La Massa Giorgio Primo 2008
Other Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
Rich and decadent aromas of berries and grilled meat. Full-bodied, soft and round with lots of fruit and a caressing, velvety texture.
50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Petit Verdot
Wine Spectator - "This structured but balanced red offers polished, silky tannins that caress the palate and deliver beautiful fruit, with plenty of currant, black olive and licorice character. Merlot, Cabernet Sauvingon and Petit Verdot. Best after 2013."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2008 Giorgio Primo comes across as a touch lean at first, but then opens up over time. The 2008 presents a slightly darker profile than the 2007s in a tightly coiled style that is typical of the year. A melange of rosemary, herbs, spices, mocha, leather and licorice adds considerable complexity and character on the mid-palate and finish. In 2008 the blend was 50% Merlot, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Petit Verdot. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023. "
International Wine Cellar - "Good saturated medium ruby color. Cassis, black cherry and mocha on the nose, along with a whiff of minty aromatic herbs. Sweet, dense and ripe, with dark chocolate and mineral notes complementing the ripe black fruit flavors. This big wine is extremely suave and rich but not heavy. Finishes with big but even tannins and excellent persistence. Owner Gianpaolo Motta, who I see in Bordeaux as often as I do in Chianti, works with renowned consultant Stephane Derenoncourt to make the wines of La Massa. But as good as the Giorgio I is, I'd prefer that it had more of a Tuscan flavor, as this wine could be made anywhere. Then again, Motta very candidly admitted to me a few years ago that he had trouble selling Giorgio I as a Chianti Classico, and that he didn't feel older vintages had aged as well as they should have. Thus he left the Chianti Classico denominazione and opted to use more of the international varieties in his blends. Starting with the 2009, Giorgio I will be just cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot."
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La Massa Winery
Giampaolo Mota, the eldest son of Neapolitan family became the "black sheep" because he decided not go into the family's leather tanning business. His grandfather Giorgio was the only family member to support him in his venture into the wine business and thus, the top wine at La Massa carries his name. Giampaolo studied in France with renowned oenologist Emile Peynaud, working in St Emilion and Pomerol where he developed a fundamental understanding of the chemistry of the wine. He feels that this study, especially of the reductive/oxygenative cycle of red wine helps him make structured, solid, long-lived wines that are also very fruit driven. View all La Massa Wines
About TuscanyView a map of Tuscany wineries (TUSS-can-ee) Sangiovese. Most of the wine coming from Tuscany is made from some clone of this varietal, but a growing trend, started by the renegade winemakers of those Super Tuscans, is to incorporate more international varietals.
Notable FactsThe most well known sub-districts of Tuscany are Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (note that Montepulciano here refers to the local village, not the grape variety found in the Italian region of Abruzzi). Wine labeled from these regions is DOC-regulated and Sangiovese-based blends. Quality wine from these DOC areas has been on the rise for decades, with top-notch winemakers and wineries shedding the low-quality image once held for Tuscan wine by producing consistently outstanding bottlings that range from deliciously drinkable to highly ageable. Newer to the scene are regions like Bohlgeri and the Maremma, home to of what are now termed "Super-Tuscans," named for the wine coming from the Tuscany area, but not following all of the DOC or DOCG laws required in Italy. In the 1970's, some pioneer winemakers began buying land outside of Chianti and Montalcino, and planting not only Sangiovese, but also international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The wine they produced only fit into the lowest Italian category of "vina da tavola," but the winemakers sold the wine for high prices, creating an almost cult following, and spurning a new wine category called IGT.
A little ditty about Italy...This country has about as many wines as its had governments. With 20 different regions, hundreds of DOCs and even more indigenous varieties, the amount of wine made in Italy is mind-boggling. Most of the juice, however, remains in the country for thirsty Italians. Wine is food in Italy and its rare that a meal is consumed without a glass of vino. That said, it's not common to find many folks drinking wine without food either. In turn, it's a match, and a mighty good one at that. In fact, it's safe to say that Italian wine is a foodie wine – one that goes on the table for a myraid of meals.
For regions, the most popular are Tuscany (home of Chianti), Piedmont and the Tre-Venezie, which includes Veneto, Trentino Alto-Adige and Friuli. Other communes of note are in Southern Italy, and a few good wines are made elsewhere in the country. The islands of Sardinia and Sicily are members of the Italian winemaking community as well.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.