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Luce Della Vite Brunello di Montalcino 2008

Sangiovese from Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy
  • JS95
  • WE92
  • RP91
  • WE97
  • RP92
  • JS100
  • WE93
  • RP90
  • WS93
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

Ruby red colour. Intense and elegant bouquet with mellow scents of berry fruits like blueberry, joined by floral notes of violet. A lovely spiciness follows with black pepper and star anise, balsamic notes as eucalyptus and mineral notes of flint. The palate reveals a notably substantial body accompanied by a long and harmonious aromatic persistence and a fine and elegant tannin texture.

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling

Blackberry, floral and dark chocolate aromas follow through to a full body, with a berry, nutty and mushroom character. Chewy and structured. One of the wines of the vintage. Better in 2014.

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

Luce della Vite opens with an inky dark appearance and added extraction that is hard to find otherwise in 2008 Brunello. Soft aromas of cherry and blackberry are followed by supple fragrances of leather and spice. There is fruit pulp in the mouth and the wine’s extra richness really helps to balance out its acidity and those still-young tannins.

RP 91
The Wine Advocate

Luce della Vite’s 2008 Brunello di Montalcino Luce is one of the most powerful wines of the vintage. Mocha, espresso, licorice, smoke, super-ripe black cherries and plums literally jump from the glass. A Brunello seemingly made for Napa Valley Cabernet drinkers, the 2008 has plenty of richness and depth. It is also impeccably made from a technical standpoint, even if it bears little resemblance to the rest of the wines of the appellation. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020.

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Luce Della Vite

Luce Della Vite

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Luce Della Vite, , Italy
Luce Della Vite
In 1995, Robert Mondavi of California and Vittorio Frescobaldi of Tuscany joined hands to create an Italian wine of extraordinary quality. Their partnership was the first of its kind in Italy, and their premier offering was Luce della Vite. The name means light of the vine in Italian, and was inspired by the morning sunlight on the way from Florence to the renowned winemaking region of Montalcino.

Aptly named, Luce shines brightly as the very first blend of Sangiovese and Merlot from this highly-regarded Tuscan winemaking region. Montalcino lies approximately 20 miles south of Siena, and is considered the birthplace of the richest and most intense Tuscan wines. The Luce vineyard—adjacent to Marchesi de' Frescobaldi's Castel Giocondo estate—sits at elevations of 1300 to 1500 feet, the highest vineyard site in Montalcino. Sustainable agriculture honors the unique slate and rocky limestone soils, yielding elegant Sangiovese and round, supple Merlot.

Luce inspired a second label, Lucente, a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot sourced throughout Tuscany. A third label, Danzante, produces Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese/Chianti, and Merlot sourced throughout other important Italian wine regions.

Praised for its stately Renaissance-era chateaux as well as its diverse variety of wines, the picturesque Loire valley produces elegant and underrated red, white, and rosé as well as sparkling and sweet wines. Just south of Paris, the appellation lies along the river of the same name and stretches from the center of France to the Atlantic coast. Geography and climate differ greatly along the Loire’s vast length. Furthest inland, the climate is continental, becoming classically maritime as it reaches the ocean. Accordingly, the Loire Valley is perhaps the most diverse wine-producing region in France—this region does a little bit of everything, and it does it all quite well.

The Loire can be divided into three main growing areas, from west to east: the Lower Loire, Middle Loire, and Upper/Central Loire. The Pay Nantais region of the Lower Loire is focused on acidic, saline whites that beg for fresh seafood. Muscadet, made from the Melon de Bourgogne variety, is the most noteworthy appellation here. The Middle Loire contains Anjou, Saumur, and Touraine. In Anjou, Chenin Blanc reaches its zenith, producing outstanding dry and sweet wines reminiscent of crisp apples dipped in honey. Cabernet Franc dominates red and rosé production here, supported often by Grolleau and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling Crémant de Loire is a specialty of Saumur. Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc are common in Touraine as well, along with Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay, and Malbec (known locally as Côt). The Upper Loire is Sauvignon Blanc country, home to the world-renowned appellations of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Pinot Noir and Gamay produce bright, easy-drinking red wines here.

Sauvignon Blanc

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A crisp, refreshing variety that equally reflects both terroir and varietal character, Sauvignon Blanc is responsible for a vast array of wine styles. A couple of commonalities always exist, however—namely, zesty acidity and intense aromatics. The variety is of French provenance, and is important in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley. It also shines in New Zealand and California, while Chile and South Africa are excellent sources of high-quality, value-priced Sauvignon Blanc. High-quality Sauvignon Blanc is also produced in Washington State, Australia, and parts of northern Italy.

In the Glass

From its homeland in the Loire Valley, where citrus, flinty, and smoky flavors shine through in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume, to Marlborough, New Zealand, where it is pungent, racy, and “green” (think grass, leaves, gooseberries, and bell peppers) and tastes of grapefruit and passionfruit, Sauvignon Blanc has something to offer every wine drinker. In Bordeaux, it is typically blended with Sémillon and Muscadelle to produce a softer, richer style. In California, any of the aforementioned styles can be emulated.

Perfect Pairings

The freshness of Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor—from bell pepper and cut grass to passionfruit, gooseberry, and ripe kiwi lend it to a range of light, summery dishes including salad, seafood, and mild Asian dishes. Sauvignon Blanc settles in comfortably at the table with notoriously difficult foods like goat cheese and asparagus. When combined with Sémillon (and perhaps some oak), it can be paired with more complex seafood and chicken dishes.

Sommelier Secret

Along with Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc is the proud parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. That green bell pepper aroma that all three varieties share is no coincidence—it comes from a high concentration of pyrazines (an herbaceous aromatic compound) inherent to each member of the family.

RPT53922396_2008 Item# 125191

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