Not Your Everyday Tuscan Wine

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One of today’s trends worldwide is to make wine using indigenous grape varieties. Badia a Coltibuono is a famed Chianti Classico producer using the traditional (and indigenous) sangiovese grape to produce outstanding wines. But a few years back they began bottling a red wine made from sangiovese and a handful of other indigenous grapes. Eight others, to be exact, and this bottling, called Montebello, is simply remarkable. Only 3,500 bottles were made in the 2013 vintage and, if you can, get a hold of this unique red. It makes one wonder why more producers don’t make a “field blend” from these ancient and luxurious grapes (mamollo, ciliegiolo, pugnitello, colorino, sanforte, malvasia nera, canaiolo, fogliatonda and sangiovese).
2013 Montebello, Badia a Coltibuono $60 suggested retail price
Deep ruby/garnet in color. A brooding, slightly rustic nose of roses, lilac, dried cherries and freshly turned earth. Elements of tobacco and licorice emerge with aeration. Strapping flavors with fruit compote and a cocoa-laden mouthfeel that makes you smile. Cherries and black fruits dominate with caramel, vanilla and pepper notes on the finish. Extremely impressive now with a one-hour decant. Drink with a pasta Bolognese, beef Stroganoff or arroz with black beans. Drink now-2023.
94/100 points

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Arturo Ciompi

Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.

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