~ Mate Estate, Montalcino ~
(Photo Credit: Darci Acomb)
Singular.  Powerful.  Almost arrogantly so.  Banditone, or The Big Bandit,  as a literal reading of the term may translate, was the subject of much introspection over dinner recently.  
With the exception of Cortona, which is fast becoming an oasis for delicious and structured Tuscan Syrah,  you do not find much Syrah in Tuscany – especially in mono-varietal form.  That said,  in the south west corner of the Brunello zone,  the Mates craft a wonderful wine from 100% Syrah.  
The 2009 Banditone Syrah poured a deep purple color with only slightly fading violet at the rim of the bowl.  Intense and serious looking Syrah.   After decanting for 30 minutes, the wine revealed classic aromas, replete with a Tuscan accent.  Crushed black fruit is joined by pipe tobacco, grilled meat, and black pepper notes.  On the palate, the wine is unique. It is somewhat of a stylistic hybrid between cool climate French Syrah and overdone Australian Shiraz. 
Noticeable is a large, ripe core of black plum fruit that is full bodied and assertive.  The mouthfeel is pure and peppery sweet while notes of tobacco, iron and meat linger nicely in the background.  This is complex and juicy on the palate with tannins, acids and fruit well balanced.  Hard to imagine wanting more here.  94 points.  Disclosure: This bottle was a producer provided sample.

~ Banditone is 100% Syrah ~

Mate will be the subject of a future winemaker interview at TuscanVines.  Stay tuned.  To learn more about this small artisanal winery go to:  Mate Wine.
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