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Livernano Toscana 2003

Bordeaux Red Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • WS88
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Winemaker Notes

Livernano's flagship wine, it is a blend of grapes from the best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese parcels. Majestic and ageworthy, it offers richly fruited aromatics and powerful structure.

Complex aromas of balsam and mint with faint grassy, fruity nuances. The very fleshy, fruitled palate has fine tannins and a finish that develops impressively.

Blend: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Merlot, 5% Sangiovese

Critical Acclaim

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WS 88
Wine Spectator

Aromas of blackberry, cherry and currant follow through to a medium-bodied palate, with fine tannins and a clean finish. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Sangiovese. Best after 2007. 500 cases made.

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Livernano

Livernano

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Livernano, , Italy
Livernano
Livernano is a truly ancient place. It was first inhabited by Etruscans, whose culture reached its high point in Tuscany over 2,500 years ago. The hamlet was later occupied by the Romans who gave it its name. Long after the cessation of Roman rule, Livernano served as a fortified border post during the interminable wars of the two great medieval city states in Tuscany, Siena and Florence. The hamlet regained new life in 1990 when the complete restoration of the entire estate was begun. Today, Livernano is once again a working farm, producing fine wines, excellent olive oil, honey, vegetables and fruits. On 38 acres, new vineyards were planted with nine different grape varieties. Livernano's wines have garnered much attention and praise from the critics and represent a range of wine styles, both classic and contemporary.

Livernano began its renewal in 1990, when a huge restoration of the entire estate was completed. Entrepreneurs and Broadway producers Bob Cuillo and his Austrian wife, Gudrun, purchased the estate in 2002, and promptly set about modernizing and restoring Livernano to its former glory. Under their guidance, the wines are made from specially cloned vines that are personally and carefully selected to meet their high standards. With a very "hands-on" approach to their wines, Gudrun and Bob personally work the land and always participate in the harvest, handpicking and hand sorting the grapes. Their dreams of creating a world class wine was realized when Livernano received four Tre Bicchieri awards in four years from Gambero Rosso

Napa Valley

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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.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

BOS30065852_2003 Item# 102625

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