“I will never be poor again. I will never eat polenta again. I will never drink bad wine again…and someday I will make my own wine.”
While I must admit that I don’t share PierLuigi’s disdain for polenta, I’m certainly glad that he channeled that determination into what has become a wonderful Tuscan winery. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 2 years since I sat down with Lia Tolaini to discuss the family estate and the wines; wines that continually impress.
Picconero is Tolaini’s flagship. Extensive green harvesting, rigorous selection and then manual harvesting ensure this wine garners the best grapes from the estate. Picconero is then fermented as whole berries in new French oak barriques. The resulting wine is aged in barrique for 18 months and then in bottle an additional 12 months prior to release. Although the blend for the wine changes slightly from vintage it vintage, it is always Merlot centric with at least 65% of the wine comprised from that varietal. The balance is devoted to Cabernet and Petit Verdot in various proportions.
|~ The Tolaini barrel aging cellars ~|
I’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy the two most recent vintages of Picconero; the 2008 and 2009. Both are shaping up to be excellent wines. However, when I recently came across a stash of the 2005, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to taste this wine at almost 10 years of age. 2005 has it’s detractors and clearly it’s not a classic vintage like 2004 or 2006, but as my readers will often see me state: “Choose producer over vintage!”
The 2005 Picconero is a deep, somewhat rustic looking purple-ish red wine. I decanted the wine for 90 minutes prior to dinner and removed only a slight sediment. In the glass, the wine is generous with its aromas. Crushed black fruit, mint, cedar, and leather are woven together in a finely knit package. On the palate, the wine is aristocratic with focused flavors that follow the nose and add a powdered cocoa note on the finish. Silky, elegant and absolutely delicious, this has years of life ahead of it – though I can hardly imagine keeping my hands off my remaining bottles. Served with grilled lamb chops marinated in garlic and rosemary, the pairing was sublime. 94 points. $70.
|~ 2005 Picconero is 65% Merlot, 30% Cabernet and 5% Petit Verdot ~|
May 21, 2014