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Tenuta Sette Ponti Oreno 2008
The wine expresses a ruby red color with violet reflections, while an aroma of spicy blackberry and other berries is expressed. On the palate are ripe berries that give sensations of chocolate and flashes of balsamic.
Blend: 45% Merlot, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 15% Petit Verdot
Structured and racy, showing blueberry and chocolate aromas and flavors, with loads of currant. Full and tannic, yet polished and caressing, with an impressive and persistent finish. A marked change from some past vintages, with only Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petit Verdot in the blend. Best after 2014.
The 2008 Oreno is stunningly beautiful. An open, expressive bouquet laced with mint, red berries, roses and spices emerges with superb clarity and balance. The tension between the minerality of the vintage and the rich expression of fruit that is one of the house’s hallmarks play off each other beautifully here. The finish is utterly exquisite in its beguiling beauty. The 2008 isn’t the most powerful Oreno ever made, but it is quite possibly the most elegant, impeccably refined wine I have ever tasted here. Simply put, it is fabulous juice! In 2008 the percentage of Sangiovese is way down and Oreno is predominantly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, a decision that has paid off handsomely. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2024.
This is a rich and beautiful red, with lots of currants, spices and flowers. Full-bodied, with super velvety tannins and bright acidity. There's a beautiful depth of fruit to this. Wonderful. This is very structured and impressive. Needs at least four to five years to come around.
Tenuta Sette Ponti, is, like many Tuscan estates, multi-faceted. The 750-acre property supports livestock and mixed agriculture, and although viticulture is not new to the estate, winemaking is; the yield of the property's vineyards was until 1997 sold to various respected Tuscan wine producers, among them Piero Antinori. Dr. Moretti's enjoyment of wine led him to ask Antinori if the estate vineyards could produce great wines, and Antinori thought they could. The estate has since been transformed through the consultation of respected oenologist Carlo Ferrini and his assistant, Gioia Cresti; Gilbert Bouvet, one of France's most skilled viticulturalists; and agronomist Benedetto d'Anna.
Famous for its food-friendly, approachable wines and their storied history, Chianti is perhaps the best-known wine region of Italy. This sub-zone of Tuscany has it all—sweeping views of undulating hills, the hot Mediterranean sun, hearty cuisine, and a rich artistic heritage. Historically packaged in short, round, straw-covered bottles known as “fiaschi” and containing insipid red liquid, Chianti today is typically not your Italian grandfather’s pizza wine. The heart of the Chianti zone is known as Chianti Classico, as the region has expanded its boundaries over time to capitalize on the wine’s fame, thus diluting its reputation. Within Chianti there are seven other subzones with unique characteristics, including Colli Senesi, Colli Fiorentini, and Chianti Rufina.
Chianti wines are made primarily of Sangiovese, with other varieties comprising up to 20% of the blend. Generally, local varieties are used, including Canaiolo, Mammolo, and Marzemino, but international varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah have also been approved in more recent years. Basic, inexpensive Chianti is simple and fruit-forward and makes a great companion to any casual dinner involving red sauce. At its apex, it is savory and rustic with high acidity, firm tannins, and notes of tart red fruit, dried herbs, fennel, salami, balsamic vinegar, and smoky tobacco. Chianti Riserva, typically the top bottling of a producer, can benefit handsomely from a decade or two of cellaring.
The perfect intersection of bright fruit and savory earthiness, Sangiovese is the backbone variety in Tuscany. While it is best known as the chief component of Chianti, it reaches the height of its power and intensity in the complex, long-lived Brunello di Montalcino. Elsewhere throughout Italy, it can make inexpensive wines for daily consumption ranging from inoffensive to deliciously easy. On the French island of Corsica, under the name Nielluccio, it produces excellent bright and refreshing red and rosé wines with a personality of their own. Sangiovese has also enjoyed moderate popularity in California and Washington State over the last few decades.
In the Glass
Sangiovese is a medium-bodied red with savory flavors of tart cherry, plum, tomato, fresh tobacco, anise, thyme, oregano, and dried earth. High-quality, well-aged examples will take on notes of smoke, clay pot, leather, gamey meat, potpourri, and dried fruits. Corsican Nielluccio is distinguished by a subtle perfume of dried flowers.
Sangiovese is the ultimate pizza and pasta red—its high acidity, moderate alcohol, and grainy tannins create an affinity with tomato-based dishes, spicy meats, and anything off the barbecue.
Although it is the star variety of Tuscany, cult-classic “Super-Tuscan” wines may contain no Sangiovese at all! Since the 1970s, local winemakers have been producing big, bold wines (with price tags to match) that are typically monovarietal or a blend of one or more of several international varieties—usually Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, or Syrah—with or without Sangiovese.