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Luce Della Vite Luce Toscana 2009

Tuscan Blends from Tuscany, Italy
  • JS95
  • WS91
  • RP90
  • WS92
  • JS97
  • WS93
  • WE93
  • JS94
  • RP93
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

The color is a very concentrated ruby red. The bouquet releases enticing aromas of fruit such as blueberry, cherry, and plum, giving way to spicer impressions of green pepper, nutmeg, licorice, and anise. The conclusion offers a hint of balsam and fresh almond together with sweeter notes of milk chocolate and cedar. On the palate the wine is full and flavorful with dense, silky tannins well supported by the alcoholic component. The finish is persistent and extremely harmonious.

Blend: 55% Merlot, 45% Sangiovese

Critical Acclaim

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JS 95
James Suckling

California Cabernet lovers are going to dig this. It's full and luscious with loads of fruit and vanilla oak. A luxurious finish. Needs four or five years to come together. Blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. Give it at least three or four years to mellow, but it's so delicious now.

WS 91
Wine Spectator

Aromas of juniper, pine resin, coconut and vanilla highlight the cherry and raspberry flavors in this well-oaked red. Flashy, this will appeal to fans of the modern style.

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The 2009 Luce della Vite bursts onto the palate with notable vibrancy in its dark red cherries, plums, flowers, licorice and sweet spices. The 2009 needs a few years for the tannins to soften but it shows plenty of energy and persistence. This is a strong showing for Luce della Vite, a Merlot/Sangiovese blend. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.

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Luce Della Vite

Luce Della Vite

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Luce Della Vite, , Italy
Luce Della Vite
In 1995, Robert Mondavi of California and Vittorio Frescobaldi of Tuscany joined hands to create an Italian wine of extraordinary quality. Their partnership was the first of its kind in Italy, and their premier offering was Luce della Vite. The name means light of the vine in Italian, and was inspired by the morning sunlight on the way from Florence to the renowned winemaking region of Montalcino.

Aptly named, Luce shines brightly as the very first blend of Sangiovese and Merlot from this highly-regarded Tuscan winemaking region. Montalcino lies approximately 20 miles south of Siena, and is considered the birthplace of the richest and most intense Tuscan wines. The Luce vineyard—adjacent to Marchesi de' Frescobaldi's Castel Giocondo estate—sits at elevations of 1300 to 1500 feet, the highest vineyard site in Montalcino. Sustainable agriculture honors the unique slate and rocky limestone soils, yielding elegant Sangiovese and round, supple Merlot.

Luce inspired a second label, Lucente, a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot sourced throughout Tuscany. A third label, Danzante, produces Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese/Chianti, and Merlot sourced throughout other important Italian wine regions.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is often misunderstood by consumers. It is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute critters on the label, though both can certainly be found here. It is impossible to make generalizations about a country this physically massive, but most regions are concentrated in the south of the country and experience either warm, dry weather, or more humid, tropical influence. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing and there is a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

CGM18128_2009 Item# 120276

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