates vineyards rest in no less than 12 distinct soil types, though the heaviest influence is the minerally galestro so notable to Tuscany.  

Winemaker Pierre Seillan has vast experience in both Bordeaux and Napa Valley and now he brings that talent to Tuscany.   Perhaps therein lies the genesis of my sigh…..

~ Curved Vineyards at Tenuta di Arceno ~
I suppose it should not have surprised me since I held the same view of Il Fauno which I reviewed earlier this year.  Nevertheless, there I sat, with the eponymously named Arcanum in my glass.  
The 2009 Arcanum is 68% Cabernet Franc, 22% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon.  We decanted the wine for about an hour before dinner; no sediment was present. In the glass, the wine is dark purple and very pretty to look at.  
The aromas from the glass are oak heavy.  Spice, toast, mocha and slight menthol notes dominate but there is a trace of black plums.  On the palate, the wine is spicy with soft, velvety black plum flavors, significant tannins that are overwhelming without food and a velvety creamy mouth feel.  There is nothing Italian about this wine.  I would absolutely love to put this into a blind tasting of Napa Valley Cabernets as I am certain no one would pick it out as being a foreigner.  Perhaps the slightly elevated acid, by comparison, would give it away, but I’m not sure.  Make no mistake, the wine is well made and it’s tasty.  But I cannot get excited about a wine produced from such wonderful Tuscan terroir that tastes like it could be made from anywhere else in the world. 
2009 was a hot, ripe year in Tuscany.  So hot in fact that some producers chose not to bottle their prestige cuvees.  This increased ripening may have accentuated the character of Arcanum, but at the release price, I won’t be tasting other vintages to compare.  90 points.  About $80. 


~ Napa Cabernet, straight to you from Castelnuovo Berardenga ~

E vero!


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