~ Orvieto sits high atop a mountainous plateau – the Duomo dominates the landscape ~
Tenuta Argillae sits in the Umbrian hills north west of the town of Orvieto and stretches for over 260 hectares.   Overall, the estate is a large working farm with hay, olives, forestry and many other arable crops being harvested.  There are 70 hectares dedicated to vines and the vineyards sit at the relatively high altitude of 400-500 meters above sea level.  The estate is run by a partnership of three families whose mission is stated simply:  “Passion, tradition, technology, and love for the territory make us proud Ambassadors of Umbria”   

I’ll admit, I ran across this wine at a local shop and had no idea what it was.  I didn’t even know the grapes in the blend but decided to buy a bottle because the bottle looked and felt substantial,  the price was a reasonable $15 and was already 10 years old from a wonderful vintage and I was comfortable knowing the track record of the importer.  I wish I had bought more.  

~ The facade of the Duomo in Orvieto is stunning ~

The 2006 Argillae Sinuoso is a blend of 50% Cabernet and 50% Merlot.  The wine is completely vinified in stainless steel and then aged for only 6 months in barrique and 3 months in bottle before release.  The result is a fresh and vibrant wine that bears little to no nuance of wood.  

In the glass, this deep ruby wine gives off aromas of black plums, pipe tobacco, fresh herbs, and rich warmed clay.   In the mouth, this 10 year old wine has mellowed considerably.  Soft, fleshy tannins caress the palate as the generous black plum, rosemary, tobacco and earth flavors blend seamlessly.  Good length and concentration and enough acidity to make the experience lively,  this is quite the value.  Paired wonderfully well with grilled rib lamb chops.  We did not decant this wine, but that was a mistake.  First, some initial funk on the nose blow off after about 30 minutes being open and second,  the wine is throwing a major sediment.  88 points and a very interesting change of pace.
~ Sinuoso is 50% Cabernet and 50% Merlot from Umbria ~ 


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