~ Tuscan Street ~

For those who have been, you understand the title of this article.  It’s rather simple. Whether it’s the scenery, your increased awareness to relaxation, or something more practical, like the absence of a long voyage across an ocean that is fraught with tosses, tumbles and varieties of weather,  everything simply tastes better in Italy.  Food, coffee, gelato, wine, Fernet Branca, take your pick.  It doesn’t matter.   Today’s article is the perfect example. 

In the 1990’s Casalferro was 100% Sangiovese.  Then the winery completely reinvented the wine and in my review a few years ago, I was unimpressed.   Fast forward a few years and a few vintages,  or was it just the environment? – and the story is different. 

~ Cinghiale Stew ~

Today, Casalferro is 100% Merlot – a  winning formula for me as I love Tuscan Merlot, but still, I was hesitant when I saw this on the wine list of a little Trattoria in Castellina in Chianti,  but the price was right so I decided to give it another chance. 

The 2010 Casalferro is a dark, purple color – typical of an extracted Merlot. There is a slight lightening to violet at the rim.  Aromas are generous and include crushed black plums, spices, sweet fresh tobacco and coffee. Attractive.  On the palate, the wine has full bodied flavors of black fruits with sweet pipe tobacco, dark cocoa and a pleasing menthol note.  Gone are the unripe green aromas and the dominating wood notes.  Good structure, tannins and acids from this excellent vintage are present to keep things balanced and fresh.  Very good showing for this wine.  My one caveat is that this is still rather expensive in the US.  About $60 retail, which is steep. From the wine list in Castellina, only about $35 Euro.   92 points.  

~ The 2010 Casalferro is 100% Merlot ~

So, what’s the conclusion?  Was it the company, the setting, the excellent stew that we paired with it, the improved vintage, or something else all together?   

Only Bacchus knows….
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