Vie Cave 2011 Maremma, Toscana IGT, Fattoria Valdobrandesca, Antinori
Fattoria Aldobrandesca is located in Tuscany, in the internal part of the southern Maremma. The property was acquired by the Antinori family in 1995 and extends over some 480 acres on gently sloping terrain approximately 660 feet above sea level. The temperate micro-climate which benefits from the nearby presence of the Argentario peninsula, jutting out into the Mediterranean Sea allows international varietal grapes to ripen slowly and take on full complexity. This wine “Vie Cave”, named for the roads carved into the tufo, was created after careful research aimed at bringing out the full potential of a new grape on the Italian scene, Malbec. This French variety is particularly suited to the volcanic soils in this part of the Maremma. 100% Malbec grapes were destemmed and softly pressed; the must went into stainless steel tanks for a three to four day pre-fermentation maceration to extract of color and the flavors from the skins. After a weeklong fermentation the wine was aged in 60 gallon French oak barrels for ten months and then 8 months in the bottle before release. It shows a deep and intense ruby red in color, the wine’s fruity aromas mingle with spicy notes, particularly of cloves and vanilla. The palate is balanced and supple with polished, velvety tannins. The finish and aftertaste, dominated by flavors of blueberries and ripe black fruit, are accompanied by subtle notes of dark chocolate.
What a fantastic expression of Malbec this wine is. All of the dark berry fruit and spice is there, but in the coastal Tuscan climate this bright acidity and dried herb character tears through this firm and gripping tannins. It's delightful now, and I only see this one getting better over the next several years.