How Do You Spell “Delicious” in Italian? Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Might be a Good Answer
Virtual tastings are always fun. For sure for the conversation and learning part. And of course the best part is while your conversation is virtual, tasting of the real wines. As always with wines, you like some, and some you don’t (OMG, I let the cat out of the bag!!!). And sometimes you are simply blown away.
The tasting of wines of Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi was the latter. As a young oenophile, I heard about the wines of Machesi de’ Frescobaldi, a 700 years old winemaking family, for the first time in the early 2000, when I read an article in Wine Spectator, profiling Italy’s “big three” – Antinori, Banfi and Frescobaldi. However, until a few days ago, I wouldn’t claim that I had any real encounter with Frescobaldi wines.
I guess there was a certain element of luck that my acquaintance with Frescobaldi wines started from their single vineyard, or so called “CRU” wines. Nevertheless, to be literally blown away by 4 wines out of 4 in the tasting is not something which happens often. I had plenty of single vineyard and high-end wines which left me simply indifferent. These 4 wines of Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi had me say “wow” every single time I had a sip.
I will not inundate you with the history of the winery or any other facts – you can read that at your leisure at the winery’s web site. However, each wine we tasted is unique in its own ways – and this is something I want to share with you here. Below are my tasting notes, including the interesting facts I pondered across. Here we go:
2012 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Pomino Bianco Benefizio Riserva DOC (13% ABV, $45, 100% Chardonnay)
C: light golden
N: classic – light touch of butter, vanilla, apples, delicious and inviting
P: delicious. Golden Delicious apple, touch of vanilla, touch of lemon, crisp acidity on the finish, perfectly lingering.
V: 8+/9-, a treat. Would compete with any white Burgundies in elegance, and has great aging potential
Interesting wine notes: Chardonnay was planted by Frescobaldi in 1855. In 1878, Pomino was awarded Gold medal at Paris Exposition. Benefizio was produced in 1973 from the vineyard with elevation 700 meters (2,200 feet), and it was the first barrel-fermented wine in Italy.
2011 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Mormoreto Toscana IGT (14.5% ABV, $79, 64% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26 % Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot, 5% Merlot)
C: dark garnet
N: dark fruit, plums, eucalyptus, hint of dark chocolate, intense, warm and inviting
P: spectacular. Firm, structured, black currant, chewy tannins, soft and powerful at the same time. Medium-long finish.
V: 8+, a “wow” wine. Would easily go up against any Bordeaux
Interesting wine notes: The vineyard of Mormoreto started in 1976 (while Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Merlot had been growing there for 150 years), with the first harvest in 1983. The name “Mormoreto” means “murmur” in Italian – the constant breeze from the valley makes vine leaves to move all the time, creating soft and gentle “murmur” sound. The wine is only produced in most favorable years.
2011 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Giramonte Toscana IGT (14.5% ABV, $150, Merlot and Sangiovese)
C: dark garnet, almost black
N: beautiful, refined, restrained black berries, distant hint of dark chocolate
P: wow! Powerful, restrained, beautifully refined, dark fruit, fresh tannins, perfect balance, elegant, elegant, elegant. Long finish
V: 8+/9-. A wine in its own class. A clear nod to Italian heritage, weaved into a very modern, I-am-the-best, work of art.
2009 Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi Ripe al Convento di CastelGiocondo Brunello di Montalcino Riserva DOCG (15% ABV, $138, 100% Sangiovese)
C: dark ruby
N: plums, lavender, sweet oak, open, intense
P: complex, sweet plums, violets, nice herbal profile, delicious overall – perfectly ready to drink
V: 8+, delicious. One of the very best Brunello wines I ever had, period.
Four wines, one delicious tasting. Yes, these are not inexpensive wines, and for many people these can’t be everyday wines. However, any of these 4 wines are truly worth experiencing, so if you pride yourself with being an oenophile, put these wines on your “must try” list. Okay, you can thank me later. Cheers!
Many thanks to the kind folks at Colangelo PR for including me in the tasting and providing samples.