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The Wine I’m Willing To Drink For The Next Ten Days – Marcus by Marco Sambin

August 19, 2014 14 comments

Yes, you read it right, and it is a pretty bold [personal] statement. “I will be glad to drink this wine over the next 10 days” was the first emotional reaction as I took a sip of this wine. The reason for this bold statement? Simple. The wine was ready to drink from the get go. You know how often you take a sip of wine and say “well, I think it needs to breathe a little”, or “nice, but let me give it some time”? This wine didn’t need time. Fruit, body, acidity, tannins – all present in a cohesive, as I often call it, “together” package. Instantly available. Instantly delicious.

What makes this “bold personal statement”? My reaction to the first sip was “ahh, I will be glad to drink this every day. Period”. I never experienced this before – with the best wines I had, I would still pick something else to drink the next day, even if that “best wine” was still available. With this wine – yes, I would gladly keep opening the same bottles day after day. Well, possibly that was a reaction to the fact that this was my one and only bottle.

This bottle was actually a sample, and before I will continue talking about the wine, I want to share my frustration with samples. I don’t actively solicit samples (as a general rule – but yes, with exceptions), but then I don’t refuse samples either; I always warn the submitters that the review will be posted only if I happen to like the wine. When the sample arrives, especially if it is a red wine, the frustrating cycle starts. On one hand, I need to open it sooner rather than later, as the sender is awaiting my feedback. On another hand, I treat samples same as the regular wines – I wouldn’t open wine just to take a sip and dump the rest, even if it is only a sample. And I would also make an effort to involve my wife into the tasting, and as she generally prefers the red wines, it becomes difficult to find the right time to open the bottle. All in all, I’m getting torn between the need to open the bottle and the desire to still find the right time for it. There, I let it out.

Now, this particular sample has its own story. Back in April I was contacted by the winery called Marco Sambin from Italy, inviting me to come and taste their flagship wine, called Marcus, at the Vinitaly expo in Verona. When I mentioned that I will not be attending the Vinitaly, they offered to send me a sample – however, they could deliver it only inside Italy. You know, I already said it many times in this blog – having good friends is one of the most important things in life. My dear friend Stefano, who is constantly in between US and Italy, was able to get this bottle for me (it took only about two month for the bottle to get from the Italy into my hands). It then also took me about 6 additional weeks for find the right moment to open the bottle – hence my rant about samples (see above).

Marco Sambin Estate Villa Contarini in Valnogaredo

Villa Contarini in Valnogaredo, from the Marco Sambin presentation

Never mind all of that. What important is that I was able to experience a great bottle of wine. Marco Sambin winery (Azienda Agricola Marco Sambin), a small 10 acres estate, was founded in 2002 in Euganean Hills area in Veneto by Marco Sambin, Full Professor of Psychology at the University of Padova. I don’t want to recite all the information from the web site – you can read it for yourself here, and these are just some of the interesting facts. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Syrah are all growing at the estate. The estate is farmed using organic and biodynamic principles. All the harvest is done by hand, and once the grapes are sorted and destemmed , they are gently crushed and fermentation process starts using only natural yeast, each grape variety fermented on its own. After the fermentation, which lasts for about 15 days, the wine is pressed and goes into the French oak barrels (both new and used), still each variety on its own; the wine will age in oak for the next 12 month. Only then the final cuvée is blended and bottled. Once bottled, the wine will still spend 6 -12 month before it can be released. On average, only 6,000 bottles are produced every year.

And now, here are my notes about the wine itself. The 2010 Marco Sambin Marcus Veneto IGT (14% ABV, Cabernet Sauvignon 45%, Merlot 40%, Cabernet Franc 10%, Syrah 5%) had very dark garnet color in the glass. On the nose, it showed concentrated red fruit, cassis, pencil shavings, baking spices and lavender, very complex and inviting. The palate delivered delicious fruit, perfectly present but not over the top, clean acidity, supple tannins and impeccable balance. Long finish, and every sip was leaving you craving another one. Drinkability: 9

Here you have it – the wine I’m willing to drink for the next ten days. Except it was my one and only bottle, and this wine is not available in US (if you are an importer who is reading this by any chance, the winery is looking for representation in the US – you can contact them using the information on the web site, or drop me a note, I will be glad to connect you). Is there a wine you will be glad to drink day after day after day? Cheers!

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