Argentiera Villa Donoratico Bolgheri 2015
To describe a wine is always necessary to decipher the landscape of origin, then place it in the environment that generates it to appreciate nature. Villa Donoratico is a very large and complex wine that never falls into banality, showing a character deeply attached to his area of origin. Matured in oak casks, extraordinary in its drinkability and his fidelity to the type that can give way to the sensations of red fruits on the nose, and slightly spicy on the palate with a nice ending note reminiscent of licorice.
Blend: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, and 10% Petit Verdot.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Argentiera estate is situated on the coast of Alta Maremma, about 100 km west of Florence in the DOC appellation of Bolgheri. The estate is part of the historic Tenuta di Donoratico dei Serristori, an influential Florentine family that in 1512 acquired this land from the Medici family. Today this property is owned by Corrado and Marcello Fratini, well known entrepreneurs from Florence, and by Marchese Piero Antinori. The estate is planted with specialized vines all of which have the appellation DOC Bolgheri. The vines have an average age of 4–5 years and are situated on a plateau at an elevation of 150 to 200 meters above sea level, the highest altitude level in Bolgheri. Argentiera’s vineyards, located only 2 km from the Tyrrhenian Sea, benefit from breezes that provide consistent ventilation to the vines. They are surrounded by verdant macchia mediterranea, Mediterranean underbrush. Soils of various compositions are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Syrah - international vines very much representative of the Bolgheri area. In fact, here, these vines assume their own character and reach proven elevated quality standards.
An outstanding wine region made famous by Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta, who planted Cabernet Sauvignon vines for his own consumption in 1940s on his San Guido estate, and called the resulting wine, Sassicaia. Today the region’s Tuscan reds are based on Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which can be made as single varietal wines or blends. The local Sangiovese can make up no more than 50% of the blends. Today Sassicaia has its own DOC designation within the Bogheri DOC appellation.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.