(2021) A blend of 50% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 5% Petit Verdot, 2005 was generally a very good year, though careful harvesting was necessary in autumn showers. The different parcels and varieties resulted in 54 separate vinifications of base wine components. The wines were matured for 12 months in barriques (25% new barrels), then blended, and returned to barrel for a futher five months. It still exhibits a deep colour, quite opaque at the core. The nose presents a lovely amalgam of plum and glossy black cherry, gamey and balsamic notes, and a hint of woodsmoke wreathed through it. Classic pencil shaving and graphite touches too. In the mouth, beautiful and expansive sweetness, a rich, creamy weight of fruit that is glossy and ripe, then terrific support pushes through, with chocolaty tannins, as fine as you like, fine acidity, and the wine runs on and on into the finish. Not currently available retail in the UK, but may appear at auction.
(2021) As with the 2013 vintage, Cabernet Sauvignon marginally dominates the blend with 33%, then 32% Merlot, 18% Cabernet Franc and 17% Petit Verdot. This was a rather wet year, but a warm one, with warm and dry conditions for harvest. Winemaking follows a similar recipe for this wine each year, with only 25% new oak for the barrel maturation, the separate components blended after one year in barrel before further barrel ageing. This is a particularly silky and sleek Le Serre Nuove at this young stage, smooth black cherry and cassis aromas, melding seamlessly with creamy oak, a little graphite and tobacco. Terrific fruit sweetness and juiciness on the palate, with smooth, unruffled black fruit but edged with keen cherry acidity and taut framework of tannins. This has the hallmarks to be an exceptionally good wine with longevity too. Many merchants are offering this by the six-bottle case currently, at under £50 per bottle equivalent. Use the wine-searcher link.
(2020) From Tenuta sette Cieli's organic vineyards, this is 100% Cabernet Franc, fermented with indigenous yeasts and spending 24 months in French oak, 40% of which was new. It pours a very dense, opaque dark crimson, the nose offering some tapenade and charcuterie notes, but beneath a weight of glossy black fruits. A little hint of mint. In the mouth the creamy weight of smooth, unruffled black fruit flows across the tongue. There is an underpinning of coffeeish oak, very silky tannins and fine black cherry acidity, but the fruit dominates into a long finish. The Tannins reassert in the finish, and I suggest decanting this or cellaring for a few years. A very nice wine.
(2019) 2015 experienced a sunny and dry growing season, the hot summer mitigated by intense August rainfalls that provided ideal conditions for uniform, stress-free ripening. A blend of Sangiovese and Merlot with a yield of 35 hl/ha, and aged 24 months in barriques, 85% of which were new. A robust, firm character on the nose, plenty of polished oak, dark and liquorice character. The tannins are firm and very grippy at this stage, a big structural wine, the tannin and acid framework a touch angular right now, though softening notes or spices and obvious fruit concentration suggest it would be best approached in another five years perhaps.
(2019) A slightly warmer than usual spring with well-distributed and regular rainfall, the pattern following through into summer giving homogenous ripening. Slightly lower yields of 30 hl/ha compared to 2015, again a blend of Sangiovese and Merlot, with 24 months in barriques, 85% new. Gorgeous perfume, some floral notes, also a pleasing edge of game and bloodiness that adds a lovely layer of complexity. Such deliciously sweet fruit, and while that sour cherry acidity and the steely core of tannin is there, there is a supple, slightly more feminine character that drinks beautifully. Will cellar 10 years+
(2019) Spring brought abundant rains and lower than average temperatures, then a hot summer. During the flowering in June, rain and wind resulted in clusters with fewer berries, then the summer was hot and sunny for optimal ripening. Luce reported "outstanding quality in the harvested fruit." Yields of 30 hl/ha, 24 months in barriques of which 90% were new. Fine spices and sweet damp earth over the more figgy black fruit, this has breadth and sweetness to spare, massive coffee and sweet black fruit, it is a more upfront style, but delightful. I can find no UK stockists for this vintage at time of review.
(2019) A mild spring was followed by a long cool summer, with good rainfall but dry condition in September and October for good development
in the grapes. The yield was 30 hl/ha, and the recipe was for 18 months in barrique, but with 100% new French oak. This was the second bottle after the first decanted bottle was corked, so closed and needing oxygen, but obvious concentration and packed sweetness of fruit, very smooth tannins, beautifully resolved, and the Merlot dominating strangely, almost certainly down to the bottle having just been opened. Obvious coffee depth and structure. Drinking beautifully.
(2019) Luce say this was an vintage excellent both in terms of quality and quantity, a cool and rainy spring replenishing underground waterways, a cool early summer then heat during August and September to compensate for the initial delay in the vegetative cycle. The Merlot and Sangiovese were harvested at 35 hl/ha, and the wine spent 24 months in barriques, 90% of which were new. Nice camphor high note here, classic pencil shaving finesse, the palate has lost a touch of its fruit and shows more cedar but has lovely texture and balance of tannins and acids, so that it finishes with spicy length, a really lovely wine for current drinking though I can find no UK stockists of this vintage at time of review.
(2019) After heavy spring rains the summer was almost ideal, with dry days and significant day-night temperature differentials to ensure balanced, concentrated berries. The Sangiovese and Merlot was harvested with a low yield of 28 hl/ha, and ageing once again for 24 months in 85% new French oak barriques. Back slightly more onto the firm, taut, precise black fruit style, sveltee and glossy with a slightly balsamic note too, and though juicy and with that tangy sour cherry to the acids, just a little less giving than the 2014.
(2019) First released in 2003, 2013 brought a rainy spring and early summer, but followed by a hot, but not extreme, summer providing ideal ripening conditions. 100% Sangiovese harvested at 34 hl/ha, the wine spent 24 months in Slavonian oak barriques, only 10% of which were new. Perfumed and lifted compared to the Luce, tobacco and spices dominating the sappy cherry. More sour acidity here, proper Italianate acidity, draped with the red and black fruits into a long, spicy finish.