Pass the Grog

About 20 maybe 25 years ago I stumbled into a fairly fancy Italian restaurant with a date to impress and was handed a three-ring binder list. I knew just enough about Italian wine to be dangerous. Chianti is Sangiovese, Barolo is expensive, and Montepulciano comes in 2 flavors, right? Somehow, miraculously, I stabbed a finger on this funny word *Crognolo* and the rest has been a downhill 2-decade-long love affair with this super-Tuscan.

I’ve always been blown away by the amount of young fresh clean structure that’s built into these wines. All the restaurants in the world, including the one I dined at, serve these things entirely too young. But the promise is there and now I keep a pretty strong vertical–just so I can watch them blossom.

Yesterday I purchased my allotment of 2014’s, and, while I say this almost every year, infanticide has a new definition. Almost undrinkable in its youthfulness, such a shame to be consuming it at this point and this one has a heady petrol, burnt rubber coming off that I haven’t experienced before. It mingles with the ripe berry and in the mouth complements the clean bright fruit and taught ridiculousness. My love of second-labels is well-documented, and while I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a 40k-case wine, it never goes slutty, never sells out to the American palate–one of those rare wines which stays tight and firm even while corporate-produced on a mass scale.

This has to be quite possibly one of the utmost bargains of the wine world. I don’t know of another wine that quite melds old world and new world so perfectly.

2014 TENUTA SETTE PONTI ‘Crognolo’ Toscana IGT Italy 13.5

www.tenutasetteponti.it

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