Best Grog You Ever Had

Dark ruby with cloudy edges.  Perfect bottle-funk of wet fur and sweat blows off after considerable air, exposing rich cherry fruit, focused and pure.  The spice in this one offers such a balanced, elegant approach to the fruit it is almost un-noticeable in its formation of one pure never-ending stream of classic, powerful roundness.  Deep cassis and soil punctuate a certain acrid green-ness: pine needles and weeds taut with spring rain.  I discovered Crognolo quite by accident many years ago staring glazed and nervously at a massive Italian list I understood absolutely NOTHING about.  I still have no idea why I chose it.  Maybe it was a word I could at least barely pronounce, maybe it was the price, but I was instantly happy with my choice and now I keep a fair vertical in my cellar and look forward to it both at home and on Italian lists.  In the mouth, everything you were wistfully fantasizing about in the nose comes to a crashing, tannic, peppery halt.  The gorgeous fruit is still there, running coffee and cherry syrup far into the finish but–and one of my favorite parts of Crognolo–these things are so brash.  BEAUTIFUL tannins–running hard on wet bark and black tea–nearly overwhelm all.  And this is a 5YO wine.  5 years old is the MINIMUM approachable age for Crognolo–such a shame as I see them constantly on lists barely 2 years old.  They are complete mouth-numbing tannin BOMBS at that age!  Even this one is a chewy mouthful, and it is just BARELY settling down.  Oh god… and the finish…. long hard deep curvy fruit just begging you to take your eyes off the structure for a minute.  All around, easily my favorite IGT, I love the shy/generous fruit and the massive tannins.  I love the value and the distribution.  An easy winner every time.
♦♦
2009 TENUTA SETTE PONTI Crognolo Toscana IGT (Kobrand)  14-0
http://www.tenutasetteponti.it

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