Monday, August 10, 2015

Callia Bella

From Bodegas Callia in Cauceta, San Juan, Argentina comes Callia Bella, a blend of 60% Syrah and 40% Malbec. 

Dark purple in glass, verdant cassis aromas with violet undertones, hints of ripe plum atop purple and blue fruits, on the palate very juicy, sweet and chunky, red raspberry with ripe cherry and vanilla beans. Great buy for around $10.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Tenuta Luce Della Vite, Toscana

Tenuta Luce Della Vite, is a brand started in the 1990's by two wine visionaries, Robert Mondavi and Vittorio Frescobaldi who were never worried about "worlds colliding". If anyone knew how to combine old world and new, it was this duo. They collaborated on Luce, the first wine made in Montalcino blending Sangiovese and Merlot.

I recently had the pleasure of tasting a cross section of their wonderful vintages.
All were a blend of 50% Merlot & 50% Sangiovese, aged in French oak: one third new, one third 1 year old and one third 2 years old, then aged for an average of 18 months before bottle release.

Here is a mix of descriptors from tasting notes to freeform word association:

2012: black fruits, dry, ripe cherry, smoked oak, licorice and spices, ripe tannins.
2010: deep ruby colors, vibrant aromas of violets, blue fruits, on the palate blueberry & blackberry gripping tannins but silky
2008: blue fruits, toasted wood, ripe cherry and spicy white pepper, gripping tannins but with good acidity.
2006: gorgeous to lay down licorice 
2002: clay, violets, smooth tannins, blackberry, licorice, tar, balsamic, chewy
2000: beautiful aromas flowers even tempered smooth blue fruits ripe cherry 
1998: ruby colors with rust around rim, complex aromas blending vanilla and caramel, while flavors are clean showing apricot and ripe peach with berries and a sparking balanced finish.
1995: ruby rust colors, sweet floral aromas sweetly oozing caramel and vanilla maple syrup, and a balsamic edge doing a dance with confectioners sugar.