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Bucci Piceno Pongelli 2014
The Bucci family's 300 years in viniculture are an impressive heritage, which Ampelio Bucci brilliantly administers. Ampelio himself is a man of multiple talents, whose marketing expertise and in-depth knowledge of the Italian cultural and economic scenario are so impressive.
The Buccis have owned this magnificent 990-acre property since the early 1800s. In the course of the past two decades, Ampelio and star oenologist Giorgio Grai have reversed Italian tradition, producing whites characterized by superb structure and cellar life, and an easily approached, supple and readily enjoyable red.
The legendary Giorgio has implemented especially severe quality parameters, far above the current standards for the appellation: higher density of vines per acre, minuscule crop yields and a concentration and cellar life unmatched by any other Verdicchio!
Stretching along Italy’s eastern coast with neighbors, Umbria to its west and Abruzzo to its south, Marche is a region with a varying climate from north to south. Its coastal plains roll into hills that become the Apennine Mountains, which run the length of the country. The Marche's best red wines come from the grapes, Montepulciano and Sangiovese; the local Verdicchio makes refreshing, crisp and light whites.
Big, bold and modern in style, Tuscan Blends can be composed solely of international grape varieties or a mix of international and indigenous. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, are some of the most popular. They all marry with the indigenous Sangiovese very well, or can be blended together without Sangiovese—or even made on their own as single varietal bottlings!
Where did the idea come from? In the 1970s a few Tuscan winemakers had become disenchanted with Italian winemaking laws and decided to retaliate and get creative. They started making wine solely from these international grapes or adding them to Sangiovese, in differing proportions, with amazing success—and the phenomenon was born.
The most famous and revered Tuscan Blends from Italy are called “Super Tuscans.” One of the most well-known, ‘Tignanello,’ created by Antinori in 1971, is a blend of 80% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc.
Ornellaia, established by Marchesi Lodovico Antinori in 1981, with the help of renowned agronomist Andre Tchelistcheff, remains a stellar example today; since 2002 Marchesi de' Frescobaldi has been the sole owner. It is typically a blend of about half Cabernet Sauvignon, a third Merlot and the rest filled in with Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.
Sassicaia, another, has earned itself an extraordinary reputation and global esteem, so much so that the Sassicaia property was actually awarded its very own appellation with the 1994 vintage. It is typically 85% Cabernet Sauvignon and 15% Cabernet Franc.