Nov 30, 2012

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Exploring Italian Varietals: Part 3 – Monteverro

The more I explore the wines of Italy, the more I get the urge to hop on a jet plane and head east. I would absolutely love to experience the fabulous wines of Italy while standing among the vineyards of Alto Adige, Le Marche, Abruzzo and Tuscany – Italy is most certainly calling my name.

The four Italian wines I most recently sampled are from the Italian winery, Monteverro. Monteverro is an estate located between the sea and the village of Capalbio in the Tuscany region of Italy. Much like many people who have a sincere passion for wine, one defining moment can change things forever. For me, it was a red wine – one that I was not familiar with – that I tasted while stumbling upon a tiny wine bar down the side streets of Toledo, Spain. That one sip, a sip that will be forever imprinted, changed my views and thoughts on wine eternally. For the owner of Monteverro, German native Georg Weber, it was a glass of Bordeaux Premier Grand Cru Classé – a fantastic wine that was enjoyed during his university years which set him on a path that ended with the purchase of Monteverro in 2003. Knowing that the soil and growing conditions were perfect for vines that would produce high quality fruit, similar to the unforgettable Bordeaux, Weber planted Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Petit Verdot, as well as some Syrah, Grenache and Chardonnay. By 2008, the high quality fruit that Weber was hoping for, came to fruition, and by 2011, Monteverro’s first four wines were released.

~2009 Monteverro Toscana ($125): Considered their flagship wine, the Monteverro Toscana is known as the Grand Cru Classé of Italian wines, and I can see why. This cuvee blend of 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc, 10% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot is intensely dark in the glass and opens up with beautiful, vibrant aromas of ripe black cherry, fresh tobacco and spice. On the palate, the mouth is instantly coated with extremely well-balanced layers of dark, juicy fruit, fall spices, espresso beans and chocolate. Beautifully luscious and palate pleasing, yet intensely rich and complex. I absolutely love this wine.

~2009 Monteverro Chardonnay ($90): This Chardonnays displays a rim around the top that resembles a radiantly glowing golden hued halo – it’s beautiful. Lively aromas of pears, honeycrisp apples and caramel flow seamlessly onto the palate with added subtle hints of tropical fruits and cashews. A pure and clean mouthfeel up front and mid-palate, this wine finishes like melted creamy caramel. 

~2009 Terra di Monteverro Toscana ($50): Using the same varietals as the Monteverro Toscana, but with different percentages, this cuvee has 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot and 5% Petit Verdot. Bright fruit aromas of cranberries and pomegranate are highlighted by a touch of eucalyptus. In the mouth, flavors mimic the aromas with added red licorice and plum. Definitely fruit forward, the soft tannins lead to a smooth, lingering finish. 

~2009 Monteverro Tinata ($100): This Rhône-style cuvee is 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache, and offers spirited aromas of bright fred fruits, like red currants and raspberries, along with herbal undertones. A velvety texture flows from start to finish, and the alluring red fruit characteristics are nicely balanced by smooth, silky tannins. Delicious.

One characteristic that came to mind with each Monteverro I tasted was, seductive elegance. Each wine was truly opulent and luscious, and extremely palatable. Although the price range is higher than what most people spend on a bottle of wine, I can imagine any of these wines would make a very special gift for a wine enthusiast – there’s no doubt that each and every drop would be savored.

Visit the Monteverro website at www.Monteverro.com, and take a look at their photo gallery. It won’t be long before you, too, are yearning to be standing among the vineyards, glass in hand, under the Tuscan sun. Cheers –