I Love Fine Wine - A Relatively Inexpensive Super Tuscan Signed Italy

     Some might say this part of Tuscany is heaven on earth. The Argiano estate was built during the Renaissance. The property extends for over 100 hectares (that's more than 250 acres) about half of which is devoted to vineyards. The rest is olive groves and meadows. As if all that were not enough, Mount Amiata to the southeast protects the vineyards et al from inclement weather. It is any wonder that the area has been doing wine for centuries? The local soil, once under water, is filled with minerals and the grapes are picked by hand. The Montalcino town fortress is still standing, never conquered by Siena or Florence. On the last weekend in October there's a festival with archers dressed in medieval costumes and I daresay lots more including fine local wines. Today's wine is a Super Tuscan, meaning a fine wine made from international grapes as well as Tuscany's signature red, Sangiovese. Despite their pedestrian appellation such wines often go for a lot more. The companion wine is a French Cotes du Rhone at less than half the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed Argiano Non Confunditur Rosso Toscano IGT 2011 14.5 % alcohol about $20.

We can start by quoting the marketing materials." "Description: The Argiano estate takes its name from the Roman god Janus, whose two faces looked to the future and to the past. Tasting Note: Lots of dark fruit in this wine with a mineral and black licorice character. Full body, with chewy yet polished tannins and a long finish. This is rich, powerful and balanced. Extremely well made from a top producer in Montalcino. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah and Sangiovese. Better in 2015. Score - 93. (James Suckling at his web site, July 2, 2013)." And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was multilayered and yet subtle. It was long, very long. A potato knish (potatoes in puff pastry) darkened the contents of glass that became too sweet. Then came the main meal; chili made with spicy salsa over brown rice. The libation was dark and chewy expressing great balance between acidity and tannins. I liked its oak. Zesty guacamole caused this wine's substance to decline as its sweetness increased. When it was paired with fresh pineapple this liquid remained long.

Our second meal focused on a chicken leg, which was roasted in a mixture of tomatoes, onions, cumin, and coriander seed. In response our Italian friend was very rich and pleasantly woody. It was quite long but a bit too sweet. A medley of sauteed vegetables, red, orange, and yellow bell peppers accompanied by mushrooms, made this Super Tuscan chewy, tasting of licorice and tobacco. I noted well balanced acidity and tannins. Fruit juice candy muted this drink somewhat but it did remain very present.

The final meal centered on slow cooked round steak. The fermented juice was very forward, round, and slightly sweet. It was long and mouth filling with noticeable but not over the top acidity. The accompanying white potatoes brought no changes; don't get me wrong, the wine was fine. The accompanying sweet potatoes brought no changes. I really noted the balance. In the presence of roasted eggplant slices the Super Tuscan's acidity stepped away. I missed it. But the wine remained long. Fiery green Yemeni jalapeno pepper sauce on the meat definitely muted this wine.

Final verdict. I would definitely buy this wine again. But it didn't rate a 93, whatever that is. I would love to buy this producer's Brunello de Montalcino, but local distributors don't carry it, on either side of the river.

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Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine Iwine with good company. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website  www.theworldwidewine.com  features a weekly review of $10 wines. His Italiian  travel website is www.travelitalytravel.com .

Posted on 2013-11-23, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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