The vast swath of land along the Tuscan coast known as the Maremma constitutes some of the best vineyard terroir for growing Bordelaise grapes in Italy. From Suvereto to Bolgheri to Scansano, the names of the estates are preceded by their reputations: Sassicaia, Tenuta Ornellaia, Tua Rita, Le Macchiole, Castello del Terriccio, Guado al Tasso, Le Pupille….
Since these pioneers revitalized the wild, untamed region along the Tuscan coast in the provinces of Grosseto and Livorno, producers with estates in central Tuscany have been acquiring land and planting vineyards at a breakneck pace. In a land as old as Tuscany, it almost defies reason that estates would be available for acquisition, but nevertheless, the trend continues.
Almost three years ago I introduced you to Tenuta Argentiera, a Tre Bicchieri winning estate which hails from Bolgheri and an estate that continues to fly under the radar.
|~ The cellar doors of Tenuta Argentiera like within sight of the Sea ~|
Tenuta Argentiera, which derives its name from the Italian word for silver, Argento, spans 500 hectares and is state of the art from top to bottom. Hand harvested grapes enter the winery as depicted in the picture above and the ensuing winemaking process is completely gravity dependent. Argentiera vinifies their wines in stainless steel vats and then racks the wine to French oak barrique of varying sizes, ages, and toast levels. Owners Corrado and Marcello Fratini, brothers on a mission to create a premier wine estate, have made substantial investments in revitalizing this once ancient estate. Along with their partner, Stanislaus Turnauer, they practice meticulous methods in creating polished, elegant wines.
|~ The barrique cellar at Argentiera is immaculately polished. A characteristic trait that seems to extend to the personality of the wines ~|
Today we’re focusing on a special wine from Tenuta Argentiera; a wine which marks the 10th Anniversary of its creation and a wine which was conceived with the sole purpose of competing against its more pricey counterparts from the Bolgheri DOC. As I mentioned in my article from 2014, the Fratini brothers are succeeding in their mission.
The 2013 Tenuta Argentiera is a classic blend of 55% Cabernet, 35% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc. We decanted the wine for about an hour before dinner and paired this claret like Tuscan with grilled NY strip steaks.
In the glass, the core of the wine is deep violet which extends to violet and ruby reflections at the edge of the bowl. Seamless aromas of crushed black plum, cedar, menthol, baking spices and toast are easily notable.
On the palate, the wine is polished and elegant. Lavishly oaked, it is round and welcoming with no hard edges. The black plum flavors dominate and are joined by menthol herb notes, tobacco, cocoa powder and vanilla. To my palate, think Napa meets Tuscany. This is smooth, suave, and harmonious. The acidity is well balanced and the tannins very well integrated to the point where they only make their presence known on the finish and without food. The 2013 spent 18 months in French barrique, most of which were new barrels and then an additional 12 months in bottle prior to release. This wine can easily be enjoyed now but will cellar well for at least 5-7 more years. 92 points, about $55-$65. Not yet released in the US. Disclosure: This bottle was a producer provided sample.
|~ The 2013 sports a special Silver Embossed Anniversary label ~|
January 16, 2017