Saturday, February 16, 2013

La Magia 1992 Rosso di Montalcino (Tuscany)

Rosso di Montalcino as a 21 year old? These wines are often intended to be had while waiting for Brunello to mature. Good makers can turn out fine wines as Rosso di Montalcino, but even then they are not always intended to age. It can also be where declassified Brunello ends up, for good or ill.

La Magia is not an especially storied producer. The Schulz family, from Alto Adige, bought land for their fattoria in Montalcino in 1979 and are now on to their second generation of Montalcino growers, producing wines, grappa and olive oil. The La Magia vineyard is south of the centre of Montalcino, near the Sant'Antimo abbey. South of Montalcino can mean lower, hotter, earlier with sangiovese (not to mention the international varieties appearing in Sant'Antimo from the 1996 revision of the DOC rules). But that is not what shows here.

Sangiovese stars in this wine, in its aged form of leather and preserved meats. Cherried primary fruit is well and truly gone, but sour cherry acid and ripe, gripping, sangiovese tannins remain. So much to smell here, aged fruit and something verging on cola. Savoury the whole way along, but flecked with gentle spice. Fine drinking tonight with steak cut tagliata style. An eye-opener for me, in how modest Rosso di Montalcino can age.

Cork. Auction. $30 plus premium and shipping. 13% alcohol. Website here.

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