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Bibi Graetz Casamatta Rosso 2011

Sangiovese from Tuscany, Italy
  • WS90
12.5% ABV
  • JS91
  • WS88
  • JS88
  • RP87
  • WS89
  • JS89
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3.4 22 Ratings
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3.4 22 Ratings
12.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

"Casamatta," or "crazy house," is Bibi Graetz's creation of a Tuscan-style house wine that is, contrary to its whimsical name, consistently refreshing and seriously delicious. Characterized by balanced acidity and bright, forward fruit, these are uncomplicated, natural wines that are meant to complement foods, require no further aging and are totally accessible and enjoyable upon release.

Shows the earthy side of Sangiovese, with loam, iron, cherry and plum flavors. A juicy wine, with upfront fruit and light tannins.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Blackberry and black cherry notes are accented by tobacco and spice in this concentrated red. Fresh and lively, with a firm finish. This should develop nicely. Best from 2013 through 2018.
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Bibi Graetz

Bibi Graetz

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Bibi Graetz, Tuscany, Italy
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Bibi Graetz, the iconic Italian winemaker, took an unconventional route to his winemaking career. Growing up in Fiesole, near Florence, in an artistic family, surrounded by the impressive metal sculptures created by his father, Gidon Graetz, and his own canvases and paint brushes, Bibi graduated from Accademia delle Belle Arte in Florence as a promising young artist. His increasing passion for wine had become evident while he was still an art student, however, and he began studying all he could find on enology. It was in the late 1990s, when Bibi was in the process of renewing his family’s contract to grow grapes for other producers that he impulsively decided to use the grapes to make his own wines.

One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese.

Sangiovese

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The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.

In the Glass

Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.

Perfect Pairings

Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.

Sommelier Secret

Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.

ALL8183440_2011 Item# 119405