TENUTA ARGENTIERA, BOLGHERI
If you’re getting these emails, then you probably have more than a passing acquaintance with the iconic wines of the Bolgheri — with Ornellaia, with Sassicaia, with Guado Al Tasso.
You know how brilliant they and so many other Super Tuscans from that region are. You also know that most don’t come cheap, with most bottles going for upwards of $150.
Most; but not all. We’re always on the hunt for those high performers who don’t break the bank, and today we bring you a couple of hidden gems, both from the stellar estate Tenuta Argentiera: the 96-Point Bolgheri Superiore Rosso 2018 and the 93-Point Villa Donoratico Bolgheri Rosso.
Situated on the coast of Tuscany about 60 miles southwest of Florence, and with spectacular views of the Tuscan archipelago, Argentiera is the closest Bolgheri winery to the sea, as well as the one with the highest altitude (200 meters). These two traits are essential to the growing of world-class grapes, and this swath of land — known as the Maremma — lays claim to some of the best vineyard terroir in all of Italy. But Argentiera is further blessed, with a rich and varied soil, by turns sandy, calcareous and stony, that helps to develop complexity in its Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Syrah.
Since taking over operations, in 1999, brothers Carrado and Marcello Fratini have made huge investments in the vineyards, winery, and cellars, elevating a hitherto solid winemaker into one of the very first rank.
You can see the literal fruits of that investment in these two wines, which demonstrate a real commitment to craft and exactitude.
Villa Donoratico Bolgheri Rosso was made from 50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Cabernet Franc, 15% Merlot, and 5% Petit Verdot, all hand-picked and sorted, and the varieties were vinified separately in stainless steel tanks for 20-25 days. Malolactic fermentation was completed in French oak barrels.
In a demonstration of just how much emphasis Argentiera puts on maturation, the wine was aged for 12 months in barrel and another 10 months in bottle.
The result? A wine that is ready to open now.
James Suckling, in a 93 point review, called it "rich, opulent, and forward on fruit ... a full-bodied, powerful red from Bolgheri that many Super Tuscans aspire to be."
Boom. Yes, exactly.
With the Bolgheri Superiore Rosso, Suckling went even higher, awarding 96 points and enthusing over its aroma of plum and berries, its "chocolate and vanilla undertones," and its "soft tannins that are bright at the end."
The blend, here, is different: 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Syrah. You'll notice a larger role played by Merlot, which brings a marvelous softness and structure.
As with the '19, the grapes were hand-picked and vinified separately by varietal in stainless steel tanks for 20-25 days. Malolactic fermentation took place in French oak barrels, half of which were new oak.
Once more, we see the great value placed on aging in both barrel (18 months) and bottle (12 months).
Super Tuscans remain all the rage among collectors, but it's not often you come across this kind of detailing, the care and precision at every step of a complex process.
In short, these are keepers, and for both the short- and long-term these are going to pay off handsomely, so stock up now!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Spring/Summer 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer not valid in KY, MI, NY or TN. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Sunday, March 13, 2022.