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Casadei Petit Verdot 2013
This is a wine which pairs well with flavorful dishes as it couldeasily overpower more delicate preparations. Grilled lamb, stewed wild boar or roasted deer are a very good match. Hard aged cheeses like Pecorino or Parmigiano could nicely soften the firm tannins.
Located in the southern part of the DOC Val di Cornia, at an altitude of just over 50 meters, the estate is located in an area of low hills, sheltered by mountains to the North East. The natural vegetation is typically Mediterranean, with a prevalence of cork oaks, strawberry trees and pines.
A unique area, capable of producing precious wines, the result of international grapes can express the aromas and the charm of the Mediterranean environment of the zones.
Stefano Casadei, owner of the estate, shares with his brother Andrew and his wife Anna Baj Macario a path of field experience, passion and intuitions, but also of tradition and love of the land, from which derive all the necessary requirements to the diffusion of an enology quality. With his primary studies in agricultural disciplines, the thirty-year service activities alongside manufacturers and consultants of the most important international and specialized courses in enology and viticulture followed at the University of Bordeaux and Montpellier, he developed a significant expertise in analytical control and wine quality. This is how three ambitious projects, sharing the same philosophy, with the quality and the local tradition:
One of the most iconic Italian regions 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 coming in second.
Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines have their own respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, scattered with vineyards.
Sangiovese at its simplest produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. Top-quality Sangiovese-based wines can be expressive of a range of characteristics such as sour cherry, balsamic, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise and tobacco. Brunello expresses well the particularities of vintage variations and is thus popular among collectors who like to cellar the same wine over multiple years. 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 and Syrah, with or without Sangiovese. These are common in Tuscany’s coastal regions like Bolgheri, Val di Cornia, Carmignano and the island of Elba.
A highly desirable blending grape originating from Bordeaux in the southwest of France, Petit Verdot adds bold color, lovely floral components and earthy tannins to its blends. While it is commonly added to other Bordeaux varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec in quantities typically less than 10% of the total, it can also produce phenomenal single-varietal wines in some subregions of Australia, Chile, Spain, California and Washington State.
In Bordeaux, it is showing a small revival given its resistance to rot, thick skins and capability of yielding a wine concentrated in color and tannin.
In the Glass
Petit Verdot makes an intriguing wine with aromas of black fruit such as blackberry, plum, blueberry or black cherry as well as violets and dried herbs. It can be deliciously rustic but is most often oak aged to soften its inherently bold tannins, a process that softens and gives welcomed hints of vanilla, coffee and hazelnut.
Roasted pork or grilled lamb kabobs, as well as barbeque and Mole dishes are wonderful. Hard and salty cheeses such as Pecorino, Manchego or aged cheddar can be fun to have alongside Petit Verdot.
When it ripens fully it is a valuable contribution of richness and spice to some of the best blends, but in a cool year it can add a distinctly raw, under-ripe note to any blend.