Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Terre delle Falcole, Chianti Classico

I love ambition in a wine-maker and, if truth be known, I really admire ambition in anyone (but most especially in someone who can please my over-demanding palate).

   How then can I not admire a man from Cleveland, Ohio who decides that he should move to Italy to make wine>? Incredible as it may seem, that is exactly what Frank Grace did in 1996; investing in a property in Tuscany with his German business partner and opening Il Molino di Grace under the direction of noted Italian wine-maker Franco Bernabei (www.IlMolinodiGrace.com).
Il Molino di Grace, Tuscany

   By the year 2000, Frank and his team had achieved the impossible: rated the Winery of the Year by Wine and Spirits Magazine (www.WineandSpiritsMagazine.com) Frank and Franco were at the top of world. Their 2000 vintage of Sangiovese, known as "Gratius" even received the Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri  award, which is the most prestigious wine award in Italy. What does one do at this point?

   Buy some more land, and start a new label of course~! Hence the label Terre delle Falcole (land of the Falcon) which is oh-so-dramatic. Using the same knowledge that had catapulted them to the top of their field in next to no-time, Frank and Franco set about trying to develop the nuances of their terroir and, as we have seen many brilliant winemakers do, let the land express itself.

   Bravo gentlemen.

2003 Chianti Classico, Terre delle Falcole
(it is both the region of Tuscany (DOCG) and the name of the wine)
$20 USD, $30 CAD

     *** Very Good Value ***

varietal:      100% Sangiovese
maturation: 12 months French barriques, Slavonian oak casks and stainless steel
vinification:18-20 days,at between 29 C to 31C, malolatic fermentation
  • visual:   clean; incredible fully intense violet-garnet core with slight cherry-brick rim (the color is deeper because of the high temperature of vinification)
  • aroma:   clean; moderate+ intense and developed aromas of worn leather, dried blueberries and blackberries, cassis or black currants, light perfumed black florals such as irises-roses-and mild exotics, mild wintery spices such as clove and nutmeg, baked earth
  • palate:   clean; dry, moderate++ (red currant) acids, moderate (slightly grippy) tannins, moderate+ body, moderate alcohol, moderate+ intense and developed flavors that mimick well the nose; emphasis on the berry first on the palate, with the long slow revealing of winter spices on baked terra cotta. Excellent balance and structure, medium+ length
  • conclusion:   drink now to 2014... still has lively acids, rich tannin and good concentration of flavor but will not improve with further aging
  • PAIRINGS:    when in Rome >>>> and so when in Tuscany, eat Tuscan food. Try this with a simple grilled flatbread with savory herbs, cheese and field fresh tomatoes. Try it with a pan-seared anchovy pasta with too much garlic (there is never too much garlic)... this wine has layers to play off~!

    Il Molino (in the fog)
    An excellent wine already, I can't wait to try further releases from this winery as their work will only develop into further layering and deeper concentrations. Already a very good value for the region, this is a lovely expression of both Sangiovese and the Chianti Classico DOCG.
    As always, I look forward to your comments and questions...
    CINCIN~!!!     SLAINTE~!!!     CHEERS~!!!

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