Good evening my fellow wine enthusiasts! I realize my posts are long overdue, and for those of you who are regular readers, I thank you for hanging in there with me! This winter quarter has been quite the bear to deal with, as many deadlines and stress have kept me away. I had hoped to sneak in at least a brief review along the way, but consumption has been minimal as well, so I’ve really had little to discuss anyway. My husband and I just returned from a short week in Seattle for a school psych convention. I thought for sure I’d have something to write about following such a great trip, but unfortunately I never made it to any tasting rooms until the last day. While I did grab a bottle to write up on later, the few notes I tried to jot down on the tastings were cut short by a look that told me, “don’t.” I’m not sure why, as I felt the wines were quite good. However, I wish to honor the desires of the winemakers, and instead picked up another label. This is not to say I did not have my fun in Seattle, it just came more in the form of “Martini.” I’m a sucker for the Lemon Drop.
Last month (it has been that long), I brought to you a remarkable Claret red blend from Robert Karl Cellars, located right here in Spokane. I hope you have since checked it out yourselves. But tonight I bring you not a Washington wine, but one that hails from Italy. I received a request some few weeks ago, asking me to review this particular wine, and I was not about to dismiss his generosity. So, by special request I bring to you a 2009 Belcaro Toscana from San Felice of the Tuscany region.
This came at a great time as recently I have been reintroducing myself to wines from other regions. At one point I refused to touch anything unless it came from California or Italy. Then I got into Washington wines, and thus the birth of this blog. With that however, I nearly forgot anything but Washington existed in the wine world, as I was always focused on my next review. A trip to San Francisco this last April saved me (chime the song!), and I began to get back to exploring other regions. This past January I received the request to review this Italian wine, and felt the opportunity would be great! Not to mention how flattered I was that I, specifically, was asked.
The deep color of the Belcaro Toscana moves beyond garnet and into a dark purple. The nose tells me this wine is crying for air. I pour a glass, and gently swirl it as I continue writing a paper. It is rare that I can devote time to just examine a wine. It is often my companion while I study, though I take the dedicated time necessary to compose solid notes on my experience. On the nose the Belcaro is immediately a bit acidic. But as it breathes, it does calm down and I detect the raspberry and cherry aromas mixed with a hint of lavender. The palate is surprisingly smooth. Quite frankly I expected burn, but there is none to be found. The wine is earthy with sweet cherry and spice. The palate finishes off smoothly with medium tannins, powdery chocolate and notes of lavender. However, the finish is a bit short, almost falling flat. Nonetheless, this Belcaro Toscana is a decent everyday, easy drinking wine. The Belcaro Toscana is made up of 50% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Ciliegiolo, and 10% Sangiovese. A nice pairing to the pasta dish I quickly threw together.
As I write this blog, I am on night #2 for this wine. The body has further opened up, the nose is not as stringent as the first night. Breathing has greatly helped it. The palate has changed little from the first night; however the tannins have smoothed out. I am pleasantly surprised this wine stuck around for a second night.
Oh, and the label: Artwork from Da Vinci himself. It’s a piece I’d love to hang in my office!
Belcaro Toscana 2009: ★★★ good wine
If you are interested in trying this wine, I do recommend so, especially if you are not yet familiar with Italian varietals, as they are different from what is found in the States. Although, I do think every region has its own distinct flavor (California Cabernet is NOT a Washington Cabernet, nor is a Pinot from Oregon the same as one from California). Perhaps the best way to get a hold of this wine to visit Wine Chateau online: http://www.winechateau.com/sku90248_BELCARO-TOSCANA-IGT-750ML-2009 where you can pick up it up for around $12 a bottle.
Winemakers Notes: Belcaro is a gentle vigorous wine made with Merlot
grapes, 50% – Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% – Ciliegiolo, 20% & Sangiovese, 10%. These grapes are grown in Maremma region, see the attached map, located along the coast of Tuscany facing the Elba Island. Notes of rose petals, raspberries, ripe dark cherries, and lavender are gloriously evident throughout the wine and ensure a delicious tasting experience. Alcohol: 13.5%
Have you tried this wine before? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below! And remember…
To every wine there is a palate…! CHEERS!