Posted by: tomciocco | November 18, 2010

ANOTHER FACET OF TUSCANY

There’s nothing wrong with Brunello or Chianti. Far be it. The big names in any region are “big” for a reason, but big names can often carry big price tags and/or big pretensions that cut deeply into value and authenticity. No good.

But Tuscany is a pretty big place, with lots of underappreciated growing zones, so as the big zones saturate, and prices for land and the wines made on them rise, opportunities begin to arise in these hinterlands. And so Lapo Tardelli, and  Giulio Wilson Rosetti, from a base in the town of Fucecchio (foo-CHECK-yo), about halfway between Florence and Pisa, formed Dalle Nostre Mani with the idea of locating and improving old vineyards planted to local varieties, tended by already quality-minded farmers, and eventually elevating them to “agricoltura biologica” (the notch just below “organic”) status.

The Tosco Regio blend we drank tonight is an obscure terroir’s take on old-school Chianti or Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, with a clear “heirloom variety” spin: 85% Sangiovese and 15% Pugnitello  aged in large oak barrels (botti) for 5 months. Pugnitello (poon-yee-TELL-o) is a once nearly extinct Tuscan vine variety whose many charms were re-discovered and over time, whose cultivation became re-established on a small scale by a few committed growers.   

In short, this is a very cool and authentic bottle of juice. It’s a wine that employs an unfamiliar terroir to re-interpret Tuscany’s crowned king, Sangiovese with the deep and spicy ancient Pugnitello variety adding a somewhat exotic punch from out of Tuscany’s oenological past.

Tonight’s comestibles: potato gnocchi with a red pepper and tomato sauce (no picture), and a Tuscan-style chicken (breasts) cacciatore (with lots of herbs and garlic, red wine, tomato paste, porcini, etc.), and boiled and fried spinach with butter and nutmeg on the side…

 

 

Dalle Nostre Mani “Tosco Regio” Toscana Rosso IGT 2008

Darkish purple/black garnet color. Expressive, “natural” nose of blackberry, leather, brown spices, strawberry jam, briar, and powdery violet notes. The palate is mid-weight, with a tart, peppery, satiny texture and a hint of richness in the soft, smooth, plummy fruit and chocolate cherry cordial flavors. Nice warm finish. Overall a wine that deftly balances rusticity and elegance.

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