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(2022) Winemaker Emma Norbiato explains that this late-ripening variety is still green in the heat of summer, so its acidity holds on well towards harvest. On the other hand, she finds many Italian examples of Montepulciano have a more dry tannin structure. Vibrant crimson in colour, this has a plum and cherry pie creaminess and red fruit character, then sweet, ripe, juicy and mouthfilling berries on the palate, spices and again, a hint of toast and creaminess helped by six months in older oak for 40% of the blend. Vines are 15 years old, on loamy sand over limestone. No UK retail stockists listed at time of review.
(2022) From a 10-year-old vineyard on sandy loam, spending four months in contact with French oak staves in tank. Winemaker James Ceccato spoke of his relief that widespread wild fires in 2020 caused smoke to drift over the vineyards, but did not taint the harvest. A little more dense and plummy than the de Bortoli aromatically, nice tobacco spices, but not the minty-ripe lift. Ripe and mouthfilling in the mouth, that feeling of density continues, with chunky, dry tannins and acid adding a refreshing rasp to the finish.
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