Slightly staining but fairly clear ruby with garnet edges. Intense vanillin nose with dark briery fruit reminiscent of a Syrah, actually… blind I might have pegged it for a cold-climate Syrah. Sweet, dusty wet leather and wet match-head with a touch of road-tar. You can smell the acidity along with the deep, round fruit.
This is not a classic Toscano or even a super-Tuscan. It is really an Italian BDX. But then again: WHO’S to say what a Super-Tuscan is to be? I had a 50/50 GR/SY a while back that was unbelievable. This one is predominately Merlot, with Cab, Cab Franc and Petit Verdot making it up. Just switch the usual Malbec proportion with Sangiovese (2%) and you have the blend. But not the usual Bordelaise astringency or vapidness or un-approachable-ness at this price-point. A truly New-World translation.
Spicy fruit entry and middle with ample acidity–as promised–and wracking tannin bringing up the rear. Not at all what you would expect from an Italian wine but also not at all what regular purchasers of 20-30$ Bordeaux are expecting. It really transcends all genres. And coming in at 14-5 it should tell you right there how un-European it is. If you are a regular drinker of top-quality California wines and have trepidation venturing into the Italian world, I highly recommend this starting-point. An unbelievable bargain.
2009 IL FAUNO Di Arcanum IGT Toscano 14.5