Red Wind Mill

~ The red Wind Mill that inspires the estate’s name is visible from afar in Panzano ~

I first met Tim Grace, family proprietor of Il Molino di Grace, several years ago at the Consorzio’s Gran Selezione event in New York City.  Personable and disarming, Tim and I discussed the circumstances that led him to become a winemaker.

Il Molino di Grace was established in the mid 1990s by Frank Grace, an Ohio native that moved to Italy as the result of a job transfer.  Today he and his sons, Tim and Daniel, craft Organic wines from the hills of Panzano. The estate’s 30 hectares of vineyards lie approximately 400 meters above sea level and are predominantly planted with Sangiovese. Certified organic since the 2010 vintage, the wine-making is in the capable hands of Franco Bernabei.

Grape vines on a sloping hill

~ The sloping vineyards of Il Molino di Grace high above the Conca d’Oro in Panzano ~

Tim’s wines made a lasting impression on me at Gran Selezione as did his commitment to pricing.  He wants his wines to be enjoyed.  While much of the production is destined for “on premise” customers,  the Graces work diligently to keep their costs low.  Tim told me he wants his wines to stay under $100 on restaurant lists.  He’s succeeding admirably.  On a recent trip, I came across his Gran Selezione for $64.  As a result, I drank very well that night.

Tomato and Mozzarella Salad

~ I started with heirloom tomato, burrata and cucumber salad that was “spiked” with pickled red onions that were delicious ~

The 2012 Il Molino di Grace Gran Selezione “Il Margone” is 100% Sangiovese from Panzano.  It’s aged for 16 months in a combination of new and used barrique and tonneaux.  The wine is not a singular vineyard production.

In the glass and decanter, the wine a deep garnet color with violet highlights.  Immediately you are struck by penetrating aromas of black cherry, leather, mushroom and coffee.  I love it!  The aromas meld into flavors as you taste the wine.  Spices, cigar tobacco and dusty tannins join the experience.  This wine screams Panzano and Bernabei. While I enjoyed it I kept thinking how much it reminded me of Flaccianello.  And in that regard, it’s a bargain.  93 points, about $45 retail.  Find this wine.

Sangiovese wine in a decanter

~ The Gran Selezione is 100% Sangiovese. The Il Margone name does not denote a single vineyard. In this case, it’s only a proprietary name ~

The wine paired well with both the antipasto and the entree; cast iron seared chicken with sauteed spinach and rustic smashed potatoes.  Kudos to Rustica in Kalamazoo for such a fine evening.  Salute!

Homestyle chicken and mashed potatoes

~ Cast iron skillet chicken and potatoes were divine with the Gran Selezione ~

Stay tuned for more new content this week!

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