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Casanova di Neri Pietradonice 2007

Cabernet Sauvignon from Tuscany, Italy
  • WS94
  • RP90
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Winemaker Notes

The name Pietradonice comes from the land where the wine is planted, which is very rich in onyx. It is a wine which uses exclusively Cabernet and Sauvignon grapes: almost a challenge, to achieve a product which fully returns the flavour of the earth and its stone. If we add very low yields per plant and the climatic factor, we can see it – and we say this with a touch of conceit – as the wine which most tangibly represents Casanova di Neri. Pietradonice succeeds in reconciling international flavour with local tradition and, in the end, all the personality of Montalcino floods out

Critical Acclaim

WS 94
Wine Spectator

Really rich, deep and powerful, with beautifully decadent dark fruit, toasty oak, milk chocolate and light raisin character. Full and velvety, with wonderful length. Best after 2011. 750 cases made.

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The estate’s 2007 Pietradonice is surprisingly forward and fruity in this vintage. There isn’t a whole lot of varietal character, but attractive suggestions of strawberries and flowers framed by soft tannins follow through to the round, sensual finish. The 2007 Pietradonice should be ready to drink upon release. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2022.

Proprietor Giacomo Neri makes some of the richest, most textured Brunellos readers will come across. The house style favors a lush expression of fruit with a softness that makes the wines very appealing upon release. In recent years the wines have become more elegant, with less of the excessive heaviness that characterized prior vintages. Based on what I tasted from barrel, future vintages hold quite a bit of promise as well. This year, readers – especially those on a budget (who isn’t on a budget these days?) should focus on the 2005 Brunello di Montalcino (sometimes also known as the ‘white label’), which is an overachiever because it includes fruit from the Cerretalto vineyard, the source of the estate’s top wine, which was not bottled in 2005.

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Casanova di Neri

Casanova di Nieri

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Casanova di Nieri, , Italy
Casanova di Neri
Casanova di Neri was established in 1971 when Giovanni Neri acquired a large estate within Montalcino. Over the years their continuing goal has been the search for land believed to be optimal for growing high quality grapes. There are now 120 acres of vineyards divided amongst four distinct sites. Improved quality in the vineyards has led to more attention in the winery, from vinification to the careful selection of casks for aging but always with the maximum respect for tradition. Today the property is operated and wines made by Giacomo Neri, who states, "Our greatest pride is our vineyards: their high quality and their history."

Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism...

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice...

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

MSW63005071_2007 Item# 111466

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